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WIP-Wednesday: Becoming courageous!

Hi folks!

First things first – my granddad is out of hospital again! I am over the moon with joy. Everything is fine, it was nothing dangerous and I am so, so, so relieved … thank you for your kind comments and well-wishes, they definitely helped. 😀

I didn’t do a lot last weekend, I journaled quite a bit to get all the worried thoughts out of my head on paper … And I knit on my testknit sock, which is great, because the sooner I finish it, the sooner I can work on knitting down my stash … It has become HUGE! I have 36(!) balls and skeins of sock yarn! SOCK YARN! Most of it is already coloured, so there is not much possibility for patterns … But I’ll see what I can do. 😀 Nothing blue though!

So, since the sock is almost finished and I have still to work on T.’s scarf … (SORRY!!!!) I decided to get adventurous and knit my very first cardigan.

After a look at my queue and the sack of cotton wool I had in my stash, I decided on the Amiga Cardigan. (link to ravelry page). It’s knit from the top down and since so many folks have made it – why not ? Also, it is free, which is a big advantage …

Now, the yarn.

This is a mixture of linen, cotton and acrylic, and it is SO. UNPLEASANT. to knit with. When washed, however, it smooths a bit and becomes drapy and wonderful – really nice. It’s a sports weight, by the way.

According to the pattern, required gauge is 17sts/24rows to 4″ on 5,0mm needles. Okay.

I have made a COUPLE of swatches already (for another cardigan, but also with this yarn) and they all didn’t work out. Row gauge is worst. I cannot seem to get row gauge, come what may. Stitch gauge is try and error, but row gauge? Errrrr …. It also doesn’t help that you read hundreds of times that “even 0,25sts too few or too less can ruin the entire garment!” Yeah, that’s very encouraging, folks!

Part of the problem is that I knit mostly with sock yarn. So while I know that my gauge on fingering weight yarn with 2,5mm needles in the round is 30sts/40rows to 4″ … I do not have a clue what my gauge is with bigger needles on heavier yarn.

So I swatched.

This was knit on 5,0mm needles and on the photo, it is already washed and blocked. Pre-washing, my gauge was 20sts/27rows. Meh. AFTER washing and blocking the swatch – my gauge is 18.5sts/29.6rows to 4″.

Gauge is a b*tch.

I started a threat in the ravelry forums, asking for advice. Knitting with 5,0mm needles, but knitting one size smaller (I need to knit one size larger. I just learned that.)? Trying again with 5,5mm needles? What if I’m stuck in between? I cannot afford to buy tons of other yarn and other needles …. Set fire to the damn thing and continue to knit socks and shawls and mittens and little hats and sew them together to make that an ART cardigan? I cannot sew …

I was advised to swatch again with 5,5mm needles. I’ll do that. After I went to the LYS tomorrow. Because I realised that I don’t own 5,5mm needles. Just had to turn my whole  stash box upside down for that. :mrgreen:

Stay tuned! I’m sure this is gonna be fun …. 😉

Love,
Julia 😀

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5 thoughts on “WIP-Wednesday: Becoming courageous!

  1. Row gauge is always tricky. I just play it by fit and try things on as I go to figure out where my preferred lengths are or where to place the shaping (if the pattern has shaping). Once you get going and have some experience, it’ll make more sense.

  2. Pingback: Becoming friends | Words and Stitches

  3. My row gauge is always wonky. Always. I have learned to compensate for this by adjusting patterns to fit my row gauge. Most of the time it isn’t a problem because you normally knit X number of inches/centimeters before starting the decreases or whatever, but it can be a problem when you are supposed to decrease (or increase) every other row because if your row gauge is different from the pattern, you might end up decreasing or increasing too fast or too slow. But most of the time, row gauge doesn’t matter a whole lot.

    Knitting with linen is tricky. You absolutely have to make a big gauge swatch and wash and dry it. The size and shape of the stitches changes a lot. I knit a sweater in pure linen a year or so ago, and I worried myself the entire time about whether it would fit the recipient. I even wash the sweater in progress to check that the gauge was okay. Fortunately for me (and for the recipient), the finished sweater fit perfectly. But I was sweating it the entire time I was knitting the sweater.

    That said, linen is so wonderful that it’s totally worth the fuss to knit it up. It isn’t the most pleasant yarn to work with, but once it’s washed, it softens and blooms and looks beautiful and get better and better with each washing. And it’s heavenly to wear. Keep at it. You’ll be glad you did. 🙂

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