A Tale of Two Swatches

Alligator scarf being finished (hang on 'til the end, there are photos), I went looking for my next project. Determined that it would be something practical that we can actually use here in Tucson (where daytime highs are reliably above the mid-80s and climbing steadily), I kinda became enamoured with the Leaf Kimono Top from the Summer Interweave Knits. It thought it would be perfect for over a tank top with a little skirt, just to dress it up a bit. And I knew just the yarn to make it with.

So, I made a swatch:

Gauge was perfect; I really liked the lace pattern; I suspected a potential problem. You see, there are four repeats of the lace pattern on the swatch, and not a single one of them was accomplished without some swearing and some tearing. I wasn't to be dissuaded, so on I went.

But it's really not to be right now. I managed the first row of the lace pattern fine, but when it came to row 3, nothing doing. It is evidence of how stressed/exhausted/fed up I am after the IL visit that I actually threw the thing and swore. Needless to say, it's been frogged. I haven't given up on the pattern, but I think I need more sleep or more distance from THE VISIT before tackling the first non-sock lace I've knit in a while.

What to do, what to do. Enter my Ravelry queue. Isabella has been on my wish list since it came out, and the yarn I was planning to use for the lace top will also work for it.

Enter swatch #2:

Stockinette at just 27 sts to 4", perfect for Isabella. So, she's been cast on, and I've finished about 10 rows. I think a little stockinette with just a bit of shaping and a few eyelet rows is just the speed I need now.

Oh, the yarn? It's Valley Yarns Hampshire Brights, a long discontinued 6/2/2 mercerized cotton that I've got a couple of cones of sitting around here.

And the FO. For your inspection, one alligator scarf:
Here stretched out on Gnash, the alligator who lives on our bed.

Pattern: Moorehouse Farms Alligator Scarf (finally available as a pattern only!)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport #522, just over 1 ball (62 grams, to be exact)
Needles: Brittany Walnut #5
Mods: Aside from knitting it in a different yarn, none.

I like it. It is definitely kid-sized, which is fine with me. Some child in the extended family will be happy to have it. Interesting: I actually have enough of every color in the Dr. Who scarf to make one like it. Perhaps I will someday. For now, on to other things for US this time.

But one last shot of the 'gator:
Here modelled by Baloo, M's bear.

And another, totally typical of Tucson, picture:
That's a bucket of grapefruit given to M by one of the church members. It's not unusual for her to come home with grapefruit at least once a week. Sometime it's oranges; once it was a whole boatload of something called a limequat (?).

In some parts of the country, you need to fend off the zucchini; here, it's citrus. Which I don't mind one bit. Most of the grapefruit are destined for juicing as they are sooooo ripe and juicy as to be difficult to eat without needing a bath after.

Just one of the things I love about our new home.

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