Friday, February 1, 2013

my driftwood sweater {a difficult lesson in gauge}

During a major yarn sale at JoAnn just before Christmas, I bought at least 10 skeins of Wool-Ease yarn.  I earmarked 6 skeins for a new sweater for me since my first one came out so well.  I had the Driftwood pattern in mind for my new sweater.  This is free pattern on Ravelry.

The pattern is wonderfully written and this was my first time using the contiguous sleeve method; this is a top-down sweater that looks like it has set-in sleeves but is actually worked seamlessly.  Sounds genious to me.  I just couldn't picture how the method actually worked, but I trusted the instructions and now it all makes sense.

I didn't make a gauge swatch or really even check my gauge until I was about to separate the sleeves from the body.  Big mistake.  Just like all the books try to tell me.  I got a little too cocky and thought I knew exactly what I was doing, but my gauge was way bigger than the pattern, and, of course, so was the top of my sweater.  I made some adjustments to the pattern at this point to try to keep it wearable, but things still turned out a little too large.

After I was done with the body, I tried on the sweater and it measured at least an extra 4 inches than I really needed.  So before I knitted the sleeves, I seamed up about 2 inches on each side of the body with a crochet hook.  This took the body in quite a bit but still kept the body proportional to the yoke.  I then moved onto the sleeves and picked up only the underarm stitches in the body that were appropriate for the new sizing.

And now that the sweater is blocked, I actually like it.  It's not my new true love, but it will find its place in my wardrobe.  A valuable lesson in gauge learned the hard way.

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