As I was knitting along on the Autumn Sweater I noticed something I was trying to ignore. So, to confirm or deny my suspicions I took the knitting to my bedroom and pulled out some sweaters. I tried on the sweaters, 3 different ones, to get a feel for the ease they provided. Then I measured their widths laid flat. Then I measured the Autumn at about the same point in the length and found…..my gauge had loosened to the point it grew over 6″ from the original width!!!!
Now, yes, I did a swatch. But, I also recognize I didn’t do an adequate swatch! Sure, I mimic’d the in the round aspect, but the issue with circular knitting and deep projects is, your technique tends to loosen up as you knit round and round, and the fabric gets hefty, and you relax into it all. So yes, my gauge started at 4.75, and then went to 4.5, and then 4.25, and then almost 4!!!!
So, what to do. I had cast on the largest size thinking it would give me the 2″-3″ ease I would like in a cardigan to be worn over other tops. I could rip it all out and start over using the same needle and a smaller size. But the ribbing was perfect and I didn’t want to rip it all out and redo the colorwork, small area that it was. Or I could rip back to an area that was the smaller gauge and change out my needle and knit up from there. It would still be almost like ripping it all out, but just not quite.
So, can you guess what route I chose?
Yep, that’s the cord of my circular needle woven into my fabric. I chose option #2.
I went down to a US6 from the US7 I had started with. Now I will be diligent in checking the gauge as each inch passes. In the 5″ I have reknit I am staying at 4.75 gauge. With my 208 cast on that gives me @43.75″. There is a steek section of 1.5″ that will be lost, but then a button band of the same depth will be added back, so I will end up with about 2″ of ease. And I am sure the sweater will relax a bit in the wash, so it might end up 3″ of ease.
I am just proud of myself for resisting the urge to just keep going. Why is it we deny the obvious and just refuse to take the option of ripping? In sewing you don’t always have that option. Once cut, it’s done. I guess it’s the lost time of knitting that we lament. Knowing we will have to put in an equal time of knitting to recapture the lost footing. I guess the thing that kept me from crying about this situation was the enjoyment I was getting from the endless mass of St st knitting.
What? Am I crazy?? LOL.
Not at all. It’s just been easier to knit St st and read on the computer than doing the charted shawl right now. And at knitting each week the boring St st will save me from making mistakes on my knitting. So I will save the charted shawl for those times when my attention is not distracted. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.