While I’ve finished knitting up my Caledonia jumper, I’m still in the process of seaming and re-blocking it. I was hoping to finish it this week, but work (the 9-5 work) has gotten so busy, the only time I seem to have is my train rides to and from work.
Don’t mind those square things at the bottom. I was in a rush this morning and had to use my pattern weights (ahem drink coasters) to hold my swatch down from curling at the edge. I think Tasha would faint if she saw my haphazard gauge swatch, so lets not tell her, okay? Okay.
A gauge swatch is super important to do before starting any knitting or crochet projects. It’s really cumbersome and tedious, but it’s essential you do so to ensure your garment actually fits. Even being off by a stitch can throw your whole project out of wack. Think one stitch per inch (with a guage of 8 sts per 1 inch) on something that is 32″ wide, could result in a finished garment with 4 inch bigger/smaller than you intended. That’s a huge difference, imo! Tasha explains it much better, and in much more detail here if you want to read more.
My fingering weight yarn is by Cascade; it’s 75% merino and 25% silk, so it has a nice drape and sheen to it. As a result, it seems a bit on the ligher side and has thrown off my gauge compared to the pattern gauge. The pattern calls for 6.5 sts (stitches) per inch, and I have 8 sts with 2’s and 7.6 sts with 3’s. In this instance, I’m supposed to keep going to larger needles until I get the proper amount of stitches per inch. But with having such a fine yarn, I would have huge holes in my knitting if I kept going to larger needles.
Here’s a closer picture of my swatch:
The lower section was done with 2’s and then I switched to 3’s on the upper section. Can’t you see more of my dining room table coming through the stitches on the top part? To get the true gauge I would have to use even larger needles (4’s or 5’s) and it would be too holley for my liking.
I’m also messing around with the idea of making the ribbing at the hem lines striped. So I swatched that up so I could assess if I liked it or not. Swatches are so handy sometimes. :)
So I decided I would use my 2’s with the 8 sts per inch gauge, and recalculate how many stitches to cast on (and work throughout the pattern). So in order to have a cast on edge of 28 inches, you can just multiply your gauge by this measurement; I have casted on 224 sts.
You can see I decided to work in the round for this pattern. I’m much faster with my knit stitches so this should go a bit faster than my Caledonia jumper which I knitted flat and no seaming (aka sewing) will be involved on the sides. And for the ribbing sections (bottom hem and sleeves), I’ll be doing horizontal stripes of pink and white, alternating every 2 rows. (Alternating every 1 row to me, seemed a bit too busy). I’m also planning on doing the collar and pocket with both pink and white.
If you know how to knit, but have never made a sweater, let alone a vintage one, Tasha does a stellar job describing each and every bit of the process you need to know about. She takes all of the seemingly complicated things and breaks it all down so beginners can do the project along with the intermediate advanced knitters. So even if you don’t feel you’re quite ‘there’ yet, this would be a perfect project to come back to. I know I’ll be referencing her posts about resizing, more resizing, and adjusting the sleeves. I actually already referenced her post about the sleeves in order to adjust my Caledonia caps.
Okay… I’ll stop raving about Tasha of By Bum, By Golly now… heh
But if you’re on the fence about doing a vintage knit, you should join in the fun. I seem to be addicted to vintage jumpers and I don’t mind one bit. :)