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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Swatching swatching swatching

Oatmeal Tweed Aran
I always do at least a little swatch whenever I start a new project. Of course - I seldom knit from patterns so I had better get gauge - stitch gauge at least. Once I have some of the garment knit I can measure row gauge if I need to know it. And I usually do. Here are photos of the cables I'm going to use in the Oatmeal Tweed sweater that I will start once I pay off the Visa bill so I can order New Yarn. Or after I finish the Christmas Socks. Or after I knit the red and white lacy thing I talked about yesterday. Or maybe just someday. The fabric is still a little damp but I wanted to see what the real gauge would be on those cables.

I'll double this wider cable and place it in the center with nothing separating the two. I might even cross the diamonds where they touched. 

This narrower cable would be on either side of the center panel with a few extra purl stitches on either side and framed by a twisted stitch mini cable.

The underarm portion on both sleeve and body would be in moss stitch - and here you can see why I didn't just make a swatch but wet blocked it too, because just look how the moss stitch, which is just a broken up garter stitch - both shortened and widened the fabric! 

And suddenly I am thinking I may have inadvertently solved a design problem. Anyone who reads TheQueen knows I need more length in the front of my sweaters than in the back. I have been flirting with Knitting Math to see how to fit short rows in the front of this sweater - a doable task - but also wondering how I will keep track of the different cable stitches I'd be knitting on each row once those short rows had been finished. I could knit the entire back of this sweater in moss stitch and the natural shortening of the row gauge might just take care of the issue for me. And honestly, people only ever look at the front of a good looking sweater. Maybe a knitter will look at the back, but the general public? Nope. Just the front.

Even if I decide to put those cables on the back, though, I shall knit this sweater from the bottom up so that I will have to pay attention to the differences between front and back for only the 10 or so inches I'll be knitting from underarm to shoulder seam. (instead of the 16-18 inches in the sweater body should I knit this from the top down)

As for the width - well - there - everybody knows moss and seed stitch widen your knitting - but wow - the narrow cable and the moss stitch are both the same number of stitches - but just look at the difference.

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