Wool Pop: the fabric drape is determined by the swatch

This week I’m knitting with Universal Yarn Wool Pop, which is a blend of bamboo, superwash wool, and polymide that exudes a heathery sheen and subtle halo.

Today I’m knitting some swatches using a couple of different needle sizes to determine how I’ll proceed with my chosen projects this week. The recommended gauge for Wool Pop, as I went over in yesterday’s post, is 22 sts and 30 rows over 4” [10cm] with a US 6 [4mm] knitting needle, so that’s where I’ll start.

This yarn is really soft to the touch and is also really soft to knit. I’m quite pleased with the drape of the fabric and stitch definition that I achieved from my first swatch. It’s lovely, I must say, and the recommended gauge was right on the money; 22 sts and 30 rows over 4” [10cm] with a US 6 [4mm] needle, both before and after laundering.

2 swatches knit with Wool Pop. Left, 22sts & 30rows on a US 6 [4mm] needle. Right, 20sts & 26rows on a US 7 [4.5mm] needle.

The sweater pattern I selected has a gauge of 18 sts and 26 rows over 4” [10cm] using a US 7 [4.5mm] needle, so I’ll try that next. I cast on the same number of stitches. The gauge I achieved was 20 sts and 26 rows, which is generally the recommended gauge for a worsted weight. However, it’s all about the resulting fabric. The stitch definition is still good and the drape is fairly good, but not as good as the previous swatch. When I held it up to the natural light I could see through the fabric. It was a little better after laundering, but I don’t want to end up with a transparent sweater, so that will not do. Based on that, I didn’t want to try a larger needle size, even if it would achieve the sweater gauge. I know I wouldn’t be happy with the end result, and knitting a sweater takes way too much time and effort to settle for anything less than lovely.

For my other projects this week, I’ll be using a double knitting technique. This means that I’ll create a double thickness, reversible fabric. Since it’s doubly thick, I want the fabric to be a little bit on the looser side. So, for my next swatch, I’ll use the US 7 [4.5mm] needle to create a double knit swatch. The gauge I achieved was 19½ sts and 26 rows over 4” [10cm]. Now I know what I’ll need to do for my projects.

Dark Side of swatch using the Double Knitting technique on a US 7 [4.5mm] needle.

Light Side of the same swatch using the Double Knitting technique on a US 7 [4.5mm] needle.

I’m all set and ready to start my projects for the week. I hope you join me tomorrow when I use Wool Pop in color Silken. The balance of the week will be spent making accessories to go with my sweater using the double knitting technique.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: Multi-seasonal knitting with Wool Pop

Go to part 3: The importance of gauge when knitting a sweater

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