Sunday, April 13, 2014

Compound Interest

I've been toiling away on a new sweater project off and on for the past few weeks, and was hoping to share some progress with this post, but a quick reassessment last night showed that I had foolishly ignored the laws of gauge once again.

I'm making the Fine-Knit Cardigan by Erika Knight from Men's Knits: 20 New Classics. I got some Rowan Wool Cotton in a lovely dark green called Deepest Olive. I needed something to replace my gray work cardigan since it no longer fits. And even in a Texas summer, an overly air conditioned library can be a chilly place to work. I thought I might unravel the old one and make a smaller size, but I wanted something new and different.

One of the reasons I picked this yarn was for the fiber content -- I didn't want all wool or all cotton -- and because someone on Ravelry had knit this pattern with this yarn and it looked lovely. But after knitting it, I can't believe she got gauge with the needles listed. I went down two sizes and still I was too large. I got started any way, thinking I was close. But as I should know by now, close doesn't cut it with gauge. While compound interest is awesome when it comes to long-term savings, it's hell on knitting. I went down two sizes further than I would normally make, and two sizes down in needles, and it still appears I'm going to end up with a sweater with a 50" circumference!

But I love this yarn and this simple pattern. I've decided to start over and calculate the cast-ons based on ratios from what I got in my first attempt. For instance, if I originally cast on 140 stitches for the back and it ended up 25" wide, to get a 21.5" back, I should cast on 120. I think if I take good notes and try to be careful about the proportions, I should be in good shape. Let's hope the sweater will be, too. I'm kind of nervous about this approach, but here goes.