Ravelry to the Rescue

Everyone preaches the necessity of gauge swatching. There’s a reason. Normally I’m spot on gauge, but not this time. 

The gauge for the sweater with a size 7US is supposed to be 19 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches. I was no where near that with my first swatch. Naturally I’m not knitting with the yarn called for in the pattern. I rarely do that sort of thing. But the yarn I purchased is the same weight and has the same gauge parameters. After getting about 14 stitches to 4 inches with a size 7US I switched and swatched using a size 5US. Bingo! var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”)); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-xxxxxx-x”);pageTracker._trackPageview();
Knitting an entire sweater on a size 5US needle gave me pause. With the combination of wool, silk, and cashmere this yarn has a sensuous feel to it, especially when knit in stockinette. The fabric with the smaller needle is what I want but still I wondered. 
Ravelry to the rescue. There aren’t very many completed Nonpareil’s in the database and about half were using the Blackstone Tweed that the pattern spec’d. I read the comments on Blackstone Tweed, then I read the comments on Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed. Seems I’m not the only person having problems getting gauge with a size 7US needle on these yarns. There were comments stating that the Jo Sharp knit with a 7US needle stretched and grew. Not exactly what a gal wants from her go-to cardigan. One knitter wrote that she dropped down to a size 5US needle and the fabric didn’t become misshapen as it had for the others. Okay – so now I was feeling better about that smaller needle. 
Still, I washed both swatches and checked gauge again. No change. Hmph. So using a size 5US Harmony Circular I cast on the waistband. Yep, the waist is where you begin the sweater. It grows from the middle out (anyone else feel like there should be a laugh track inserted here?). The sweater has lots of shaping beginning with the waist. I’m excited about that since the last two sweaters have been quite boxy and less than flattering to my figure (or lack thereof). 
As my friend Cathy would say – “it’s brown, of course, you’re knitting a brown sweater.” She chides me regularly for the lack of color in my wardrobe. But come to think of it…I think every sweater I’ve ever knit for myself was brown of some shade or another. Maybe she’s on to something. Next sweater will not be brown…maybe it will be gray. 
Nonpariel Cardigan

5 thoughts on “Ravelry to the Rescue

  1. Ha ha, I thought you said the next color might be *gravy*, which would be a grayish brown…boy, new bifocals are called for! We'll see you at market this weekend.

  2. My mother used to make fun of my fondness for neutrals and earth tones. For many years, she named me “The L.L. Bean Poster Child”. But I think this sweater is just perfect in brown, and who could dislike a sweater that grows from the middle out – alas, just like moi… 🙂

  3. I wonder why it gave you pause to go to size 5s. Is it the psychological impression that using smaller needles would mean more work to get the sweater completed (not true since 5s gave you the guage the pattern was written at)? Or are you like me and physically less comfortable working with thinner needles? I prefer size 7 and above myself. Or something else? Enquiring (make that nosy) minds want to know.

  4. I love this sweater!
    I'd love to KNIT this sweater.
    alas, I'm in that place where we can't afford to be spending money on things we don't need. I might be able to talk myself into “needing” that pattern. But I struggle with buying a whole book of patterns when I only like one.
    I hate that about pattern books. They so rarely include more than the ONE I want.
    I'll dither a bit though, since I've found some patterns in the world that I thought were worth the price of this book all by themselves.
    (I sure wish typepad would get its open id sign up thing sorted, or that blogger would let me sign in with name, email and url (or maybe just email).

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