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Knitting swatch squares with Nymph over different pattern motifs

by Cindy O'Malley

This week, I’m knitting with Rozetti Yarns Nymph, that combines 84% cotton with 16% polymide for an irresistibly soft yarn that is great for all ages. This DK-weight yarn has a light chainette construction, with soft fibers blown through for a gorgeous halo.

Today, I’m knitting some swatches, and I’m really looking forward to it. That’s not something you typically hear from a knitter. My projects (yes, projects, since I admitted yesterday that one project turned into two) for the week are making swatches with some of my favorite stitch patterns. Smaller projects with cotton are perfect for warm weather knitting.

As I mentioned yesterday, the recommended gauge and needle size is 21-24 stitches x 29-32 rows over 4”[10cm] using a US 5 – 7 [3.75 – 4.5mm] knitting needle, and 16-19 stitches over 4”[10cm] using a US G/6 – H/8 [4 – 5mm] crochet hook. I’ll start with a conventional 4” x 4” swatch to see how the yarn performs. This is an important exercise when working with yarn for the first time. Then, I’ll move on to other needle sizes for different patterns to see how Nymph performs.

1st Swatch – US 6 [4.0mm]

My conventional swatch yielded 22 sts and approximately 32 rows after sitting and relaxing for a few days. I love the fabric it created, both in drape and in color. It has a beautiful stitch definition, and the halo of the blown fibers really softens the overall look. I can see making a summer top with this yarn. Since gauge is within the recommendations, I’ll move on to my project swatches.

Conventional 4”x4” swatch in stocking stitch knit with Nymph of a US 6 [4.0mm] needle.

Nymph yielded 22sts & 32R with a US 6 [4.0mm] needles. It has beautiful stitch definition and a lovely soft halo.

Now for the unconventional swatches ….

For my 2nd swatch, I wanted to do open lacework. Since lace typically yields a larger gauge, I decided to use a US 5[3.75mm] needle and one of my favorite lace patterns; the Checkerboard Lace.

I cast on 38 sts using the crochet cast-on method and proceeded with the pattern for 50 rows. The pattern details will be revealed tomorrow, but for now, here’s my result.

6 ¾”x6 ¾” swatch in Checkerboard lace pattern knit with Nymph on a US 5 [3.75mm] needle.

Nymph yielded a similar gauge as the stocking stitch with a US 5 [3.75mm] needles with an open lace work pattern. The square measured approximately 6¾” before blocking.

My square resulted in approximately 6¾” x 6¾”. I wasn’t as concerned with gauge as I was overall size. When you do the math, it was very close to the 22 x 32 gauge that I achieved with the stocking stitch gauge. Perfect! That’s what I was hoping for. If you notice, I didn’t block it first. I wanted to see the natural behavior of each pattern square.

For my 3rd swatch, I went to a larger needle size (US 7 [4.5mm]) and used a pattern that knits rather tightly. Known as the Lattice or Trellis stitch, I used the same number of stitches and rows as the lace square (38 sts & 50 rows) and the crochet cast-on method.

Nymph in Goblet knit with a US 7 [4.5mm] needle and using a left leaning trellis stitch pattern

Nymph knit with a US 7 [4.5mm] needle and using a left leaning trellis stitch pattern.

This square was more of a rectangle when it came off of the needles, but it squared up when tension was put on the sides. It measured in about 6” wide x 7 ¼” high. When I gently pulled on it from the sides, it became much closer in size to the lace pattern. I love the stitch definition that both swatches produced using very different patterns.

Now that I know the natural behavior of Nymph knit with various needle sizes over different pattern stitches, I’m ready to proceed with my projects. The goal is to create a blanket made up of different pattern squares. In fact, some of my favorite pattern motifs, which I would like to call, “a few of my favorite things”.

Over the next 2 days, I’ll be revealing each pattern motif, along with a brief description of where I’ve used, or intend to use, the pattern. On Friday, I’ll show you how I pieced them together and added other pattern embellishments. Please join me tomorrow as I use Nymph to start making my squares using my four color choices of Taiga, Salvia, Swan, and Goblet.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: The magical qualities of Nymph make for some great summer knitting

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