Not Martha

I’m knitting a sweater: swatching

I’ve finally gotten around to knitting a whole sweater. When Lion Brand released the new version of Cotton-Ease yarn and I saw the Charcoal color I decided to use that to make ChicKnits fabulously basic Ribby Cardi. I’ll be keeping notes on this site (otherwise I’ll lose them).

The beginning of the notes:

To be safe I bought eight balls of the yarn, which I finally found at a Michael’s craft store. I swatched last night using size 6 needles and came out with 17 sts/ 24 rows over 4″ St st. The gauge is 19 sts/24 rows over 4″. I’ll be making the all-ribbed version of the sweater so I’m slightly less concerned about gauge. I’ll go ahead and make the size sweater I would be making if I did get gauge. Should I do a size smaller instead?

The pattern calls for certain parts of the sweater to be done on smaller needles, so I’ll be using a size 5 for those. Since ribbing often does better on smaller needles, I’m not too concerned about using needles smaller than the size 7 called for in the pattern.

I’m going to do the all ribbed version of the sweater with the stand up collar. I’ll be sewing in a separating zipper. I might make the sleeves slightly long as I like longer sleeves to snuggle into. I’m going to use a tubular cast on for the hem and cuffs, but need to learn a tubular bind off for the top edge of the collar. Also, I have to learn to do finishing seams. This might take me a while.

links to tubular bind offs (thanks Maggi!):
at Savannahchik Knits
at My Fashionable Life
at Crankygrrrrrl
list of techiques at Knit Flix, including a note for the My Fashionable Life bind off

· comments [8] · 06-26-2007 · categories:knitting ·

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dame Wendy // Jun 26, 2007 at 5:43 am

    Nice! That looks like a great pattern, I’ll have to add it to my list. :)

  • 2 Emily Cartier // Jun 26, 2007 at 7:35 am

    Bind off the swatch, wash it as you’d wash the garment, and measure the gauge again. It may be larger, it may be smaller, but it will change. Use the washed gauge measurement to determine your changes.

    At the given gauge a 40″ sweater would be 190 stitches around (and a 40″ sweater would fit someone with around a 36″ bust). At your gauge, you’d only need 170 stitches for the same measurement. If you cast on like you got gauge, the sweater will end up being a lot bigger. If you want a big baggy sweater, that’s good. If you want a more fitted sweater… not so good.

  • 3 megan // Jun 26, 2007 at 7:53 am

    Emily – Thanks so much for the tips! I had actually forgotten about adding ease to my measurements to find the correct finished chest measurements to use on the pattern, you’ve saved me.

  • 4 Emma // Jun 26, 2007 at 8:16 am

    This looks great! I’m excited to see it as you work on it. And I love the charcoal color.

  • 5 Emily Cartier // Jun 26, 2007 at 9:26 am

    Glad I could help. The math needed isn’t hard, and it’s well worth doing to get a sweater that fits.

    Oh, and check the row gauge on your yarn before and after you wash it. That can be important for sleeve lengths and the like.

  • 6 LMR // Jun 26, 2007 at 10:57 am

    That pattern is one of my favorites! I’ll be anxious to see how it looks in the new Cotton-Ease – might have to add it to my list of upcoming projects. I still have a few bags of old Cotton-Ease, because I was one of those hoarders that freaked out when it got discontinued.

  • 7 melanie watts // Jun 26, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Good luck with your knitting. I’m interested to hear about your progress the bad and the good:) The colour looks nice too.

  • 8 Jane in NC // Jun 26, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    As boring as it is, if you are knitting a garment, get the gauge right or you’ll be sorry. Honest. Just go down a size needle, make another swatch and see how it goes. You’ll probably get the same row count (don’t ask me how but that’s how it works with me) yet your sts per inch gauge will get closer to gauge. You’ve got a pretty big difference but I’d still see what going down 1 or 2 sizes would do for you. I’ve gone 2 to 3 sizes up and down for different yarns to get to gauge. As long as you like the look of it, it doesn’t matter what size needles you use to get the correct gauge. Redoing the pattern as suggested above is a very doable option also. I don’t care for all the math revisions so I just keep changing needles until I get the correct gauge. Also, the row count doesn’t matter as much since they always tell you how many inches to knit so just knit however many rows it takes to get to that measurement. Many patterns don’t even give a row gauge. The needle size suggested in patterns is the size the designer used to obtain that gauge but it is by no means law. Have fun with your first sweater. I made my first one in 1969 and remember it with fond memories. And don’t forget, the pattern is offered as a suggestion, do with it what you want.

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