Ups and Downs with Gauge

The knitting at Casa del Revknits has been proceeding, but with a family member who has been declining in health, and passed away last week, my brain and energy has been other places.  The positive has been a new baby in the family, Luis Cole (pronounced Louis, at least for me), who has been a bright star in a shadowy time.

Along the way, there have been ups and downs with my knitting.

The Sweater

I had found this lovely yarn called Coast that I reviewed here. I decided to make a lacy cardigan that my cousin Allison could wear after she had her baby – and it was a monstrous knit. I had to knit it extra long because of the gauge I was shooting for after washing, and then it was a large overlap. I thought it would never end.

It looked like this after I knit it:

And then I popped into the washer and dryer. And it felted. Felted. FELTED.

It was midget-sized. Apparently the wool and cotton duked it out in the washing, and the wool won. It was devastating.

I pulled and pulled, and yanked and yanked, and it finally got the point of being a small-sized sweater.

I’ve given Allison the sweater with the proviso that she doesn’t ever have to wear it as it came out in an unexpected way.

The one good thing, is that this happened to me and not her. I would have been sad if I had had the yarn work for me, and then she shrank it to midget sized.

Baby Sweater

The other sweater came out closer to gauge. It is a baby sweater for the new baby:

It is a bit wide for the length, and it turns out this baby is longer and thinner (like his dad), so I will keep that in mind for future sweaters.

One more sweater

I’ve completed one more sweater, and this one was a case of the gauge after blocking is what to trust. The garment is arriving at its intended recipient’s house today, so it’s safe to post here. The sweater is Morning Sky by Heidi Kirrmaier. This is a lovely top, knit from the bottom-up, and has just enough going on to keep your interest.

I knit what I thought would be the right size, having made a small modification to add more stitches for the armhole opening that seemed too tight for middle-age-and-up arms. And I spread it out, measured, and had another omg-gauge-sucks moment when I realized it was about 2 inches smaller in the bust than I had intended. Marie, my cousin and intended recipient had mentioned she’s wearing looser garments since she retired last year, so that was pretty important.

I held my breath and went to the swatch, which had come out exactly at intended post-washing gauge, so I put the sweater into the washer on cold, and then lay flat to dry instead of putting it into the dryer. Now, that was simply a choice, because the Hempathy yarn has no animal fibers in it to felt.

The result – everything came out nicely from the wash:

That was convenient! USPS tells me that the package arrived about a 1/2 hour ago, hopefully I’ll hear soon if it fits as I intended.

Download PDF

One thought on “Ups and Downs with Gauge

  1. Gauge, ugh! That’s why I like to design and knit accessories, mostly. But every once in a while I get brave and knit a sweater. For those, I’m careful to knit, wash, and block a gauge swatch. But they lie, anyway.

    I learned about washing sweater gauge swatches the hard way. I have a lovely merino/linen tank top that shrank when I put it in the dryer. The label said I could. And really, I could. But I should have treated the swatch that way first, to know what to expect.

    Right now I’m knitting a linen top, and I did wash and dry the swatch. Hope it turns out in some reasonable shape! I’m kind of making it up as I go…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.