Thor’s birthday is coming up quickly and we’re in the middle of a move, so I don’t have time to design my own pattern – which I would prefer to do. (After all, it’s for his birthday, and he should feel special!)
I thought I would knit Kate Kuckro’s “Charcoal Ribbed Cardigan” (Interweave Knit Gifts, Holiday 2006 – one of Knitting Daily’s 7 Free Knitting Patterns for Men). However, after a few days of looking at the large, three-part gauge swatch I knit up in a garter rib pattern out of my stash of Prairie Silk (see my previous post, 9/15/13), I decided the garter ridge pattern was, simply. too boring.
Yes, I know it may sound as though it’s all about me, but it’s not. (Really.)
So instead of casting on and starting this perfectly nice sweater, I did some packing. Every 10 years or so, I cull my hoard of fiber art magazines, and it was time again. After going through multiple stacks of magazines, I turned to my stack of pages ripped from magazines I hadn’t kept, I came across IT – The perfect cardigan for Thor.
I had torn out the pattern from Vogue Knitting, Winter 2009/10. This cardigan was designed by Josh Bennett. While it is also a quick knit, it is a little snazzier. It has cables (Thor loves cables), in a simple 8 row repeat of 14 stitches repeat.
This means that I have to reswatch and regauge. Why? Cables pull in the swatch, which means you will be knitting more stitches per inch than you would, say, in a garter rib stitch pattern. This also means that the sweater will be heavier and warmer, as cable patterns consume more yarn.
I didn’t pack my needles away (of course!), so it’s time to dig out some more of the Prairie Silk stash and knit up another large swatch. Again, I will knit three separate gauged sections, each from a different sized needle. Tomorrow I will soak the swatch (the yarn is very old so the lanolin in the wool and mohair has gotten a bit hard and tack), in some warm soapy water before putting it out to dry. Only then can I get a true gauge!