I have never knit a garment. I knit very loosely, so I've always been worried about making something that would fit. So yesterday I knit my very first swatch for a hooded vest, and blocked it, along with blocking the scarf I finished the day before. (The blocking is also a first.) Here you can see the scarf and the swatch pinned to some foam matting:
Jake was intrigued all night by this new addition to his house and kept sniffing it... but nothing smelled like supper. By this morning everything was dry, so I unpinned it.
I already liked the color and the pattern (above you can see the knit side and the purl side, both are very interesting) but the blocking changed the texture of it to be very soft and drapey. I am very pleased with it, but I don't know if I will be able to wear it until it gets cooler! I have a new top it would go very nicely with...
Here is a close-up of my swatch. I found the pattern last fall (October, I think) when I went to the knit expo in Schaumburg. The yarn is Lion Brand, bought at JoAnn's. It is undyed, and the label says it has natural oils. I didn't really notice that when I was knitting. Now I am in unknown territory. I stretched this when I blocked it... quite a bit, and now the gauge is off. I am supposed to have 20 stitches in 4 inches, and I have 15 1/2. So, can I block it again and hope it will shrink a little, or do I have to try again with smaller needles? I am already using needles 2 sizes smaller than called for.
Our spring is still accelerating. Today the daffodils are out and all the maples are flowering. I guess tomorrow we will see the tulips!