Friday, January 30, 2009

Glad I did

I am so glad I swatched.

The Noro looks ridiculous on 6mm needles, and really grew when washed.
I wish I’d thought to take pictures…
Anyway, before washing, the 6mm swatch looked a bit floppy, but I was getting the desired gauge, 16sts per 4 inches, or 4sts per inch. I washed, blocked and dried said swatch. Then it was 12sts per 4 inches, or 3sts per inch. That’s a huge difference! That, my friends, would have been one baggy 1980s style sweater.
So I made a new swatch. This time I knit the first half of the swatch on 5.5mm needles (I have some lying around) and the second half on my 5mm addis from the shawl (not long enough for the sweater, sadly). The 5.5mm gave a post-wash size of around 15sts per 4 inches. Close. The 5mm was a triumph, the 5mm swatch after washing was at the right gauge! 16st per 4 inches. Fantastic! So, bearing in mind the universal knitting truth of: swatches lie. And also the knitting universal truth that cockiness is repaid in failure, I figure I’ll have an interesting knit on my hands. Mainly that this sweater is going to be knit at about ¾ the size of me, and then I have to hope that it blocks out the right size.
Very concerning.
But I am so glad I swatched! Even though, as with so many patterns, the sizes available are not my size, so I’m having to hope for the best anyway… there is supposed to be negative ease with this sweater, so that’s a good thing. I’ve asked the designer and the measurements on the pattern are the bust measurements, so that helps – I’m a medium on her scale. Also, I do believe she gives “actual” measurements when blocked, so I have something to aim for too. Woo!

And they say we’re getting snow this weekend. Perhaps I’ll cave in and buy myself another woolly sweater…they’re just not right. I want the ones in the pattern, not the one in the shop. Ho hum.
Knit faster!
I guess we do have some time off during Feb, although we are expecting to be doing things, like visiting family (both lots) and going to a wedding (with the shawl, I’ll post pics) and also meeting the baby for whom the baby jacket (just needs seaming) is destined.
But I hope that amid all of that I will get some time to work on the socks, mum’s cardi, my jumper, those darned mittens (seriously, when did I think that was a good idea – not second mitten syndrome as I haven’t even finished the thumb…) ah, we’ll see. They’re not too hard and the pattern is saved on my laptop.
I hope to have pictures to liven up the next post!

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