Today’s swatch is in Nettle Lana Solids.
Nettle Lana Solids is a luxurious blend of 70% organic wool and 30% nettle with a braided construction. This is the first nettle yarn I’ve worked with, and I like it! Some plant fiber yarns can be tiring to knit with, but I didn’t have that problem with Nettle Lana, perhaps due to the wool content.
This yarn has a particularly rich color saturation. The plant and animal fibers take the dye at different rates leading to an almost heathered look. Decadent.
I picked the shadow cable for this swatch because I liked how it looked in the Starcrossed Cardigan (above) from e-book Nettle Lana: Behind the Curtain. Doing cables over the knit side of a stockinette background instead of the purl side gives a subtlety to the texture. They fade into the background more than they would in a traditional Celtic cable. The shadow cable is a simple 8-row repeat of two over two crosses that’s easy to memorize. Like last week’s smock stitch swatch, it’s the same thing on rows 4 and 8, just staggered. Very easy to keep track of, and an excellent beginner’s cable. On US Size 7 needles, I got about 5 stitches per inch in pattern, but of course your gauge may vary.
Nettle Lana Solids would look great in a larger garment. Nettle Lana Expressions, the multi version of this yarn, would be well-suited for a smaller project. I’m eyeing the Woven Stitch Cowl at right, a free two ball pattern on our website. A four row repeat with great texture? Looks like another great stitch to try for Sunday Swatch!