Tuesday, October 17, 2006

good grief

It was with great excitement that I cast on for Mountain Man's eco-wool sweater this past weekend. I carefully swatched and measured and cast on what seemed like a very large number of stitches. Then I hopped on the bus back to Cambridge and knit my little heart out for two hours. Progress is addictive, and I never really stopped to consider whether I liked the way the stitch pattern was turning out or how big it was (also, it was just on a 24" circ, so it was hard to tell). But I came back to my senses last night when I spread it out to see:

Good grief! Needless to say, this is destined for the frog pond. It does give me an opportunity to re-evaluate this whole project though. The first lessons include:

1. Need for a new stitch pattern. Mistake ribbing is excellent for a scarf, but I think it's too busy for an entire sweater. The wrong side is a bit more subtle (see both below). But I think I'll be looking for something else entirely.
2. Need longer needles. A 24" circular is fine for a close-fitting sweater for myself, but for a loose-fitting man's sweater, it's absurd. Upside is that I now have an excuse to test out some of knitpicks new options needles!
3. Need for better gauge checking. My gauge swatch gave me 4.75 st/in, but as soon as I started on the sweater it went up to 5.25 st/in. That adds up to over 5" difference in the circumference of the sweater. The lesson is that I need to be very conscientious about checking that my sweater gauge matches my swatch gauge.

1 comment:

Olive said...

I made the SAME EXACT mistake on the sweater I made for my DH just recently. I knit the back for 12 inches before I realized it was probably 6 or 7 inches too wide!
As for gauge swatches, I've found that because I hate them so much, I knit differently on the gauge swatch than I do normally and therefore end up with a wacky gauge. I tell myself to just relax, and my swatches end up more like my actual knitting gauge.
Good Luck on the sweater!