My little start on the striped border scarf from Victorian Lace Today seemed a little looser and loopier than I thought it should be. Checking against the instructions, based on the three repeats of the border completed so far with US size 7 needles, it seemed a little big. It looked like it would be wider than the specified finished width, before blocking.
Of course, a scarf gives you some leeway on size, so it wasn't necessarily a problem. But it did bear some investigation. I went ahead and knitted a repeat on needles a couple of sizes smaller.
Here are the two swatches, with the US 5 version on the left and the US 7 one on the right. The size difference was actually not as great as I thought it would be. But whereas the size 7 version was stretchy and sprawling, the size 5 version looked tidier. It really didn't take much considering.
So, decision made.
It's just as well. I was being too respectful of the yarn, babying it, and ending up with big loose stitches. (Maybe I'm not such a tight knitter after all!) After this bit of practice with the stitch pattern and yarn, I think the tension will be more consistent on the second try, as well.
And why is there a loose skein instead of a wound ball of yarn in the picture? It's because, after reading the Yarn Harlot's November 8 post, I was highly impressed with the way Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton simply knits directly from the skein.
Thus, I too had to attempt knitting from a skein just draped in my lap. I admit it's living a little dangerously. I may end up with a tangled mess that will take a lot of time and endless patience to sort out. But we can't shrink from a challenge, now, can we?
Or maybe I was merely feeling a bit lazy and not in the mood to wind a ball. :) I certainly hope I don't get interrupted and jump up suddenly without thinking.
Sometimes you just have to walk on the wild side.