I want to make a sweater.

Specifically, I want to make this sweater.  Its Coraline, by Ysolda Teague, and I think its just darling.  I have a bag of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk dk waiting to be knit up, but everything is working against me.

First, I tried to swatch with a 3.25 mm needle.  Washed the swatch, pinned it out, waited until the next evening when it was dry, and measured it.  (See, I learned something from the mittens.)  The row gauge was dead on, but the stitch gauge was off by four stitches.  Not a huge difference in the swatch, but over the full sweater, we would have been talking about something like two inches to big.  No good.

I decided not to fudge the math, despite how tempting it was to try to knit a smaller size at a larger gauge (How often does that really work out in adult garments, anyway?), sucked it up and ordered the next size down from Knit Picks.  And waited.  For a week.

I swatched again, this time with 3 mm needles.  The swatch took forever to dry.  I considered a number of ways to make that happen faster, and then discarded them in favor of handling this the Right Way.

The 3mm needles got gauge (mostly), so this morning, I sorted out how to work a provisional cast on, and cast on 202 stitches.  Then, I realized I was meant to be working the hem in a needle a half a millimeter smaller than the needle I used for the main body.  I don’t have a long circular needle smaller than 3 mm.

Faced with the prospect of ordering another needle and waiting another week, I tried a series of alternate methods.  I tried using dpns.  I discovered that you can cram 202 stitches on to 10″ straight needles.  (I also discovered that old aluminum size 1 straight needles will bend in half with the pressure that it takes to put a point protector on them.)

I knit about 5 rows on the 10″ straights before I realized that they were 2.25mm needles.  In case its unclear to anyone else, 3 mm minus .5 mm does not equal 2.25 mm. Which means that I need a new needle after all.  And the sweater has to sit and wait even longer.  Bugger all.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. pdxknitterati
    Jan 10, 2010 @ 07:12:38

    Gauge, the bugaboo of us all. Sorry for the rough start! But soon you’ll be on your way.


  2. pia
    Jan 10, 2010 @ 15:17:33

    Arg! That’s the worst! That sweater is so cute, too!


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January 2010
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