Just got my BBB package (as in TKGA Basics course) last week and I have spent a good deal of time doing "prep work." IE: finding a suitable yarn that I think will sustain me through the levels. I've decided to use Cascade 220 based on it's availability (my LYS carries it) price (seems reasonable) and it does a nice job of showing off stitch definition. It also seems to be a TKGA fan favourite.
I've made about 6 "first swatches" trying out various needle sizes (4.5 - 5mm) and types (plastic / bamboo / metal / circs / long / short). Having said that - my biggest decision has been around whether I'll knit Continental or English. I started swatch 1 doing continental and was horrified at my tension and edges. Tried again (blamed the needle size) and not much better. Next - I resentfully tried an English knit swatch - which looked better. I was somewhat miffed because I didn't want to do my swatches English... (nothing to do with the whole English vs Continental business). Finally I needed to review why I am even embarking on this journey. Generally speaking it is to become a more proficient knitter - more specifically however, I want to accomplish this proficiency using the continental technique. For some reason my "hand -brain" connectors seem to navigate more naturally towards this technique. It feels like home (I guess home needs a little sprucing up at the moment).
And so all was frogged again - and finally swatch 1 was done. (Almost - still need to block it).
|Swatch 1 - Sample A on 4.mm needles. Sample B 5mm needles. I've decided that B has a bettter hand. These swatches aren't yet blocked - we'll see what they look like post "finishing."|
|Bumpy side of long tail cast on - and uneven looking K2P2 ribbing|
|K2 P2 rib - I know a number of these stitches look twisted - but when I pull the swatch and look more closely I know they aren't. Also shown is the long tail cast smooth side.|
|Garter stitch selvedge - unfortunately - no slip stitches allowed!|
|K2 P2 selvedge|
|In looking at my tension with an analytical eye - I see one loose stitch. I am hoping with proper finishing the fibres will relax and it will "disappear" into the fabric when the wool fulls a bit.|
|The bind off instructions were BIND OFF 12 stitches purl wise and the remainder knit wise. Interesting how it looks different - eh?|