I’ve noticed that a lot of the sweaters I’ve been drawn to lately are designed for fingering weight yarn. Being a loose knitter, this can pose a problem – as in “are there needles small enough for me to get gauge with?”
Last year I learned that if you get random acts of loose stitches in your knitting it is because your purl stitch is looser than your knit stitch. The way to remedy this is to purl on a needle one size smaller that you knit with. I’ve been swatching this way on stockinette fabrics and it has made a world of difference. Where before there “ain’t no needle small enough” now I can knit get gauge.
The gauge is specified as washed and blocked using a #6 needle. With an inward sigh, I knit two swatches and washed and blocked them. I have to admit the difference was significant. (Oh, who am I kidding? It was an outward sigh.) First I swatched with a #4 & #3, no good, stitches were a little too big. Then I swatched with a #3 & #2 and it was perfect. The washed/blocked swatch just melted into place.
Next I had to figure out size. This was a little puzzling at first because the sweater is not intended to close. The designer has a detailed schematic with measurements for all the sizes. This was very helpful. I measured the cross back of a sweater I liked and compared that to the measurements in the pattern. Voila, size picked.
I was enjoying knitting the sweater so much I didn’t stop to take any progress pictures. It’s knit from the top down so there were no seams. Truth be told I was on a self induced deadline. My goal was to wear the sweater when we had the Cephalopod Trunk Show, specifically when Sarah (Owner/Dyer) was going to be in the shop.
Here it is pre-blocking. I finished the knitting the day before deadline – NOT including blocking. It’s been very damp lately so I put a fan on it.
So here comes the best part of the story. Friday night I was lamenting to Thing #2 and her boyfriend (now known as Boy Genius) that the sweater was still damp. Boy Genius listened very attentively (points to him).
I should preface this with the fact that the night before while we were watching a movie, I was finishing the sleeve and my knitting looked (to him) like a blue lump of knitting. In his experience knitting was always a tube that never seemed to get finished. The following morning he was stunned to see the blue lump of knitting was a sweater. That blew him away.
So anyway, back to Friday night. He asked me if I had any whisks. I thought, “what the heck is he talking about”. When I looked at him blankly, he explained.
He suggested that I take whisks (and other kitchen utensils) and use them to open up the sleeves and prop up the body so the air from the fan can circulate.
In a word, BRILLIANT! Hence the nickname, Boy Genius. This may forever go into the annals of knitting as how to dry your sweater overnight in humid damp weather.
Love the sweater.