Mid-sweater Block

I’m knitting a sweater for my son-in-law 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

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Author: debgemmellmods

I'm a Knitter. The capital K means every day, everywhere. I'm co-owner of Cabin Fever with my sister Lyn. We have published over 100 patterns and 11 books. I'm also working on a new set of patterns for Any Gauge knitting. Dive into your stash and cast on for a Top Down sweater that fits, or an accessory to use up those odd balls of yarn.

12 thoughts on “Mid-sweater Block”

  1. Hi Deb,
    Once again, Awesome Job and I love the color combo.
    My knitting has been on hold for a few weeks while I am packing to move to Cobourg. And then I’ll need a couple of weeks to unpack & organize everything. Can’t wait to have needles in my hands again instead of a roll of tape.
    Looking forward to pics of your finished sweater.
    Peg B.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gauge swatches lie, at least in my experience. So although I continue to do them when I’m making garments, I don’t really believe them. Which is why I usually start with the sleeves if I can, they tell me more about gauge, drape and fit than a swatch ever will. And even if my gauge is slightly off, the sleeves will usually be fine and I can then make any further adjustments before I knit the sweater body. And if the sleeve really isn’t working, there’s less to rip out than the sweater body 😉!
    Your sweater looks great!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Deb, I am the kind of person who wants specifics! LOL What kind of yarn are you using?
    Glad it finally worked out, but I wonder about the yarn. Generally I prefer non-superwash wool, but my Florida-residing FIL asked for a machine-washable and-dryable “sleeveless pullover” (a vest), so I’m using 100% acrylic. The swatch washed nicely, but I still worry about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m using Berroco Vintage DK. It 40/60 wool/acrylic so I was a bit worried too because I can’t block it bigger as if it was wool. It did relax once I washed it so I’m happy with that. It’s very soft and will be terrific over a short sleeved t-shirt.

      Like

  4. Glad to hear it relaxed. I am currently knitting a little sweater and it is knitting up a bit smaller than I had hoped. Your experience gives me hope that it will relax a bit too and then it will be the perfect too big size I want for the growing darling it is for!

    BTW, love the colour combo and hope you took some pictures so we can see it finished!
    Heather

    Liked by 1 person

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