Fourth Time’s The Charm

So I decided to try something new…

Let me start at the beginning.  Last night I finished the shawl I’d been working on. Sorry, no pictures yet, I haven’t blocked it so it’s not ready for prime time just yet, but I’ll work on that.  It was a simple knit, the Scalloped Lace Shawl from Malabrigo Bok 3.  I’m still not convinced I love shawls, either knitting or wearing them, but I needed a new project, I hate the yarn in the stash, round and ready to cast on, so I went with it. And it was a relatively fun knit, took about a week and a half, and I didn’t screw it up too badly, so all in all, a win.

So after casting off last night it was time to pick a sweater. I’ve been vacillating between two, Pretty In Pink or Laneway. I am not 100% sure the yarn I have in hand for Pretty In Pink (reclaimed from last summer’s failed sweater attempt) is going to work with the pattern so I opted for Laneway first.  Here’s where the new part comes in. I decided for once I should follow the instruction that goes with nearly every knitting pattern ever- Take Time To Check Gauge.

Gauge swatches seem to be one of those annoyances most knitters (and Knitters) prefer to avoid, myself included. Luckily, when knitting socks & scarves, it’s not dreadful important, at least in my world. I go by look and feel of the fabric. If I like it, I go with it and ignore gauge all together. But the aforementioned failed sweater attempt was nagging at me. I don’t want to spend weeks knitting another epic failure, send another substantial investment of yarn to time out because I’m too damned mad at myself the project myself to face up to reality and reknit the project. So I set off to knit my first gauge swatch.

Which quickly turned into my 2nd gauge swatch. Because it was blindingly obvious that the first, using the prescribed size 9 needles, was going to be an epic failure. Yep, lightbulb moment kind of failure- the kind that says you dumbass, if you’d have done this last summer, you’d be wearing your awesome little tunic right now. As it turns out, Swatch #2 was also not the answer. Nor was swatch #3. Evidentially, I’m a loose knitter (which actually sort of cracks me up in a 12 year old kind of way). It took me 4 tries, going down one needle size each time, to finally arrive at 16 stitches and 24 rows to 4″. I have achieved gauge!

So tonight I cast on my second attempt at a non-cardigan sweater. And I have great confidence that I can knit one that fits this time. All because I’ve wasted invested several hours of my day off knitting that all important gauge swatch (times 3.5).  I’m not going to lie and tell you I’ve enjoyed the process.  I’m fairly confident this moment of following the rules will not be a regular occurrence, either, but for now, I feel brilliant! now I’m going to read the rest of the pattern and see what I’m really getting myself into…


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