Adventures in Swatching

With only three WIPs on my needles, I decided yesterday that it was time to cast on for something new. My WIPs are easy, mindless projects, so I wanted something a little more involved. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

In my queue, I found the June Lake sleeveless top pattern, and I had two new skeins of pretty yarn that would work well. Since the body of the sweater is knit in the round, I knew I should swatch in the round. But I didn’t want to swatch on my 16″ circular needles, so I thought DPNs would be fine. My first swatch had too many stitches per inch. My second swatch, with the next size up needles, had too many stitches per inch. My third swatch, up one more size, was too loosey-goosey for any kind of top I’d want to wear.

IMG_5083I liked the fabric of the first swatch the best. Dang it, that meant it was time for math to determine which size I should knit with my gauge. Gauge math is the WORST for me. It took some time, and a lot of notes, and a lot of calculations, but I figured out I needed to go up two sizes. Before I cast on, though, for some reason I decided I wanted to double-check my gauge on the recommended needles, and without much thought, decided I needed to check it on circular needles.

Yes, apparently I do have some self-preservation instincts after all. Because this gauge swatch was different than the one with DPNs, and this gauge swatch indicated that my gauge matched the designer’s and I could pick the correct size after all! So all my swatching and calculating and teeth-gnashing could have been prevented, and if I had done my swatch correctly the first time around, I would have saved a lot of time.

Alas.

Still, the good news was that I was free to cast on, and I did and I’m enjoying my new little WIP.

fullsizeoutput_22eeIt’s knit from the bottom up with an interesting band along the bottom, which is done in two pieces and then joined in the round for the body. I love this stitch pattern! And today is quiet and rainy and gray and I think I might spend the day with my knitting and my puppers. Happy Sunday, friends.

p.s. The pretty yarn is Pixie Sock from Supernatural Yarns in the Hogsmeade colorway!

14 thoughts on “Adventures in Swatching

  1. Ooh, lovely! I’ve been reminded (through trial and error) multiple times about the importance of swatching on the needles you’ll actually be using, so I’m glad you realized that with a swatch and not a sweater. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Sock it to me Monday | bonnyknits

  3. Pingback: Time for a reset | bonnyknits

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