Tag Archive | swatching

Time for a reset

Maybe it’s the change of seasons, but I’m feeling the urge to take a deep breath and reassess some stuff. I’ve been disengaged a bit from work lately for a few reasons, and I want to refocus and start pushing myself again. But I’m also wanting to re-engage with my knitting. It hasn’t felt as rewarding as usual this summer, and I want to get back to finding the joy again. Right now, that means the urge to cast on all the pretty  new projects!

One of them was supposed to be that June Lake top. But the one person telling me to swatch, swatch, always swatch, was right, not that it’s much of a surprise. I went up one needle size and two pattern sizes, got my first textured panel done, measured the length, and it STILL wasn’t as long as I need it to be. Assuming I were to stick with the size 5 needles, I calculated my gauge and how many stitches I’d need to cast on to get the size I want, and my concern is that I won’t have enough yarn. SO. That project is in hibernation while I decide what I want to do. I’d still really like to make a sleeveless top, but I’m not sure I can get the size I need with just two skeins.

Instead I cast on for a new sock! I wound my brand-new Mudpunch self-striping yarn and after seeing Mildly Granola’s Twizzler socks, decided to make my own. I’m loving how they look!

img_5163But I want more new projects! I’ve got a selection of purple yarns that would make a fantastic fade, and I’m debating between a Find Your Fade and some kind of fade sweater. I think I’m leaning toward a sweater, but I need to check patterns and gauge (again, argh) before I decide. And I’m feeling the itch for some squishy worsted too, so I might need to cast on a new cowl soon too.

Now, all you swatchers, help me out: when you’re planning for a sweater in the round, do you swatch with the exact needles you’d be using (i.e. 32″ or 40″ circs)? I see the logic in it, but it would make for a huge swatch! Or do you use the same material of needles (i.e. bamboo or metal) but smaller circumference?

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!