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