Saturday, May 13, 2006

In which guage issues bite me in the ass again

Before we get to the tale of my guage woes, I just have to share this with you.

Please ignore the loose ends and lack of a proper closure and don't even speak of the need for a wash and blocking. The important thing is that the Lace & Ruffle Cardigan now has 1)lace and 2)ruffles. It is gorgeous and purple and I will finish and model it for you in the next few days.

Of course, now that the knitting portion of the cardigan is over with, I needed another project to keep me occupied. Sifting through my to-knit folder yielded nothing, but then I realized that I hadn't scanned in any pictures from the spring issues of Vogue Knitting or IK. A quick flip through those brought to light the inexplicably named Prairie Tunic, which satisfied my need for lace and something cool enough for summer. Besides, I had some nameless, thin black cotton in my stash that would work perfectly.

So I swatched it. You hear that, people? I SWATCHED.

Then I did some quick math and chose the second-smallest size to knit on 3s because my math told me it would work out to be the right size for me. A couple inches into the front it occurred to me that there was something wrong. The needle I was using was 29" long and when laid flat the edge stitches tended to pop off the points. To put that into perspective, my hips are 39". At the width this thing was working up I'd end up with almost 20" of ease. Yeahhhhh no. So I frogged, reswatched on 2s, did a bit more math, and started the second-smallest size again. Things appeared to be good, but 8" and four decrease rows into the front it was still coming out 23"-22" wide. Better, but that resulted in 12" of ease around my waist. Not good. I frogged again, spent the better part of an hour hunched over a piece of paper and a calculator, and came up with some numbers that weren't even a stated size but worked for my measurements. By this point my tendons were screaming bloody loss-of-feeling murder at me and it was close to dawn, so I called it a night.

I found time during my lunch break the next day to gingerly cast on 108 stitches (the size I was originally trying out called for 124) and work a few rows. Things looked good, but without a ruler I couldn't be certain. Later measurement confirmed the front piece width as 19.5" at the hem, decreasing a lot more sharply than the pattern intended to what will eventually be 16" at the waist.



Rachel said...

What a gorgeous lace-and-ruffles cardigan! Your next project looks lovely as well.

sylv said...

your lace and ruffle cardi is sooo beautiful it'd make me feel like starting on one NOW !!!
That prairie tunic looks cool too, although I do feel sorry for your tendons.. ;-)
Glad you got yourself a blog btw, will add you to my links right away !

msfortuknit said...

I was just looking at that tank today in interweave and I love that jacket! Great taste!

Not sure if I asked you before but I linked you to my page I hope that is ok!

Jerry Tjiputra said...

Beautiful FOs!
Especially the ruffle cardigan...

Knittyknitter said...

That cardi is GORGEOUS!! I looove it! Great job!