Honk if you get gauge.

So many people, on the KnitList and elsewhere, confess that they do not do gauge swatches. It would be so lovely to just forge ahead, but all I did this weekend was swatch. What’s that saying? “If you can’t be a good example, you’ll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” I am a lesson in why swatching matters. Knit One Purl Too’s cheering section (aka my husband) has been requesting a sweater forever – and recently, perhaps with colder weather on the horizon, the requests have grown more insistent. On impulse, spurred by a huge sale at Yarn Forward, I purchased the yarn to make this sweater for a song It’s number 22 from Lopi book 18 (here’s a closeup of the yoke and hem).

It’s big yarn on big needles, so it will go quickly, right? Sure, once you find out just how big the needles have to be. I normally use one size below the suggested needle size, but my swatch is telling me I may have to use up to two sizes bigger the suggested size. Shocking! Here you see my very first attempt at two-color knitting. Wow, it’s going to take some practice, and makes me glad that I’m taking a class with Nancy Bush at KnitFest on two-color two-handed knitting. But it is mezmerizing, and on size 11 needles, I should have this sweater finished in a hurry. But first, I have to finish my swatch so I can be sure I’m not making a sweater sized for a dog.

Which brings me to my dog. If you look closely at this artfully arranged photo, you’ll see that the sock is not finished, but there are no needles in it; it’s also on a bed of yarn that looks like rice noodles, rather than a carefully-wound ball. He did it again, impressively removing three size 1 Brittany needles, and massaging the ball of yarn without disturbing the sock itself. Also shredded along with the needles? One project-containing plastic bag, one row counter, and the plastic container for my tapestry needles. I love my dog, but he’s running quite a tab for knitting supplies. Now all I have to do is decide whether to frog the entire sock, or cut the yarn and rewind the ball from where I am. Who am I kidding? I’m cutting, baby! And I’m keeping my knitting out of harm’s way – isn’t it ironic that the dog is graduating from obedience class tonight?

Finally, here is the project I cannot resist – the Meadow Flowers shawl. When I realized I was going to have to keep swatching for my Lopi sweater, it took every ounce of self-control I had not to throw down my swatch and begin shawling away. I was surprised at how much I liked Knitter’s Stash – there are at least three things I would make (two of which I have the yarn for), so yeah, I like it. Who knew? But I’m resisting…it’s back to the Lopi for me.

Bonus link: with the tweaking of this design, many of the sidebar items have moved to the details page. Just how many cabled cardigans can I possibly knit? A lot, apparently…

2 thoughts on “Honk if you get gauge.

  1. Kathleen

    I have been eyeing that shawl as well. I want to make it for my son’s teacher by the end of August. ::sigh:: I like Knitter’s Stash also. Good luck with swatching.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *