When you’re in college, you don’t jump right into a 300 or 400 level class. You start in the 100 level class and learn the basics, right? Rebecca feels like she’s definitely taken that approach since she learned to knit several months ago. Here’s her latest update:
Generally I’m the kinda person who doesn’t like to get too comfortable, but comfortable knitting is really quite luxurious, wouldn’t you agree? Like a pedicure almost. I think I’m getting a little too comfortable knitting squares.
I’ve knit several scarfs. I wear them on my head, around my neck, as belts and ship them to friends when they’re too thick for California winters. The washcloths came afterward.
What a brilliant idea, especially when I’m camping. Dirt and campfire smells do not mix with the delicious alpaca and cashmere I’ve quickly become so addicted to. But honestly, my bathroom only needs so many of these.
So while I’m enjoying it, I gotta move on. You can only have so many pedicures before you can’t walk on your feet any more. After many months of knitting scarves and washcloths (and one giant afghan), I finally bought the yarn for Emmery, my first sweater!
I gotta say, I was more than a little overwhelmed when I got 14 skeins of yarn. I just wanted to use it as a pillow, it was so soft! This was also the first time I ordered yarn online, so I didn’t realize I would have to wind it myself.
Now, in every book, magazine and blog I’ve read. there is much debate about swatching. From what I can tell, if you don’t swatch, you could end up being a very unhappy knitter.
So of course, I swatch. I even got an extra skein so I could swatch, because I’m good at following directions (most of the time). Plus, I happen to have had a history of loose knitting (doesn’t that sound a little scandalous?), so I didn’t want to have a gargantuan sweater on my hands.
I spoke to a super friendly gal at Swift Stitch who told me to knit a big swatch and measure in several different places. Also, she told me: swatch in the same way you knit, so if you generally knit at night, don’t swatch first thing in the morning. Or something like that. Here’s what I came up with:
In my head I envisioned my swatch being perfectly 22 stitches per four inches. When I write it here, it seems ridiculous. I’m not a machine!
But I was stunned when one was a touch under gauge and one a bit over. Thankfully I have Jordana, the pattern designer, to help me. After asking a few sizing questions, she said go ahead and knit with the US 5, but try it on as I knit.
So I’ve cast on (a provisional cast on no less!) something that isn’t a rectangle, and I’m headed deep into unknown, imperfectly swatched, sweater territory. Wish me luck!
Help Rebecca hone her swatching/knitting skills: What’s your swatch methodology? Tell us about it in the comments!