Wednesday 9 October 2019

WIP Wednesday: 9th October 2019: Turns out I knitted a *really large* gauge swatch!

Before Edinburgh Yarn Festival, I shared the yoke for my Starfall sweater. Yes, I had planned to have a jumper knitted in time to wear to the festival, but a poor combination of yarn and pattern in the form of Bright Above Me, and therefore a late start on my EYF jumper meant that in the end I wasn't in any hurry as I knew I'd never have it finished in time.

I'd done some heavy modification of the pattern: I started with the yoke, casting on provisionally as I wanted to knit the coursework as-written, but knit the sleeves and body top-down to make it easier to adjust the lengths as I went. I'd done a bit of guesswork on which needles to use for the sweater: I had a gauge swatch from knitting Bright Above Me, but knew I needed the gauge to be a bit tighter, so I dropped a needle size and cast on the size I thought would fit.

I really enjoyed knitting the yoke. The colour work was engaging, with some rows using three colours, and I loved watching the pattern emerge. Once I'd completed the colourwork section, I picked up the stitches from the provisional cast-on, and knitted the yoke as far as the sleeve separation. I decided to make a modification to the sleeve placement, putting the sleeves further back to accommodate my bust (the pattern is written to have the sleeves placed such that the front and the back of the sweater are the same width, which doesn't work for everyone). As I wanted to check that the sleeves were in the right place before knitting the rest of the sweater, I put the whole thing onto waste yarn and blocked what I had knitted so far.

The blocking did the desired trick, evening out the colourwork and showing me how large the finished jumper would be. I put the jumper on, and could immediately tell that while my sleeve placement modification was perfect, the jumper was going to be too big, especially the sleeves. Boo.

I left the jumper alone for a few days (just in case it suddenly shrank, or I suddenly grew, and it would, by some miracle, fit), then sat down and measured the actual gauge of the knitting I'd done, and compared the final measurements at that gauge to my measurements. I needed to knit a size smaller.

When I first cast on the Starfall sweater, I had planned to omit the colourwork at the cuffs and hem, but, having looked at the completed yoke, I now know that I do want to do all that colour work too.

All in all, this means that I had to start again, and actually knit the pattern as written (from the bottom-up, with colourwork everywhere!), and that happening this weekend. I've really enjoyed picking this up again. I've switched the lighter shade of grey to a slightly different one as I didn't have enough for all the colourwork, and so far have most of a sleeve. I'll block that first sleeve while I'm knitting the second, so that I can check the length. Fingers crossed this attempt at the jumper is more successful than the first!

What's currently on your needles?

Project page for the Starfall sweater.

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