The first entry in my great swatch blanket is Rossetti in the Louisa Harding line. It comes in 10 colors, which you can see here. This is color #6, Heather.
Fiber: 67% Merino Wool, 28% Silk, 5% Polyamide Yardage: 76 Stitches: 3.75 Needle size: 10 Ball weight: 50g Care: Handwash
Since the suggested needle size is a US10 I decided to use it as a starting point and have achieved a nice fabric that allows the softness of the yarn to be appreciated.
I cast on 50 sts and my swatch is 9.5 inches across (total). On the little 6 sts columns (which are totally inadequate for measuring an actual gauge) I'm getting about 3.5 sts/inch
I believe Rossetti is considered a boucle yarn. The base is loosely spun and there is a nubbly binder in a coordinating color, which you might be able to see a little better in the photo below. I did not have a problem knitting with the yarn despite the two different texture.
Also, it does not have as much of a halo texture as some other boucles I've worked with. This means your knitting needle point goes into the stitch rather than getting caught up in a few strands of the base yarn. You know what I'm talking about.
As you can see I decided to go with a cable stitch. They are 12 st cables with 6 sts between and on either side.
My life might have been easier if I decided to work all the swatches in plain stockinette stitch. They probably would have worked up faster as well. However that would not have given you an idea of what the yarn can do. It also would have gotten boring fairly quickly!
I also decide to go with a cable because many of the patterns in the Dream Catcher book feature cables. That book also supports another new yarn called Millias, which I haven't started swatching yet.
The patterns look very nice. They cover cardigans, pullovers, and accessories. Some of them show variations. For instance there is a long and cropped version of one cardigan, and a scarf and shrug that feature the same cable.
Since I have two balls of this yarn I decided to put it through it's crochet paces as well.
This is color #5 Ember. It's a cloudy day today, so I cannot attest to the accuracy of the color in this photo. In real life it's a bit more wine.
Sadly, the ball band does not give a suggested hook size. Since a US 10 knitting needle is 6mm, I went with a J/10 crochet hook, which is also 6 mm.
Maybe I was feeling unimaginative last night, but I decided that if I was using this yarn for a crochet project I'd probably be making a scarf, so I went with a plain old double crochet (US term. I think it would be treble in UK?).
I tried to get the block to be the same size as my knit block so I ended up with a base chain of 37 (with 2 turning chains). My block is about 10.5 inches across, with about 3.5 dc per inch.
Now I'd like to qualify everything that comes next with a reminder that I haven't seriously crocheted in ages because it hurts my wrists.
The fabric with a J hook is a little loose. For my afghan it will be fine and it would probably work for a scarf. But for a sweater it's a little peek-a-boo, so I'd go down a hook. I'm not going to go down a hook for my block because that would change the dimensions and I don't want to loose the work I've already done by starting over. (Please reference my above comment about extended crochet sessions tweaking my wrists.)
I had a little trouble ripping back in the crochet. After 6 rows I realized I lost 2 stitches along the way and had to tear out two and a half rows to fix it. Sigh. The fuzz got a little caught up in itself. By comparison, I had to tink back a row of the knitting and didn't have any problem at all. Other than that, I didn't have trouble crocheting with it.
There you have it. The foundation blocks for my sampler blanket. Um, no pun intended. Now I just have to finish them before I go running off to sample another yarn.