Swatching For Success

I’m itching to start another sweater. Usually for my birthday I do a special cast on. But this year I was a proper good knitter and knitted gauge swatches on my birthday instead of plowing straight into a sweater.

And oh boy, am I glad I did! I had picked Mycroft by Isabell Kraemer (Rav link) and my sweater lot of Malabrigo Rios in Jupiter. The color isn’t good in this photo but the yarn is a great mix of reds, browns and oranges.

I started with the pattern called for US6s and knit a full sized swatch (bottom). I washed and dried it and carefully measured it and I had WAY to many stitches. Like 5 too man which would have made a way too small of a garment. So I then pulled out 7s and made another swatch, albeit a tid bit smaller than first, and dutifully washed and dried it. This time I got a lot closer to gauge but not exactly right on.

I like the fabric it created so I think I am going to keep this needle size and just do the pattern math. I may be safe to go up one pattern size with my gauge and get my desired finished garment. But I need to crunch the numbers first. Not as satisfying as knitting a cool sweater but I’m hoping to get a wearable sweater.

Happy Knitting!!

Basic Failure

Well….I got kicked in the teeth by not swatching during what is a very stressful time. My Everyday Slouchy Beanie is TIGHT y’all. Like squeeze my brain out my ears tight.

I made enough fabric in the hat portion to try it on. I had been having a niggling feeling that brim was maybe tight after I had turned and joined the cast on edge. But I just kept knitting and damned if my instinct wasn’t correct.

Now, I have knit a TON of stitches into this thing. Andafter knitting both halves of the brim…I’m not ripping out floofy yarn for that many stitches! This hat will fit someone when I’m done. I might just have to be sad that it doesn’t fit me.

Note to self: Next time you are extraordinarily stressed….check yo gauge!

Re-Swatching Because Swatches Lie

Earlier this week I had talked about making a second gauge swatch but this time with stripes. Seriously glad I did…because my tension changed while working stripes!! Using this yarn and my needles and making stripes got me a LOT closer to pattern gauge. This means my first spreadsheet math would have had me make a WAAAY to big of a sweater. This washed and blocked swatch only has me go up 1/2 to a whole pattern size. Glad I checked before I had most of a sweater done.

This time I had some better light so I took some better pictures. I am still leaning towards the wrong side of the striping. And I think I’m going to mix and match the single and double garter ridge stripes in some sort of pattern. Stay tuned…

Happy Knitting!!

Sweater Math and Color Options

I was a good knitter and made a gauge swatch for an upcoming sweater.  I off course was not happy with either the gauge at the recommended needle size or actually achieve pattern gauge. I just had to like my gauge at a different needle size. So taking my gauge I popped open excel and did some maths to figure out what size I needed to make to fit my upper bust at my gauge. And boy howdy did that stretch my brain. But I persevered.

So then I checked the pattern to see how much yarn I would need for the size I was going to make….and I didn’t have enough of the grey. But I know I had some more Berroco Chunky in my stash from some old sweaters.  I dug and found a blue and a purple…see below.

I made a WHOLE NEW SWATCH to see how the colors would play out. I am going full bore responsible knitter here guys. This is what my swatch looks like with stripes…

And here is a blown out photo of the wrong side of my stripes. Am I crazy (the answer is yes btw) but I like the wrong side better. It makes it look like poor woman’s colorwork ala the Playful Stripes Cardigan by Alana Dakos.

I need to wash this swatch version and mull over my options. I am really leaning towards the wrong side. But now….do I work single garter ridge stripes or double ridge garter stripes?

Happy Knitting!!!

Swatch For Antrose

Time out….time for a yarn substitution! I had swatched my original yarn choice, Knit Picks Brava Worsted in grey for my Antrose sweater. And I didn’t like it….like at all. So I pulled some Lion Brand Heartland (aran weight) in a light tan/brown and swatched to see if I could get gauge. I even washed and blocked them like a proper knitter. Here they are dry and ready to go!

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I was shocked that my gauge was actually closer with this aran weight (which is still 10 ply like worsted but still tends to be finer/smaller). I got both gauge going both directions!

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And just to be double sure….I knit one repeat of the pattern chart. There are chevrons that run up the middle of the sweater.

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Slightly looser gauge than stockinette, but I can mitigate that by keeping my “charted” stitches tighter as I switch back and forth between purls and knits.

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The color in my swatch pictures doesn’t really show the “true” color. So I trooped my swatches off to the husband’s bathroom (it has great light) and snapped a photo to give a better idea of the color.

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A couple of knitters/followers suggested using a contrast color for the chart/chevron portion. But after swatching…I find I like the simplicity of the monochromatic look. Now if I only could find the time to start the darn thing! My studies have just eaten up all my free time! All I feel like I have time for are small projects like hats and baby sweaters… #firstworldknittingproblems

Happy Knitting!

FO Friday….(err I mean Saturday): Abalone

I did a bit of monogamous knitting the last couple of days. And so I actually have a FO to show you!

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Well it’s done…but despite my best math and knitting know how it’s not quite right. Don’t get me wrong, the pattern is great! It’s written for small size only with directions/percentages given to help you “upsize” your garment. I should have been more meticulous…

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Here it is anyway….

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I completed this sweater in a little under a month. I used 3 skeins of Knit Picks Brava worsted in Wine knit up on size US 8 needles. I simple adore the color! (In math terms I used 657 yards or 300 grams of yarn)

I did my calculations and cast on 80 stitches and increased up to 149 total for the body section. I then knit 17 inches of stockinette up to the arm holes. Then I separated and knit another 7 1/2 inches of height for arms shoulders.

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Now looking at the FO, here is what should have happened:

  1. Cast on 90 stitches (ish) and worked up to 159 stitches (ish)
  2. Knit 19 or 20 inches of stockinette before getting to the sleeves
  3. Knit 8 or 8 1/2 inches for the shoulders/arm holes
  4. Paid attention to the written directions and added increase at the corners of the knit border so it would curl.

This was supposed to have been a gift for a very lovely, elegantly tall, and slender friend. This sweater doesn’t have a snowballs chance in you know where of fitting the intended recipient in any flattering manner. So into my closet it will go after some additional aggressive blocking. I would like it to hit past my butt at least.

Instead my friend for her birthday shall get some local Kansas wine from grape vines that I helped to plant. That’s sort of like knitting her a sweater right? Sigh….

P.S. this is one of my last FO from my 2013 Stashbusting efforts! It’s #45 and I hope to have a post with my final year end stats soon!