STRATUS is a soft, lightweight, squishy yarn that has a satiny handfeel. This yarn is a fingering/sock weight yarn and is 80% extrafine merino wool and 20% nylon. The super soft merino wool gives it that soft and delicate finish perfect for a garment or blanket that feels gentle on the skin! Today I’ve knitted up three swatches of STRATUS for comparison. The swatches are done using size 3, 4, and 5 needles to compare how this pillowy soft yarn stitches up!
I cast on 36 stitches for each swatch and did a few rows at the top and bottom of the garter stitch and the three stitches on each edge are also garter stitches to keep the swatch flat. The interior swatch uses the stockinette stitch and is 30 stitches across and about 30 rows high. I use a long tail cast on, like my grandma taught me, and a basic cast off. This left me with three squishy stitched samples to compare!
First up, we have the swatch with the size 3 needles. This knitted up nice and tight with a sturdier body as a result. You can see the density of the stitches in the swatch. These needles felt like the right size for something like a hat that you would want to hold its shape a little better. I’ve been eyeing some seed stitch hat patterns recently thinking about keeping my ears warm during the colder months. The size three needles and soft STRATUS would be a great combination for that! This would also be my personal pick for knitting socks.
Next is the swatch with the size 4 needles. As expected, these stitches sit a little looser than the size 3 needles adding a bit more drape to the swatch. This was my personal favorite combination of yarn and needle size. It knits up a little quicker with the larger needles while retaining some structure. This felt like the size needle I’d use if I wanted to knit up something like a cowl or scarf that would have just a bit more fluidity to it than a hat or socks. This beautiful scarf would be a great combination with STRATUS.
The final swatch of the set uses size 5 needles. When I first started knitting, I went for chunky yarn and chunky needles because I wanted the instant gratification of creating something quickly and being able to see what I made. The size 5 needles with the fingering weight yarn had the satisfaction of working up quicker in comparison while remaining soft, light, and delicate. This swatch had such a beautiful drape I could just imagine it as a buttery soft knitted top that would fall beautifully. This top would be lovely using STRATUS.
It is always a good idea to create a swatch of your own before embarking on a new project using a new yarn and needle combination as you may hold your yarn tension a little different from me so your stitches per inch may vary. I know I hold my yarn a bit tight when I knit. However, these swatches should give you a good reference point when thinking about what size needles you may want to use for your next project!
I love having swatches around for reference so that I know in the future if I want to come back to something I have already knitted up a swatch to check against a future pattern. I will store these swatches with the tag from the yarn and jot down on the tag the needles that I used and then store them all in an envelope together. This works for me so I don’t have to go digging back through notebooks looking for which yarn and what needles I used to create these swatches. I prefer to store the swatches with all of the information I would need. I use a similar system for my Dyer’s Journal! (link dyer’s journal blog post)
If you knit up something using STRATUS, be sure to tag us on social media using #knomad_yarn. You can also find inspiration for dyeing up your yarn on this blog! We can’t wait to see what you make.