Swatching . . . Watching . . . And Thinking

As you consider for your Ella Coat the colors you will use, as you choose yarn type, consider yarn weight, fiber content, and get to the business of swatching, I thought I’d swirl a few things to think about into the mix.

Specifically, drape has been on my mind. One of the things I LOVE, am absolutely enchanted by about my two current Ellas–my turquoise solid one with the Flurries ruffles and the Shepherd’s Wool blue & green striped one is the swinginess of the fabric, the way the coats move when I walk. They are not stiff. . .  they really move with my movements. It makes it fun to walk fast. Or even run.

As you pick your yarn, then, and swatch, please pay attention not just to whether you love the hand of it, whether you are getting stitch and row counts (rows are not as important. . . at least in this instance) and what needles to use, please also pay attention to the movement of the fabric you create when you swatch. It should drape over your hand, swing, move. It should not curl up like a pastry or stand up straight like a spoon in split pea soup too long on simmer. In this sense, be willing to make a generous swatch. I know I said before 24 stitches, but if you are not familiar with the properties of the yarn you are using–it is new to you–then expand your swatch to 68 stitches so you can really see how it behaves.

I am working on a new Ella Coat in Red Barn Yarn, a hand-dyed yarn that is denser than Stonehedge Fiber Mill’s Shepherd’s Wool. It has a lot more structure, will swing less and stand out straight a bit more. I’m ready for this because I like structured clothes. In fact, I have a beautiful evening coat that cinches in at the waist and flares out like a bell. It’s lovely and has a swish that beguiles me. This new Ella will have, I hope, a similar flare, at least in the beginning. It will take longer to soften.

Enjoy this part of the process. . .


4 thoughts on “Swatching . . . Watching . . . And Thinking

    • I’m so glad you say this, because as I wrote that sentence, I thought of that wonderful feeling I remember, and can still (thankfully) capture, of running not just for the joy of movement, but for the wonderful way some clothes move as they are moved. The deliciousness of a swishy skirt, the slither of some fabrics, the swing of the perfectly draped dress or coat. The romance of clothes. . .

  1. I’m with Beth…I LOVE the image of you running in your Ella. In my mind you are also wearing your fabulous, stripey boots!

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