*Coughs while clearing a path through the cobwebs*
I swear I still exist but as the title of this post alludes, I had to maintain the kind of radio silence labs use when they are on the cusp of securing a patent.
See the proto-sweater above? I started this on May 1st as my very first top ever for my very first Summer Top KAL and this is as far as I’ve managed to get in 4 months because every time I started drafting a post, took pictures or got anywhere near WordPress, I had to start over. I’d drop a stitch, end up with less stitches, more stitches and at one point the whole thing was uneven. It was some serious weird. Some of you may be thinking:
Maggs, you’re nowhere near done! Get away before it catches on fire or something!
Alas, this top is well beyond harm and I say that without intending hubris. I tried the top on last night and to my complete bafflement, it’s waaaay too big. Blogging can’t harm something I’m about to start over, so I’m going for it 😀
First, the vision.
I found out about this Summer Top KAL from the fabulous folk over at Tin Can Knits, who has some pretty spiffy beginner level patterns and some of the most comprehensive tutorials (using said patterns) I’ve ever seen! I really need a light weight long sleeve top and they had just the thing.
I gotten yarn to make light weight tops like this but I made the mistake of getting yarn before I had a particular pattern in mind, so I didn’t have enough of any one color. Then I came across a top I’d pinned a while back and decided stripes would be just the thing.
I turned to a fresh page in my knitting notebook and got out the tape measure. My wife was kind enough to take my measurements three times -which is what it took to convince me I needed to knit a Large. (I realize that makes me sound a bit nutty, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t end up with a sweater that was too small.)
Then I got my US 4 and US 5 needles and knit two swatches and just as the pattern predicted, I made gauge with the 5’s.
For those of you who are curious, the yarn shown above is KnitPicks Comfy in Doe.
According to everything I’ve ever learned about knitting, and the tutorial, I thought I was good to go! This is right around the time I discovered the Blog Post Curse and it took a full month to get past the collar increases. >_<
Once I got past the raglan increases and separated the sleeves (another hazardous month), the sweater high began and I carefully made my way down to the hem knitting in good old stocking stitch for 16.5 inches. It was awesome – until I decided to try it on yesterday and it proved to be enormous. I checked my measurements again and they confirmed that I was indeed a large – so what happened?
I spent the evening going over my notes and trying to decide if I wanted to keep going. The Missus was all for it, saying that it was a first try and that there was still plenty to be learned from seeing it through. I was torn. I wanted to keep going but I also didn’t want to end up with something I couldn’t wear, so I went on line and tried to find out if the top would shrink and to my horror, I found a post explaining that it “grows.” And that’s when I knew I was starting over.
I still have no idea where I went wrong but there are some competing theories:
- Knitting the swatch on metal straight needles didn’t translate well onto interchangeables? (Yes, interchangeables – that’s a whole other blog post though 🙂 )
- I somehow started knitting a lot looser?
- The pattern calls for Cashmerino 20 by Sweet Fiber Yarns. It’s still also a 4 ply fingering weight yarn (400 yrds/115 g) but perhaps cotton blends don’t knit the same as 70% Merino 20% Cashmere goat 10% Nylon?
I’m inclined to think it’s the last one up there but I really don’t know. If anyone can enlighten me I would really appreciate it.
Right now, I’m going to measure a section of thee sweater to see if that matches the gauge I got at the beginning. This way, the exercise wasn’t a total loss and I can get a good idea of how these needles work. If my swatches match, I can just go down a size.