Lovely Bronwyn was in today wearing her Flames Hat.
In her bag she had Folded and wasn't at all happy with the fabric she's making. I looked at the pattern which calls for a fingering weight yarn. Bronwyn was using the right weight yarn, but she was carrying it double because she was afraid it was too fine on a size 6 needle and that her sweater might be see through. I showed her some fabric worked with that weight yarn at that gauge, and that it wasn't see-through, just nice and drapey. Even though she'll have to pull out what she's done so far, she went away happy because drapey and relaxed is what this garment is all about.
It's really interesting to see how the the characteristics of knitted fabric and gauge change with the styles. Once hand knits used fine yarns worked at a very firm gauge. The idea was that they should keep you warm, hold their shape, and last a long time, which garments knit at a firm gauge will do. But styles change, and many of today's most popular sweaters are more relaxed and less structured. I never imagined I'd like this kind of fabric, or this kind of garment, but I do. Ribbed borders, tight cuffs, and stiff lapels have given way to fluid fabric that drapes over the body. Loose flowing fabric, deeper armholes, generous front panels, and swingy A-lines make these garments comfortable to wear, and interestingly, flattering to women of all ages. Bronwyn, a thirty-something mother of two little girls, looks fabulous in it, as does as does our own beautiful Mary, who's has kids Bronwyn's age.
Here are a couple of designs from CocoKnits, one of my favorite designers, to show you what I mean.
Don't these designs look modern and fresh! They're the kind of thing you would buy at the store, if you could find it in a nice quality yarn for a decent price. Oh, right. You can't. Yeah. That's why we knit.