The calendar does not lie but swatches do

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, socks, sweaters on November 28th, 2016

I have lost a week again, maybe two. How did it get to the end of November when it feels as if the start of the month was only last week? I have managed to find all of the presents I bought, no mean feat as two have them have been missing since I bought them. You would think that by now I would have stopped hiding presents where I can’t find them because I go through this every year.

This is the current state of the blanket which is starting to look as if it is a good size to cover knees. It weighs just over 400g so that’s the equivalent of four full balls of sock yarn. I know what space that occupies and so I have an idea of how much space I should have made in the bag of sock scraps but I’m not seeing it. Yet again I have managed to knit something out of thin air because the sock scrap bag looks to be as full as it was when I started. This is the stage at which the blanket is going to be sidelined in favour of new knitting, there’s still plenty of variety in the scrap bag but I have a pattern and yarn and an urge for something different. I’m not finished with this one but I will say that I would make another because it makes for mindless tv knitting. This is a ten stitch spiral but with twenty stitches, another time I might go for thirty stitches wide because the wider the stripes are the less stopandturn there is in the piece.

This is what the blanket was dumped for. It may have the appearance of a sweater back but it has turned out to be an oversized swatch. I should have known better, I really should because I have never knitted anything that came out too big but have many examples of things being too small. I should know by now that if the tension square tells me to use the same needles as in the pattern it is tricking me or I’m using the wrong yarn. I would usually have started with a sleeve but the pattern helpfully has the tension measured over stockinette rather than in pattern and then doesn’t give you many measurements on the schematic. The sleeve width is a mystery so I decided to ignore the accumulated wisdom of decades and leap straight in with the back on the needles suggested by my swatch and the pattern. I could have got lucky I suppose but what I’ve got is what I should have expected – something that will be way too small. It’s tricky to tell with rib because it stretches which is why patterns usually say measured “when slightly stretched”. There was no “slightly” about what I needed to do with this to get it close to the measurement on the schematic. I’ll start again with my usual guess of using needles one size thicker than the pattern suggests and this time I’ll have a stab at a front.

My socks are now on my feet and the leftovers are in the blanket. This is the reason that the blanket didn’t eat into the bag of sock yarn bits, many of the balls of yarn were never in the bag in the first place. The added blue stripes meant that the part ball of yarn was enough to make a pair of matching socks so it was worth those extra few ends. More socks are on the needles, as many as I finish will be wrapped and under the tree and those that aren’t finished will be given in January. It’s no pressure Christmas knitting again here this year.


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