After second-guessing myself on gauge and monkeying around with needle sizes, I’ve decided to stick with the original size 3 needles called for in the pattern. Knitting loosely, I’m coming up with mostly 8 stitches per inch, and sometimes the specified 7.5. I’m gambling that I can make this work in the blocking. If not, I’m going to find someone slimmer than me to wear it , because at this point it’s more about the process than the final product.
My tension is a little more uneven than it was on the swatch. I’m getting a bit more puckering around the diamond patterns, where several stitches in the same color occur. But I’m confident these will flatten out with the blocking.
Right now, I’m experimenting with weaving in ends as I knit. I’ve seen several examples, including techniques at the TECHknitting website and at Knitting Daily. But while I understand how these would work while changing from one color to another, my brain hasn’t been capable of expanding these two changing from two colors to two other colors. So right now, I’m kind of going with a variation of the “3rd stitch” that’s described in the Philsopher’s Wool video for catching yarn behind the work. The trick that’s taken me a while to figure out is that you have to do this every other stitch, or it won’t work. I thought that doing it every stitch would be “better,” but it actually keeps the yarn from weaving in.
I’m not doing this for the main part of the vest, since I’m comfortable with 5-stitch floats (this maximum in this garment), but a variation of it seems to be working for introducing the new yarn 10 stitches before the round change and then also weaving in the old yarn for 10 stitches into the new round. It’s fiddly and really slows me down, but I think it’s working.
I’m also going a bit faster than I thought I’d be able to. Rather than constantly consulting the chart, I can usually break the 20 stitches of the pattern into multiples of 3, 5, or 7-stitch patterns that are pretty easy to memorize. About the time it becomes automatic, though, it’s time to change. I think that once I’ve gotten past the first 20 rounds of the pattern, I might not have to look at the chart much at all. Never a dull moment with this pattern, that’s for sure!