Tempest, no teacup

I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with the Bayou colorway of Shimmer, and I’ve been scheming and plotting ways to work it into my not-so-lacy world. Now that Knitty has released their Spring surprises, Tempest has pushed me over the edge.

I thought I was so sneaky, and then the requests for yarn substitution help for Tempest starting rolling into my email inbox. On top of it all, Melissa wrote up a nice post on double-stranding our lace weight yarns for subtle color variation. At last, I had the work-related reasons I needed to do a little swatching.

I used Shimmer, in the discontinued Flower Garden colorway. I double-stranded it on US 6 needles, as per Tempest’s suggested needle size. Melissa and I talked a little about this yesterday, and we were both skeptical about knitting what would essentially be fingering weight yarn at a worsted weight gauge. The fabric could turn out like a big fishing net, and I didn’t expect the texture to be cushiony enough. I grabbed extra needle tips, ranging from size 4 to 7, mostly because I was anticipating a gauge nightmare.

A pleasant surprise: at the suggested gauge of 20 stitches per 4” (on the suggested US 6 needles, no less!), the finished fabric is slightly open but still soft and wearable with nice stretch and drape. Colors pooled a bit in my swatch, but if this showed up in my sweater I could easily correct it by alternating balls of the same color to break up any pooling. I haven’t washed the swatch yet, and that would be my next step before starting the pattern, but now my hopes are high that all of this double-stranding will work.

I’m still in a committed relationship with Bayou, but (as per Melissa’s suggestion this morning) I may try double stranding it with Shadow (maybe in Snorkel and Spring Green), using the Bayou throughout but allowing the two different colors of Shadow to create the stripes in the pattern. Time for more swatching! <