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Knitting samples with Aunt Lydia’s Classic 10 crochet thread

by Cynthia MacDougall

We’re back with our dear old Aunt, Aunt Lydia and her Classic 10 crochet thread. In this post, sampling is the name of the game.

Because size 10 crochet cotton is a lace weight yarn, it’s pretty logical that I want to turn this lustrous thread into lacy knitting.

The last time I made a lacy knit, I used a lace-weight linen yarn and size 4 [3.5mm] needles. The Double Horseshoe Wedding Shawl was featured in the Summer, 2017 issue of A Needle Pulling Thread.

This horseshoe-shaped lace shawl was designed in a linen thread, but it would look equally beautiful if made with Aunt Lydia’s Classic 10 crochet thread!

You can buy the pattern for Double Horseshoe Wedding Shawl from the ANPTmag store.

Knowing that Aunt Lydia is also a lace-weight yarn, I pulled the same needles, cast on stitches, and began knitting. I requisitioned the Victory red because I want to make a lacy tunic like this one, which was made from sock-weight linen.

Linen and cotton threads are pretty well interchangeable in any pattern, so if you find a project you love (like this one), and you can’t find linen or you have a large stash of crochet threads, try sampling to see what desirable effects you can achieve!

(You can’t buy the pattern for this tunic from me or ANPT, but you can find it in Vicki Square’s Light and Layered Knits book.)

I soon realized that my pattern was just a little too open: by the time I block it, it will be more open that I want it to be. After the first repeat, I changed to size 3mm needles (there’s no US equivalent), and was much happier with the result.

Which do you like better? The bottom part of this sample was knitted using size 4 [3.5mm] needles, and if you look closely, you can see where I switched to 3mm needles (no US equivalent). Note the difference in the fabric.

For the next swatch, I decided to double up on the yarn. I chose size 5 [3.75mm] needles and a different lace pattern that included cables. Cables will help add stability to the overall fabric. I was pleased with the result, which would be great for a tunic, however doubling the yarn added a lot of weight to the fabric, and I’m not sure I want to carry that much weight around on a summer day. It would be pretty done in a double knitting weight wool for a winter tunic, though!

Doubling up the thread and knitting with size 5 (3.75mm) needles makes a nice, thick fabric, but it might be a little too heavy for a sleeveless summer tunic.

One of the reasons I sample a lot is that every swatch I knit teaches me something, as you can see from my text, above. For the next swatch for this tunic project, I’ll go back to smaller needles and a single strand of yarn, and seek another lace pattern to experiment further. I may come back to my original pattern, I may use the new sample, or I might even miniaturize the lace pattern in the blue tunic in the photo and change the yoke to be less peek-a-boo. Regardless, there isn’t time to knit a whole tunic this week!

So, I’m changing gears. It’s been two years since I knitted the Horseshoe Wedding Stole and the Double Horseshoe Wedding Shawl, with their complementary pieces, a ring bearer pillow cover and a lacy bridal handkerchief (which was actually my gauge swatch!)

When searching for ideas for Aunt Lydia Classic 10, I came across a pattern for an Exquisite Bridal Topper. But, as you can see by clicking on the link, it is crocheted. Wanting to create something similar in knitting, I thought, “I have a stole, and a shawl, why not add a bolero to the Horseshoe wedding collection?” I did some preliminary calculations and began to develop the Horseshoe Wedding Bolero. You’ll see the pattern for this in future posts.

This time I took up Aunt Lydia’s Classic 10 metallic thread and cast on a piece of neckline. As you can see, I included in my swatch some raglan shaping to help me with calculations for sizing when I get to the next stage of the design process. Who says a gauge swatch has to be square? There are no knitting police!

Is that pretty or what? Aunt Lydia’s metallic cotton will make a perfect bridal topper for a summer wedding! Aunt Lydia’s Classic 10 metallic only comes in 5 colors, but any one of them will be perfect – shown is silver/silver.

As I said, every swatch teaches me something! This one told me that this is going to be pretty!

For needles, I chose size 3 [3.25mm], made a neckline using seed stitch, and knitted seed stitch borders and 6 repeats of the pattern.

I have to go now – I’ve got a lot of math and a lot of knitting to do! Tomorrow I’ll talk about blocking, and hopefully, by the time I get to the last post of this week, I’ll have knitted a bridal bolero!

Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread in metallic gold colorway

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: 3 differences between knitting yarn and crochet thread

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