WIP Wednesday: Miraculous Sweater Recovery
Lots of progress made on my Ada sweater this week, although there should have been even more progress than I managed since I ended up having to rip back about 9" of knitting on the back for seemingly inexplicable reasons.
Here's the story.
Before I started knitting, I faithfully knitted a gauge swatch like the learned knitter that I've become. And I'm not talking about a 1"x1" like some people do or even your standard 4"x4" swatch. No, I cast on enough gauge stitches that the swatch should have been 8"x8". And it was, at least in terms of row gauge. In terms of stitch gauge, instead of 5.5 stitches/inch I got 3.75 stitches/inch. My row gauge, however, was spot on, so instead of dropping down needle sizes (which would have meant I had to use a smaller needle on the seed stitch edging than my kit actually has, I just decided to recalculate the stitch gauge. Now, this is probably where you're thinking, of course it went wrong, but let me defend myself and say that as far as I can tell, nothing is wrong with the width of the sweater pieces!!!! However, a brief tangent for a small complaint.
I really dislike it when designers have you calculate the gauge in pattern. I understand that this makes it easier on the designer, but sometimes it's really hard to accurately measure your gauge when you have to count k2tog/ssk and yarnovers. I've never written a pattern myself, but it seems to me like you could just figure out your gauge in pattern and then knit a stockinette section onto the end of your pattern gauge swatch, figure out the difference, and report the gauge in stockinette. A LOT of people who publish patterns give stockinette gauge for patterned pieces, so it can't be impossible. This was a book put out by an actual yarn company to showcase this particular yarn and this is THE SECOND SWEATER I've knit from the book where my row gauge was spot on and my stitch gauge was more than a little bit off. The first sweater only sort of fits correctly because of this, and I really hope I don't end up having the same problem with this one. They are also both from the same designer, so I don't know if it's an issue with the pattern company or an issue with the designer, but either way I don't like it and I think they could do better.
Tangent over. Back to the story. Remember that I said my row gauge was spot on. Also note that I am an almost scarily consistent knitter when it comes to my gauge. So. I followed the instructions and (using my 30 rows/4" gauge AND marking every 30th row so I could be sure to keep track), I knit until the piece measured 17" from cast on edge (128 rows). Now, this is where it becomes my fault for not measuring, but like I said, I knit a really big swatch, my gauge was consistent, and I knew my blocked gauge and my unblocked gauge were very different. So. From there I cast off the (recalculated) number of stitches for the sleeves and then proceeded to knit the 8" from the start of the armhole. Then I held up the sweater and thought "this looks really long". So I measured and it was 2" too long (without being blocked, where it would get even longer). This problem was not with the part above the armhole cast off. It was somehow the part below. I measured my gauge at 4 different points and got the correct gauge on all of them. But it was 2" too long. I still have no idea how or why, but on Monday morning before work I took the back of my sweater from this:
back to about 2 repeats before where you see the arm decreases (I thought I had a photo of this, but apparently I don't). Which is this much yarn:
This brings us to today. Where I have somehow managed to make a miraculous recovery in just two days. Now, granted, I'm watching a not insignificant amount of football, but whenever I watch Copa America I knit on my Bomb Pop socks, so I'm not working on the sweater then. And when I have the matches on during the day I am just listening to them while I work. And by the time we're wrapped up with dinner it's 6:30 ish and I've been doing some other crafting so I haven't knit for more than 2 -3 hours a night (which is more than when I was in school, but not really that much overall). So apparently once you get going on this thing, even though it's beginning to feel like a bit of a slog, as all lace/cable patterns seem to for me, it's basically flying off the needles.
Here it is as of now:
That's right. I've finished the back and gotten 4" into the front. IDK. It's one of those knitting time warp, timey-wimey situations, I think.
I highly doubt that you'll be seeing this on Friday (though I will be taking a 4.5 hour car trip, so I guess anything's possible since this is a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey sort of sweater) although (if I remember to take photos) you will hopefully see my"done" (more later) Big Damn Heroes shawl. It's been done for a while, I just haven't taken pictures because it has an issue that I think needs fixing and I was holding out for better blocking. But it's certainly done enough that I can make myself take a photo and talk about it. I'll be out of town on Friday, though, so if I don't remember to take the photos before I leave, that post will be delayed yet again (and I might as well just wait until I fix the issue with the shawl at that point).
Hopefully more later!