Size matters! I
recently did a project that was layette (hat, sweater, blanket) for a friend of a friend. It was really close to Christmas and I had less than a month to do it but I agreed to it because the couple who were having the baby had tried for 10 years and I’m a sucker. The pattern is Korrigan which is a favorite of mine. I’ve made at least six of the blankets but never the clothing.
We ordered the yarn but, alas, the sweater/hat yarn was on back order. Happily, I was digging in my stash (which is shameful and totally out of control right now), and I found some really nice pink fingering weight that was perfect. I swatched, got gauge and got started.
Seriously, the whole time I was knitting the sweater I knew something was wrong. It was stiff, dense and way too small. Checked the swatch again and kept on going. It was like 1984 when no matter how many times I watched the Wake Me Up Before You Go Go video, I still believed George Michael was straight. Seriously! His hair was better than mine and Yonkers was the epicenter of 1980s hair. Mine was fabulous.
But I digress.
I was on schedule. Got the blanket done (which is a heavenly baby blanket) and did the hat on a slightly larger needle because babies have huge heads. That’s when I had a horrifying moment and realized I had to rip out the whole sweater and re knit it. The yoke on this beautiful little tiny sweater is a solid 13 hours of knitting. There are at least 200 cable crosses. Suffice it to say that my right thumb is now svelt.
Keep in mind that it was the Christmas season so I also had family gifts to get done and 2017 decided to go out for me with its middle finger in the air. We had an explosion and fire at work (so proud of our team–they were awesome); a cousin’s mental illness led to a bad suicide attempt on Christmas Eve (he survived and will get the help he needs); and, another cousin got arrested by the Feds for a horrifying crime (I have no sympathy–he can rot in jail). None of this is “normal” in my world so perhaps my refusal to accept that my gauge was wrong was just straight up denial.
The whole time, the swatches all said I was on track and a-ok! So, size matters. A larger swatch would have given me a much better sense of what the final fabric was going to look like. And if I had followed my gut, I wouldn’t have knit a whole damn baby sweater that I knew was wrong.