Thursday, February 28, 2008

Gauge Schmage

The sideways sockyarn baby sweater is done!

It was one of those projects that seemed to never end but when I looked at the start date on my Ravelry entry I realized I started it in January and this is the end of February. Not bad for a slow knitter. And I did do other things at the same time as I was working on it. I like the pattern and I’ll probably do it again because it looks so cool done with self striping sock yarn but I will be more conscious of my gauge. I figured (wrongly) that since it was a baby sweater and babies grow that it would fit her somewhere along her growth curve no matter what the gauge was and therefore I didn’t check it. Hmmmm. This sweater, it matters what your row gauge is, because it’s knit sideways! So the sweater is a little wide you see. I had the Compadre help me figure out just how much too wide it is and, get this, he did it in his head. Actually I had done some figuring beforehand and he confirmed what I had done and translated it into percentages. Soooo, I got 6 ½ stitches per inch and depending on where I took it 8 ½ to 9 rows per inch. The pattern wanted 7 stitches per inch and 10 rows per inch. Since both row and stitch gauge were larger I wasn’t off by as much as I feared. The Compadre estimated between 5 and 10 percent depending on whether the row gauge was 8 ½ or 9. All this to tell you that if you do this pattern, do a gauge swatch! Yeah, I hate them too, but I really wish I had done one this time. The knit fabric would be tighter and I would like it better if done in a smaller needle too. Good thing it’s for a girl, she can wear it longer because it’s wider and it doesn’t matter as much if it turns out to be a crop top! The sweater is knit in two pieces and grafted together down the back. And the bottom edge is in garter stitch. I’m getting better at grafting but I’d never done it in garter stitch. No bad words were spoken but the Compadre did try to talk to me during the process and was crabbed at for his trouble. It’s OK, we’re still friends. I think that sewing a few seams would be just as much trouble as grafting the back together but the designer of the pattern obviously thinks otherwise because he went to a lot of trouble and much cleverness to avoid seams. It’s true, when you’re done there are no seams, only a bunch of ends to be woven in. By the way, I’m not showing you the back of the sweater, there are a couple of wonky places but you can’t see them so they don’t exist do they. All in all, it’s a great pattern and I would recommend it.

After completing the sweater I had about 13 grams of yarn left. I weighed it on my handy dandy scale that I got for Christmas. So I did some research on Ravelry and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t enough to make a pair of matching booties. But once I thought about booties I wanted to make them and I had a pattern I wanted to try. Back in the long ago ages when my children were babies I made several pairs of booties for them out of a long lost pattern. I’ve been looking for it all over and I’ve looked at patterns online and in every book that I can find. No luck. But I have one uncompleted bootie and my memory. The Basic Baby Bootie (Ravelry link) pattern by Theresa Gaffey comes close to what I want. So I made the booties in the pattern with different yarn that almost matches the sweater, to try to understand the construction. They are cute, and the pattern was well written and easy.

Now to take that old UFO and figure it out. My daughters are 25 and 27 years old. That’s one old, old unfinished object. But I’ve got older ones! I’ll confess all one of these days. And now that I look closely at it I’m not sure that it’s the same one I remember. Well maybe Abigail will get several pairs of booties as I try out other patterns in my quest for the “perfect” bootie.


Compadre said...

Is it a UFO if it's unstarted?

Jeanice said...

The sweater and booties are wonderful! I do not think that you are a slow knitter at all! And, Compadre, the answer to your question is---No, of course not. If that were the case then logically, everything in my stash would be considered a UFO--Oh, my goodness gracious sakes alive!!!!

Miss T said...

That sweater is adorable!

andrea said...

The sweater is perfect and those booties are super cute. They seem to go really well with the sweater.