Saturday, October 27, 2012

Today's sweater, take 2

Subtitle to post: Yes Gertrude, gauge does matter.

Today's  sweater, take 2

What you see above is my Today's Sweater for P3, so-called because I cast on the day of the Today's Sweater presentation. I dutifully knit my way through half of the colorwork chart for the bottom hem before I got home, and was very pleased with how things were turning out.

But when I got home, I put the sweater down for  a few days, and when I picked it up again, I began to have the sneaking suspicion that all was not well in River City. I knit a few more rows, all the while knowing, without a doubt, that I was going to have to rip out the entire thing and start over again.

Why was I going to have to rip out? I hear you asking. Well, dear readers, the answer is: swatches lie.

Now, perhaps they don't lie if you do a proper swatch, aka cast on 40 stitches, work in pattern for 6 inches and cast off, block the swatch, and then allow it to hang from one side for a few days so that the weight of the piece can work whatever voo doo it will do on your knitting. However, if, in a fit of wool fever, you knit a swatch that is approximately 2 inches by 3 inches while on the train to a knitting retreat, then block it by hastily wetting in from a bottle of water in a deserted Welsh train station while waiting for your connection and then have a complete and utter brain fart regarding the actual required gauge of the pattern of interest (note: 6 stitches per inch is in no way the same as 6.5 stitches per inch, just for the record), you may have problems such as the one I encountered.

My supposed-to-be 42 inch sweater was actually closer to 48 inches around, giving me approximately 8 inches of ease. And even for a comfy, oversized sweater that is destined to be worn as outerwear, 8 inches of ease is too much. Waaaay to much. So, with much muttered obscenity and a few tears, my 4 inches of Today's Sweater became piles of loose yarn, and I retreated to the comfort of Open Office spreadsheets to figure out what to do. I'm already knitting on US 2 needles, and I have absolutely no desire to go down a needle size, so I plugged in my gauge and the stitch counts, and have figured out that I can knit the next size down and get something that will fit. Hooray!

You may also notice that I've changed from a ribbed bottom edge to garter stitch. It just seemed better that way. Onward to rustic wooly goodness!


Shani said...

I feel your pain! Been there and done that over the swatching!

Superb wool though, so going to be worth it. Best wishes Shani

porpoise said...

Thanks for your comment Shani! It's not the first time I have been lied to by swatches, and sad to say, it's probably not the last. But so be it. At least I didn't carry on to the yoke with my head buried in the sand!

Hope you and Bruce had a safe trip home from Wales.