Hello Design III Knitters,
Well, we are gearing up for Christmas and it almost seems ridiculous to think about January knitting but we should go over a few things...
In this class we are going to master the basics of stranding. Therefore, you need to choose a plain, basic, solid color yarn and a multi-colored long-play yarn. The long-play yarn is given that name because the color changes are longer than most. We have several good selections at Stitches & Scones for the long play -- Inca Print is a Alpaca blend and the yarn that I chose. Paint Box and Poems are also good wool choices. Choose a worsted-weight solid that coordinates with your long-play yarn.
How much yarn?
How much yarn of each color depends on what pattern you choose. In other words, if you have chosen a color pattern of equal color repeats than you need to buy half solid and half colored. If you have more solid than colored you need to buy more solid.
For Example: I know I used about 1075 yards in a st st sweater for myself, sometimes a bit less. I had chosen a color pattern with equal color repeats in it. So I purchased 600 yds of my solid and 600 yds of my colored yarn. I also purchased an extra skein of each -- one extra of the solid and one extra of the colored. This was my safety-net just in case I changed my mind about a pattern or decided to make my sweater longer than I planned. I can exchange those extra skeins for store credit when I am through with my sweater.
How to Choose a Color Pattern:
When you are just learning how to strand it is best to choose a color pattern that is small and has good equal repeats. I recommend patterns from, "The Mitten Book". They are small patterns, easy to read and easy to memorize so that you can knit without looking at your graph paper.
Swatching for your Gauge:
Now that you have the yarn, your pattern and your needles (choose needles to correspond with your yarn) you have make up a swatch for your gauge. Knit up a good sized swatch so that you can test out your color repeats and see if you like your yarn and color pattern.
Cast on and start knitting across according to your pattern but when you come to the time when you would flip your work and purl across DO NOT TURN YOUR WORK. You will not be purling in this class you will only be knitting. Therefore you cannot purl the backside of your swatch.
Instead, loop your yarn comfortably across the back of your work and start at the beginning again. You will end up with loops across the back but that is okay. We need the gauge to be just in knitted st st.
For those of you who can make the Sit & Knit on the 27th of December, I can definitely help you with your swatch at the Sit & Knit.
Happy Knitting & Merry Christmas!