Tip Tuesday- To Gauge or Not To Gauge?

Happy Tuesday Folks. For this installment of Tip Tuesday, I asked my good friend and knitting pal Rose to write about her adventures in knitting her first sweater. Rose is one of the best friends a girl can have. We met at our church way back when I was on bed rest with my daughter and she brought me a fantastic Turkey meatloaf! We became better friends after I started hosting a knitting group for the church called Centerpoint Stitchers. We met once a month and knitted and crocheted to our hearts content.

When we first started developing this idea for a Fall Sweater Challenge, we discussed that we wanted to appeal to everyone. I was excited and wanted someone to blog through their very first sweater as part of the challenge. I immediately thought of my friend Rose as she and my friend Katie are joining me at Rhinebeck for Sunday. I just happened to have a spare sweater quantity of yarn and we are the same size.

The Circadian Rhythm KAL is what it is because Rose, hand picked what she wanted in her first sweater. Rose tried on all my past Rhinebeck sweaters as well as some other of my designs till she decided on a couple of things. First, she definitely wanted a hood! (Check ….woops that’s a little hint) She also had started to enjoy cabling and figured that would be a great design element. Those of you already participating in the KAL will know the fun that those design elements are. And lastly she decided on the convenience of a zipper closure.

So enough background… Here is what Rose had to say about her first experience doing a legit gauge swatch that was done to full scale and yes even blocked.

I don’t do swatches. No need. No thank you. I barely have the time to knit my actual project, so the thought of spending the time to knit a square (and block it!) is a foreign concept to me. But when your friend and knitting mentor tells you to swatch (and block) for a sweater that she will be designing for you, you bite the bullet and do it.

So what did I learn from the experience? First off, swatching gave me a quick sense of accomplishment and got me excited to start knitting the actual sweater. Also, I was able to practice the cable to see if I understood the pattern as written. Most importantly perhaps, I learned a lot about the nature of the wool and how it grows once the blocking is complete.

After measuring the swatch, I was instructed to soak it in water with a bit of wool wash. Since my wool wash had not yet arrived, I used a tiny bit of laundry detergent instead. I laid it to dry, never expecting the measurements to change. Yet, when I measured it again once it had dried, I was surprised to discover that it had grown a whole inch. (This wasn’t exactly the case for the cabled swatch, as this one didn’t grow as much.) Making these discoveries helped me to realize just how important it is to swatch before diving into my very first sweater project. Hopefully it will help me knit a sweater that actually fits me and that I am proud to wear. Stay tuned…. 

Thanks Rose! We can’t wait to see what you teach us next ! For more one the Circadian Rhythm Sweater check it out on Ravelry. Circadian Rhythm MKAL

Do you have anything you would like to tell us or a tip you would like to share? IMG_4692_2Please email eastenddesignco@yahoo.com

 

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