Swatching fun:  two possible shawl designs ...

Swatching fun: two possible shawl designs …

One of my favoritest things to do as a professional hand-knits designer is to help with the Great Wall of Yarn, a part of The National Needlework Association’s semi-annual trade show. Twice a year, I receive new yarns for swatching … these yarns are either classic yarn-lines or brand-new product that the yarn-makers are introducing. Often, the fiber blend is new or the colorway technique is new or whatever. I ask TPTB not to send novelty yarns — I much prefer the classic yarns (DK, worsted or bulky) that are unique in their colorway or fiber blend. I’ve been doing swatches for 10+ years, but last year I finally got to see the GWOY in real-life … and will be in Columbus for the show again this year.

This time around, I only got two yarns to swatch — I’ve had as many as eight — but since I have a few other deadlines, it’s probably just as well.

The Trendsetter Ascot, a 100% superwash bulky (or heavy worsted) is a gorgeous mix of colors that really stand out; the way the colors blend together within the yarn makes for a unique colorway. I immediately thought of a basic top-down shawl (with a bit of unique shaping) on #10 needles. The yarn knits up nice and fluffy and this would make a cozy, lovely shawl.

Trendsetter's ASCOT

Trendsetter’s ASCOT

The other yarn sample was Crystal Palace’s Mochi Plus — a blend of 80% merino wool and 20% nylon in a heavy worsted. The gradient of pinks “screamed” a half-circle shawl with minimal stitching. I stuck to garter, stockinette and eyelets to allow the yarn to really bloom.

Cyrstal Palace's "Mochi Plus"

Cyrstal Palace’s “Mochi Plus”

Can you see why I love my “job”?

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