Gauging is hard!

The process of knitting sweaters has its ups and downs. Hopefully there are more ups than downs, because if the opposite were true, well, we’d all stop knitting sweaters. And who wants to live in a world devoid of hand-knit sweaters?

I have knit very few sweaters in my decade of knitting. I only mustered the courage once I began working at Interweave (thanks to the security blanket that is the vast expertise of my colleagues). That was just under a year ago. Since last fall, I’ve completed the Clear Creek Pullover, the Tara Jacket, and most recently the Zigzag Mesh Pullover from this spring’s issue of knit.wear. All of these projects have taught me important lessons about sweater-knitting, and knitting in general. I’ve experienced both joys and frustrations.

My mesh pullover has been through a lot. My boyfriend spilled something on it, I completely spaced out where I was in the zigzag chart and ended up with a very non-zigzag shape (which resulted in frogging), I sewed in the sleeves only to find they were much too big, had to take them out and add to the top front, then resewed them in again, and once I finally blocked the final project the sleeves grew to an enormous size. It’s important to know that one’s gauge can significantly change when using circular needles versus dpns, so if you have a pattern in which you’ll be using both, swatch with both. After throwing a hissy fit about how huge my sleeves were, I re-read the washing guidelines for the Spud & Chloë Fine I was using, and found this teeny tiny tidbit of an oversight:

“Tumble dry low until damp, block to shape.”

Oh, of course! I re-soaked the pullover, threw it in the dryer for a little while, and re-blocked it, trying not to stretch it out too much. Once it dried and I put the sweater back on, the sleeve ends fell right at my wrists! Not 3/4 sleeves, but I prefer full-length anyway, so it turned into what Bob Ross would call a “happy accident.”


Sunny summer day brightness! (Forgive the shadows.)  Look at those zigzags!
Button detail. Bonus

I’m going to embrace a nice break in sweater-knitting, for the next month, in favor of a few quick and easy accessories. I’ve started the Swaying Cables Scarf from knit.wear Fall/Winter 2013 (I’ve eyed it since the issue was published). But naturally I’ve already planned another sweater knit-along with Knits/Knitscene Project Editor Holly Priestley, starting at the end of July. We’ll be knitting a cardigan from the upcoming knit.wear Fall/Winter 2014 issue. Stay tuned for updates on the knit-along and some fun changes coming to that publication!

By the way! If you are itching to knit the Clear Creek Pullover, Tara Jacket, Swaying Cables Scarf, or any other project from either issue, they (and many others) are currently on sale! Check out the great deals here, here, and here! Having a little bit of extra yarn money never hurt anyone.

Have a great holiday and long weekend, everyone! I hope we all get in a lot of extra knitting.

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