Swathes are an important part of making garments. You have to ensure that your yarn will meet the gauge of the pattern to make sure that it will fit. Not only that so that you don’t make a sweater that is too large or small. I always try to make a swatch, wash and block it like I would the finished garment. I learned my lesson a while ago when I didn’t wasn’t the swatch and I had a vest dress. It was my own fault and from that point on I went ahead and did my do diligence. Keep in mind for this I did a gauge swatch, I really did. I decided I wanted to make a sweater for myself, modifying the pattern to omit the waist shaping. With plenty of yarn I pulled out needles and swatched. The swath got its bath and blocked, after drying I measured. I was about 1 stitch too many per 4 inches, not a problem. I did my math and calculated that the next size up was going to be just about right. I wanted a 44″ chest and I was going to get about a 45″ chest. So I went ahead and cast on, the ribbing seemed bigger then I thought but decided with the cables it would even out.
That was not correct in the least. I knew the fabric would grow a little bit getting me to about 18 stitches to 4″. Well the swatch lied to me. I measured what I had unblocked and found the sweater would be about 48-50″, which I checked my measurements and I would most likely swim in it. Granted I love this yarn, I have probably waxed poetically here and to my knitting group about it. But I don’t think I want a sweater that large. So now I have to decide if I am going to block on the needles and see if it changes to be small, doubtful. I’m thinking just ripping out the 4ish inches that I have and go with the correct size I wanted. But then again what if it’s too small at that point. I guess I won’t really know if the gauge is going to trick me again or not. I think that’s something to decide maybe tonight when I need to wind more yarn.
I think I should just knit on something else until I decide what to do with the sweater. But in other news Stitches West is this month and I have not decided if I’m going or not. I haven’t bought yarn since my purchase in December. So almost 2 months again, which is good. I want to get the stash to a reasonable level for me. As for the spin the bin, it hasn’t started really. I haven’t spun for about a week and this is fiber on the wheel that isn’t part of this endeavor. I think I better kick it up into high gear, otherwise I’ll never get through the fiber I want to spin.