Friday, February 28, 2014

On the Needles - 2/28/14

I finally got to add some AQUA to my Swing Cowl!

Doesn't that brighten it up nicely?

This is a fun project, even though I do have to keep close track of the rows and how many stitches are on each short row.  I figure I'm close to being halfway on this.  I love the design and the way the colors flow through it!  I've had to manipulate that a little by breaking off occasionally and starting a new color.  Some of the colors ran quite long, while others (like the nice bright orange) ran a little short.  So far, I'm very happy with this project and already thinking another one may be in my future :)

My knitted swatch for Rocio  is very pretty - love that colorplay! - but unfortunately it did not turn out perfectly after blocking -  did I really think it would?  Nah!

Length measurement.....

Width measurement.....

The directions said....
       Gauge:   26 st and 34 rows to 4 inches, on 3.5mm needles, in stockinette
                     stitch, AFTER BLOCKING.

..... which I did.  But the swatch did not turn out square for one thing, and it is not 4" either way.  It is 4.25" long and 3.75" wide!  So too large in length and too small in width - yikes!  And I can't be sure I didn't pull too much here or there while blocking?  Blocking is a new technique to me.  Should I have shaped it to 4" square?

Now I don't quite know what to do!  I'm thinking maybe I need to go down one size in my needles, perhaps to a #3 - 3.25mm?  Too long for the length indicates to me that the needle is a little large, and since I'll probably loosen up as I knit on this, too narrow for the width probably won't be a problem for long.  Any advice from you experts out there???

I'd love to start on this sweater, but I don't want to put in a lot of work that just has to be torn out because it doesn't fit.  I signed up for Amy Herzog's class on Craftsy, "Knit to Flatter" - hopefully I can find some time this weekend to begin working through it.  I think it will help me a lot with this sweater :)

No new yarn added this week, and nothing finished, so no changes to my Yarn Stash report.

So what's on your needles?
Join in this week's party at Patchwork Times!

Hugs & Blessings!


  1. Love your Swing Cowl! I can't wait to see what others say about the blocking dilemma. That yarn is going to make a gorgeous cardigan!

  2. The addition of the aqua is fabulous.

  3. Have you checked out Amy Herzog's info on swatching

    Knitting a swatch larger than just the specific number of stitches called for with a garter border around to help things lay flat makes a big difference since you're not measuring curling edges. Love the color you are using for the sweater!

  4. You make me wish I could knit! This is lovely!

  5. Love that cowl; the colors are great! I, too, will be interested to hear what you learn about gauge.

  6. Very, very pretty, Teresa. I can't resist black with multi colors!
    I only block finished pieces that DH's Aunt has made. I do it on a large striped sheet and mark the finished size with pins on the sheet. Then I stretch to fit. Don't know if that is how you are supposed to do it, but it works for me. DH's Aunt can't see real well, but she keeps at it with the needles and crochet hook, churning out baby afghans, so they all definitely need blocking!! : )

  7. The aqua really does brighten up your cowl. It's so pretty and I can see why you might want to start another one. Love the color for your sweater. Hope someone can give you the info you need. Not me, that's for sure. I'm still working on my first sock!

  8. DH and I were in St. Louis so I persuaded him to make a couple of stops at a quilt shop ... they had a whole section devoted to Bertie fabrics ... and of course, I immediately thought of you. ;-) I could have spent hours in there drooling over those luscious fabrics!

    Love the colors in both knitted pieces! Sorry that your Rocio swatch didn't turn out the correct size. Hope you get some good advice to be able to figure out how to fix the problem.

  9. Teresa the cowl is looking beautiful.
    When knitting a swatch for gauge it's more important to get the width measurement because usually when knitting, it will tell you to knit for "X" number of inches and you get the length that way. I never bother with the length because if you get the width measurement the length will be close. Now you were supposed to have 4" wide and came up too short, then you need to go up probably a couple needle sizes larger. If you go to smaller needles your stitches will be closer together and you will be even smaller. If going up in needle size makes your knit fabric looser than you like then perhaps you are using the wrong size yarn for the project? Or you knit tighter and that affects your gauge? When you block your piece you do need to pin it in place at the 4-inch mark all around, so you might stretch it a little, but you shouldn't need to stretch it too much. That's where you might need to change your needle size.

  10. Your cowl is just lovely, lovely -- I bet you're so excited to wear it some day soon!! I love the swatch for Rocio -- beautiful colors!!!! :)

  11. Beautiful cowl. No help on the swatch - sorry. I've yet to block anything.

  12. What lovely work on the cowl! I love how the black makes the colors so vibrant. I'm with Janet on the blocking, which I haven't done a lot of, but if you measure out the size that you want the piece to be and then block it you should end up with just what you want. My guess on the gauge would be you'd want the width to fit or the sweater would be too tight, so I'd go up a size or two in needles to get that right. And then for the length you can measure as you knit and then quit when you achieve the right length. I hope that this helps! Your knitting class sounds like a great idea.
    Happy knitting!


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