Shibui Rain Swatches
Earlier today I swatched for the Martine Sweater by Julie Hoover using the recommended yarn, Rain from Shibui. Rain is a 100% mercerized cotton chained yarn, and as I started knitting with it I felt like I was not in love. The yarn felt stiff and awkward in my hands and on my needles, and the stitch pattern wasn't presenting itself in a way that looked anything like Julie's gorgeous sample.
As you can see in these next two photos that the post-blocking fabric is completely different from the pre-blocked fabric. The stiffness fell out of the yarn and the stitch pattern became wonderfully defined. The drape evident in the sample garment photos revealed itself and I felt so relieved.
I knit a lot of my sweaters in the recommended yarns and this is a perfect example of why. I find it's such a good way for me to try out new yarns that I might never have picked up in the store on my own. If I had come across Rain on my own, without seeing the Martine sample, I never would have thought it was something I would enjoy wearing or knitting with. It's easy for me to see a sewing pattern and know how it will behave with a substituted or non-recommended fabric instantly, and be spot on in my assumption, but I'm still learning with yarn, even after being a knitter for 15 years.