Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A sweater update-- and something gorgeous!

I am so very excited to have a sweater back on my knitting needles*-- it feels like everything is right with the world and I can do no wrong! I finished my planned yoke increases last week and decided to do a fit/gauge check:

The yoke depth is good, and I'm very happy with how the increases and neckline look... but I am missing about an inch of my chest circumference! My gauge swatch tells me I should have 15sts/4" and I have 16sts/4"-- but of course the swatch is blocked because I am a good little knitter. I thought about measuring the swatches unblocked just as I was tossing them into a sinkful of water. And my next thought, as they were sinking into their bath, was, "What could go wrong?" Apparently something did. After a pause and a ponder I decided what I needed was more swatches-- big ones, two of 'em, one knitted flat and one in the round, because I am a good little knitter and I don't like surprises:

This represents about an evening's worth of uncomplicated knitting-- really I don't understand why I sometimes see swatching as such a chore, why I am in such a hurry to get it over with, when it is in fact MORE KNITTING. This time I measured before and after blocking and found the missing information I need to continue-- the fabric definitely grows with blocking! So I am back on track but with fresh uncertainty because I won't be able to get an accurate sense of the fit until the sweater is blocked. We'll see if I can handle that.

While I was waiting for my swatches to dry a funny thing happened-- I remembered I that I have a spinning wheel and some singles hanging around, waiting patiently for me to finish plying them. Spinning and plying take me to the same mental space that simple knitting does, so it was an excellent substitute for the sweater I was longing for. And now I have a little something gorgeous to play with-- take a look:

This is my second skein since learning to spin on the wheel earlier this year. The base is Polworth, dyed by Casey at PortFiber. I liked the boldness of the contrasting colors and I'm happy that is preserved in the finished yarn. I can't stop looking at it, squeezing it, opening up the skein, draping it over things:

The fibers have passed through my hands twice already, now they will again on their way to becoming... something! I'm not sure yet. Starting with fiber draws out the pleasure of making, the imagining and planning does too-- and the swatching, for that matter. As long as I'm not in too much of a hurry to enjoy it.

*I wrote about starting this one-- and my handmade wardrobe ambitions-- here


  1. Gorgeous spinning! I have a love/hate relationship with swatches I have to admit ... I think that's why I just make topdown seamless things that I can adjust fit as I go!

    1. I agree, top down is SO much easier to adjust. With this sweater I am hoping to end up with a kind of template for fitting pieced sweaters, since I prefer to knit them that way. Thanks for reading :)