Swatch Much?

Photo Credit: © Katia

I mentioned in my last post that I plan on knitting the Poncho Air Lux at the same time as Calann and Michelle. I’m actually using the yarn the pattern calls for: Lace Lux (Lace: 67% Rayon, 33% Merino, 339 yards). It’s not even purple.  It’s kind of a rose, charcoal gray-ish metallic color, #40.

Once Calann started her swatch and Michelle finished her priority baby blanket, I knew it was time to start the swatching process…and a process it was.

The pattern calls for a #6. Par my usual routine, I began my swatch on a #4 metal needle (either a lace Addi or Chiagoo). Knitting continental style, I cast on 32 stitches and knit 38 rows.

It came out way, way, way too big.

Next, I went down to a #3 (wood) Dreamz needle hoping that would help me get gauge. Again, knitting continental style, I cast on 32 stitches and knit 38 rows.

This time it came out way, way too big.

This went on over a couple of days. I won’t bore you with pictures of my first few swatches.  In frustration, I put them in time out in the freezer. (Seriously though, the cold helps make hairy/sticky yarn rip out easier.)

Next I went down to a #2 (wood) Dreamz needle still hoping that I would get gauge. Again, knitting continental style, I cast on 32 stitches and only this time I measured after about 16 rows.

After my third swatch, it was simply way too big. This beginning to remind me of Goldilocks and the three bears.

Big Sigh.  My hand really hurt after going down to the #2.  I decided to revisit the Portuguese Style of knitting. I went back to the #4 (a Chiagoo – I’m sure this time) cast on 32 stitches and knit 38 rows.

Unbelievable difference, both swatches have the same number of stitches/rows.  I would not have believed it if I hadn’t knit both with my own hands. Crazysauce (it’s in the urban dictionary).

And things being what they will, now my gauge was too tight. The swatch on the top was knit Portuguese style. The swatch on the bottom is Calann’s, she went UP to a #7 to get gauge. Sheesh.

I decided to knit ONE MORE SWATCH on a #6 Chiagoo.  Alright, half a swatch, it was enough to get an indication of what it will block out to be.  I lined up the swatches by the knit stitch in the center of the pattern. Top picture is my (Portuguese) swatch on #4 (every so slightly smaller than it should be). Middle picture is Calann’s swatch.  The bottom is my (Portuguese) swatch on a #6, larger than it should be.

Finally, after a long, drawn out swatch process I’m casting on a #5 and not looking back. A #5 needle will be just right.

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