Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why I Don't Often Swatch

Reason 1: I don't want to. That simple.

Reason 2: I believe it was the Yarn Harlot who said:  Swatches lie.

And before I give you Reason 3, this is what I am up to:

I have just started working on this v-neck vest for my grandson. It is the Fundamental Junior Vest #F07 published by Figheadh Yarnworks and designed by Jen Hagan. The pattern includes instructions for each of four weights of yarns, and I decided I wanted to make the one for 5 stitches/inch since I am working with yarn that is slightly less thick than worsted weight.
The yarn I found in my stash (Euro Baby Sweetness) works up to 5.5 sts/inch on size 5 or 6 needles. So for once, I decided to make a swatch to see which size needles to work with and which size vest to knit.

I knit the swatch with size 5 needles, figuring that they would be right on the 5 sts/inch that I needed. But it came out to 5 and one thread of the next stitch/inch. Close enough, I decided.

Uh, NO. That one thread of the next stitch is the ONE HALF stitch that I don't need. But since I ignored the swatch, I started knitting on size 5 needles and had a HUGE sweater back.

So, Reason 3: Even if the swatch does lie, I don't listen anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

I ripped out the knitting I had done and started over using size 4 needles. Now I am on gauge (I assume, haven't measured but the fabric looks nice) and I'm on my way.

I read some of the comments on Ravelry about this pattern from other knitters, and several people mentioned knitting this in the round. I thought: How on earth would I convert this pattern to an in-the-round pattern? and kept knitting. A few inches in, a lightbulb went off in my puny brain and I realized just how easy it would be to do.

And then I decided to just keep going. Next time, if there is a next time, I'll knit it in the round.

(But I'm having second thoughts...)

This is the skirt I made for Lily and I am happy with how it came out, even though I wasn't sure that the Knit Picks Cot Lin was a good choice for the pattern. It worked out well enough, and it's twirly and swirly, just like Lily.

I am skirted out. No more skirts.


Murr Brewster said...

I really appreciate knitting because it was while someone was trying to teach me to knit that I realized just how hopeless I was and always would be--and that freed my mind, somehow. One thing to not strive for. Now, I do appreciate YOURS.

Susan said...

What a lucky family you have! I am with Murr though - just never could knit.