Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I cast on for a new sweater yesterday. The free pattern, Vinelle, is from the VoolenVine blog and you can see details on Ravelry here, although for some reason I can't find the actual link to the pattern right now.
I'm using some lovely Cascade 220 Paints in "Flower Forest." I had to look up what it was actually called; in my mind I call it "unicorn pony." (Yes, really. Apparently just "unicorn" isn't enough. )

Generally when I knit a sweater, I cast on a sleeve first and I use that as my gauge swatch. So that's what I did. I cast on and worked away on it with size 8 DPNs, following directions for the size 36.
I got a good deal done. I had read on Ravelry that the sleeves ran a bit small so I compensated by adding a few more increase rows when I reached the chunkier bits of my arm. All was going well.

There was a scary gauge moment where I changed from DPN's to a circular needle and my stitch gauge changed from 19 st/4 inches to 17 st/4 inches, but I solved that by ripping and using DPN's throughout.

Then, I remembered.

Horror of horrors, the body of the sweater is knit flat! What if my gauge was dramatically different? And what about at the end, when I join it all at the top on a circular needle? What would happen then?What if the whole thing turned out wrong?
'Well,' I thought, 'Surely it will be fine.' and I cast on for the body. 160 stitches. And I worked on it for a good long while.
And, duh, my gauge changed. I measured it, got 4 st/ inch and kept knitting. Maybe I thought if I just kept going, miraculously my gauge would shrink down to 4.5 st/inch. Or maybe magically when I put it in the wash it would shrink instead of grow. I kept knitting, put in a buttonhole, got to the second lace repeat, and finally admitted that it was too big. The gauge was dramatically different from the sleeve, and Casacde 220 always grows when I put it in water, and I was going to have to rip.

Next time, I promise to do a gauge swatch.

For now, though, the sleeve has been blocked and is drying. I've frogged what I had of the body, but I'm going to try and use the sleeve as it is. After I drink this cup of coffee (and maybe work on an easy sock for a while) I'm going to knit up a swatch in the flat (probably on size 7's) and block that as well. And as for the end, when I reach the bit where I have to work on circular needles? I'm just going to pray.

Oh wait....
I just realized that at the end I won't be knitting circularly. It will still be flat.

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