More Gauging & Swatching

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, KuckroCardiganand 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 LarryCardiganfrom 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!

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Dyeing, Fibers, Knitting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to More Gauging & Swatching

  1. I did too … but now that I’ve knit some swatches, it too looks a tad boring. 😦

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  2. I am still working on swatching and ideas for the sweater … now I think I’m going to design my own.

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  3. Not only is swatching, as you know, important … but if you’re a perfectionist like me, ensuring that the finished product will be the size and use the amount of yarn you had planned, it is critical. 🙂

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  4. Yes – and so necessary unless you want to be surprised by your finished project … the size, running out of yarn, etc. 🙂

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  5. Yes, moving and cleaning out closets can be a process of fun discovery of forgotten treasures!

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  6. jengolightly says:

    Lovely design! Lucky Thor! Xx

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  7. tgonzales says:

    I can’t wait to see the finished product. You do such amazing work.

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  8. textileshed says:

    I am moving house, too! It’s been really interesting to come across some interesting finds in my treasure trove of a textileshed! And this time I am the one who rips pages with useful designs out of old magazines in order to reduce the size of my belongings… I love that design you chose!

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  9. It sounds like you enjoy the ritual of knitting a great deal. The swatching, the soaking, making the gauge…they are all such special parts of the knitterly journey.

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  10. slippedstitches says:

    You are so good about swatching. I find it hard to make one, much less three.

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  11. Lisa says:

    Wow that sweater looks awesome!! Happy Birthday to Mr. Thor!!

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  12. Sara Crafts says:

    I love the new pattern you chose!

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