In the comments for my first post about the sweater Emily reminded me that I should check the gauge on my swatch after I had washed it. This makes a tremendous amount of sense. She also reminded me that when choosing which size to knit on a sweater pattern you should take your own measurement and add an amount of ease, in this case I’m going with 2 inches, which also makes a tremendous amount of sense. Thank you Emily, your advice saved me from a few embarrassing post-sweater conversations that would probably have included the phrase “you didn’t ___?” spoken in one of those amused/outraged Everybody Knows That tone of voice. If a tone of voice could roll it’s eyes this would be that tone. I hear this tone a lot.
So, I threw the swatch into the washing machine then laid it flat to dry (which is what I’ll do with the sweater) and it came out a whopping 1/2 of a stitch smaller, bringing it to 17.5 stitches per 4 inches. So, with everything sorted out I sit down to do some math to figure out what size to make.
The gauge on the pattern calls for 19 stitches per 4 inches. I chose 2 inches of ease because it’s going to a ribbed sweater and there will be room to expand and I don’t want the sweater to be too baggy. My chest + 2 inches ease = 40 inches around (really? wow). With the pattern’s gauge the 40 inch sweater has 190 stitches around (thanks again to Emily for starting me on this math). So, recapping here, at 19 stitches per 4 inches, 190 stitches = 40 inches. At my gauge, 17.5 stitches per 4 inches, 190 stitches = 43.428 inches. (I had to break out some paper and a pen there!)
An additional 3 and a half inches is, sigh, significant when it comes to clothing. I cannot get my gauge to be any smaller by dropping down a needle size so I’ll knit a smaller size sweater. The closest to being 3.5 inches smaller is the one with a 36 inch chest measurement, so I’ll knit that one. The smaller size will also be shorter, which is ok with me since I’m short and fit better into petite-sized jackets (woe the day I need to find a well fitting suit in a hurry).
I’ve been practicing tubular cast-on using these directions at My Fashionable Life (better than the books I consulted!). Here is what 1×1 rib tubular cast on looks like with 2×2 rib (the cast on edge is at the bottom):
After I got the swing of it I modified it to do a 2×2 ribbed cast on:
The back of that looks the same:
But, part of the sweater is 3×1 rib. I tried out tubular cast on to see which looked better. To the left is 2×2 tubular cast on, to the right is 1×1 tubular cast on:
I think I prefer the 2×2, especially when held next to the first swatch:
So, besides being a little bit careful about making sure the tubular cast on matches up where the ribbing will be in the sweater, I’m all set.
Next I continue to try to figure out this tubular bind off thing, which so far isn’t going that well.