Hey guys, it’s knitting season and I thought I’d give you a small update on the knitting project I started way back in August: The Snowflake Sweater (I posted a small preview on instagram). Long story short: This project was a
great learning experience desaster.
It started with the lace yoke taking forever, because it was my first ever lace pattern. I guess I needed about three tries per row. But once the hard part was done, it was all easy stockinette stitches. I knit and knit and knit until the pattern asked for waist shaping. It was only then that I tried the sweater on for the first time: It was exactly one size too big.
It took another try in size XS (which required a whole new lace yoke) to realize that I was working with the wrong yarn weight: Worsted instead of DK. It also seemed like my gauge was off, maybe I didn’t measure my swatch accurately enough.
After a few days of frogging and mourning, I browsed ravelry for a new sweater pattern. This time I really payed attention to yarn weight and gauge and ended up with the Manayunk cardigan, which I’m currently knitting in plain green. It’s not all going smoothly, but I’ll save that story for another time.
Here’s what I took away from this experience:
1. Swatch, for heaven’s sake!
Furthermore: Don’t just look at the gauge and tell yourself that “1 stitch more or less won’t make a big difference”. It won’t in a scarf. But it will in a fitted sweater.
2. Pick your pattern first
I fall in love with pattern more easily than with yarn. So after this experience I’m determined to always pick my pattern first, then try to find the right yarn.
3. Match as many attributes as possible
It seems like a good idea to start by looking at all the requirements a pattern has first (gauge, needle size, yarn weight, material), then find a yarn that meets most of these. Ravelry is a great help with this: For every pattern there’s a tab called “yarn ideas”, showing you which yarns were used for it, and by how many people. If over 30 people have used a certain yarn before, you can’t possibly go wrong.
In addition, when looking up a specific yarn, you can also get pattern suggestions. I found both of these features super helpful. The latter is especially great for stash yarn.
So that’s it from my current knitting adventures. Have you learned anything new in knitting recently?