Mid-sweater Block

I’m knitting a sweater for my son-in-law (Family Crew Neck) at his request. I was so very pleased to be asked. I have measurements and am ready to go. But this has turned out to be a challenge.

I’m trying out a new-to-me yarn and to be a good little knitter, I knit a swatch. I changed needle sizes twice and now have gauge. I even washed it. Pat on the back, I am being very, very good! I cast on.

Part way through I started to panic. It’s small. I did all the math again and then three more times and as far as I could tell the body is around 2″ smaller than it should be. I kept measuring it over and over, hoping it would be a little bigger each time. Ha, ha, I bet you’ve never done this.

Then the light bulb went on. I have a swatch. I find them somewhat unreliable at the best of times but this time I had one to blame. I measured my gauge on it and then on my sweater and … I had tightened up. This never happens to me. I am a really loose knitter. I was working with needles 2 sizes smaller than recommended to get gauge on my swatch and now I was telling myself that that was a mistake.

Hmmm, I washed my swatch just like I’m supposed to. Ah, ha. Another light bulb moment.

I dumped the whole sweater in the sink, needles attached and all, spun it out in my washing machine and laid it out (nice and neatly, not like this photo) and let it dry.

Voila, it relaxed and although it’s still 1/2″ smaller than I would like, it’s going to be fine. Phew.

I’m on the sleeves right now. I took out 1 round of knitting and started with new yarn. Here’s the difference in gauge. You can see that already the new section of the sleeve has a tighter gauge. I’m trying not to look at it.

Ignore the marker. That was for counting rounds so the sleeve stripe will be the same length as the body stripe.

I’m hoping to get this done this week. I don’t know if that’s possible but I’m giving it my best shot. Audio books, short walks and lots of knitting.

Cheers, Deb

Family Crew Neck raglan pullover

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Prototypes tend to be messy

This is a quick post because I’m in the messy middle of developing a new sweater. It’s got my brain a little scrambled. Some things have worked, some not so much. Ideas I thought were fully formed, were not.

This Top Down V-Neck worked out really, really well in my head but … the details aren’t behaving exactly right. Here are two of my prototypes.

It’s time to evaluate.

Construction: I can’t seem to get a really nice join at the bottom of the V. This is a problem area for V-necks. More work needed. Otherwise the top down V shaping is good. Maybe it’s not meant to be a pullover at all?! Cardigan?

Colourways: The gradient worked out fairly well. I think I will wear this vest. I like the way it runs from light to dark. I like the narrow red and navy stripes in the Yoke of the second pullover but not the larger stripes in the body. It might have looked better with a solid red or navy body. What do you think?

Neckbands: I don’t like the garter stitch neckband on the striped pullover, although I really like the garter stitch cuffs and bottom band. On the vest I tried a ribbed Neckband and I think it turned out quite well.

Bust Shaping: I added extra stitches on the fronts of both pullovers. On the striped version I decreased the extra front stitches at the sides. I think I did it too quickly so now it’s a bit rounded there. For the vest I placed markers about 1/4 in from both sides and did my decreases there. It worked out better but with the colour mishmash it’s hard to see. You’ll have to take my word for it, it’s better. I would do this again.

They both fit and are wearable. A great tribute to a prototype. The details matter so I have to give this pullover some further thought before I start another one.

Hope you’re having as much fun with your knitting,


Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Gradient done 2×2

My gradient vest is coming along. Not famously but, well, you can see for yourself.

I think it’s an improvement on the original (below on the right).

I’ve tried to make the lines between the colours less distinct. I think I failed. There are still lots of horizonal lines going on.

This is my range of colours. Starting with yellow through red, multi-coloured, purple and into blue and then green (if I get that far).

I’m using two colours all the time. Two rounds in one colour and two rounds in a second colour.

Each colour is worked with a second colour for approximately half a ball.

It goes like this:

Yellow & Red

Red & Multi-coloured

Multi-coloured & Purple

Purple & Blue

It hasn’t turned out as I expected. That’s not new. I’m carrying on anyway just to see how it turns out.

Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

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