Thursday, June 2, 2011

Leap of faith

Dear blog,

I am about to take a giant leap of faith. My knitpicks order came in the mail - 900 yards of Wool of the Andes in the 'Winter Night' colorway, destined to become The sideway spencer sweater. I have to admit, I do not have good feelings about this sweater. I purchased the pattern ages ago, and it has sat pretty close to the top of my queue ever since. From a process knitter's perspective, it's perfect: It's full of wonderful, interesting cables, and it's knit sideways! What could be cooler? But the product knitter inside me looks at ravelry and sees how every single project is a completely different shape and size, which means I have no-way to predict what mine will look like finished. Plus, it's a cropped sweater, and those only flatter certain body types. Not to mention the bunchy bulky HORIZONTAL cables..... So yeah, I'm not convinced that even if I did everything totally right and this sweater came out perfect and in my size that I would actually wear it.

With all that said. I still really want to knit this pattern. And trust me, I've spent three days on ravelry with cold feet, looking at every other possible sweater I could knit instead. I still come back to this one. Which brings us to the real problems.

Gauge. Oh Gauge, why do you hate me so? This sweater is supposed to be knit on US8 needles with a gauge of 4sts =1 inch. I knit my swatch on US4 needles and am obtaining that gauge only in my imagination. (Depending on where on the swatch I measure, I get 5 sts or 4 1/2 sts. ) I tell myself that I have a 32 inch bust, and that surely by knitting the size 28 It'll more than make up for my loose gauge, right?

I'm doing the ribbing on the cuff on US2 needles, and it just doesn't feel right. It feels.....lacy and droopy.

The other problem is the pattern itself.... I'm used to knitting patterns that hold your hand for every single step, and while this pattern is well written, it says things like "Increase 6 sts evenly in this row." Without spelling out exactly how and where. I mean, I'm a smart person and I can figure out it, but it does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. I especially don't like the part in the sleeve instructions where it says : "Begin with stitch 14, work 1 row of cable pattern across all stitches ending with stitch 13." I'm not sure, but I think these numbers refer to places in the cable chart.....but why not just start with the beginning of the chart? And the chart itself says that it's a repeat of 18 stitches + 8, but I can't find any reference to where those extra 8 stitches come in. There are also increases that happen... and all the pattern says is to include the new stitches into the cable pattern, without explaining how to do that. I'm sure a more experienced knitter doesn't need these kinds of prompts, but I do! I get a sick feeling in my gut every time I look at these instructions, but I'm casting on anyway. What's the worst that can happen?

Keep your eyes focused here. This is going to be an epic WIP.

1 comment:

  1. Go down a needle size. If your gauge seems lacy, using threes will tighten it, and if you're a stitch, or half a stitch, over gauge then using threes just might help bring down to the "right" number.

    Also. Does 14 refer to the 14th stitch in that row? So, knit 14 st. then begin cable pattern, working until 13 stitches away from the end of the row?