Monday, June 11, 2007

Mind Your Gauge


Needing a bigger project than a scarf or baby bootie, I started the Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts last Friday and felt like I was really making some quick progress. I was feeling great because I had figured out that I could fold up the hem and actually knit it to the body of the sweater when I got to the right spot, thus eliminating the need for seaming at the end. I was feeling really great when I almost finished the decreases. I did not feel so great, however, when I realized that my gauge was off and my sweater was about 3 inches larger than it should have been. I thought I could shrink it with washing, or that 3 inches of ease wouldn't be that bad, but really? 3 inches? Not good. I'd never wear it.


So what looked like this yesterday (with a couple more inches added on the train today):

Now looks like this:

Though I hate hate HATE frogging, I feel I have learned a valuable lesson here. I have never really been one to pay a lot of attention to gauge. I don't knit very big gauge swatches, and I don't block them -- I rip them out and use the yarn for the project. No matter how much I've read about how important gauge is, I am always itching to start, so I knit a little, count how many stitches and rows per inch I'm getting, go down a needle size if need be, and get started. With the Hourglass swatch, I actually did more than usual, which was knit a full 4 inch square. I counted my stitches and rows, and thought I was fine. Ends up, I was getting 18 stitches per 4 inches instead of the called-for 19. While this doesn't sound like much, it accounts for 2.5 of my extra 3 inches.


I'm using Skye Tweed by Classic Elite in Paisley Pink and I really really want to use this yarn! I'm going to have to recalculate the whole pattern, but with a raglan sweater done in the round, I don't think this should be too hard once I have the correct starting point.

Look how neat this yarn is! The flecks of blue are so unexpected. It actually makes knitting stockinette interesting.

So, I will start again tomorrow -- it's all in the journey, right?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dude. I can't wait to see more of this sweater. =D

I really don't think the photos do justice to the vibrancy of the color... but, have you noticed that we've been knitting lots of pink lately? ^_^

When are you going to show us those baby booties?