April 14, 2006

GAUGE EXPERIMENT

When my swatches that I'd knitted for Catherine Lowe's workshop relaxed and grew after being washed and blocked, I got concerned about what implications that might have for my Level 2 vest. If my 6" swatches could grow by half-an-inch, that made me wonder whether my vest could grow by 3 inches.

Catherine Lowe had recommended that when we swatch before starting a project, we make a large swatch: 10 inches square is good, 12 inches square is ideal.

It occurred to me that I have a swatch that's even better than that. I have one that's about 19-1/2" tall and about 36" around. My prototype vest is a life-size swatch, non?

I soaked the prototype this morning in the bathtub. (Before this, it had only been hit with some steam so that it looked good when I taught the mini-class.) Here's the before shot:

L2Vest 007.jpg

and here's the after shot:

L2Vest 008.jpg

It grew by the width of only a couple of stitches, and boy, am I ever relieved. I do own a wooly board and I know I could stretch this vest to within an inch of its life, but I'm not going to. I attribute the difference between how much the merino swatches grew and how little this Shetland wool vest grew to: (a) the fiber and how much it was processed, and (b) the nature of stranded color knitting and how much it wants to pull in and stay square.

While the vest was enjoying its soak in the tub, splashing in the Herbal Essence bubbles, and reading a trashy novel, I was slaving away, getting my Specials for the month of April page uploaded to the Two Swans Yarns site. No good excuse for why I didn't get it uploaded on the 1st of the month, or the 2nd, or the 3rd . . . other than that I've been busy.

But you've been reading my blog, so you know how busy I've been.

Look at who else is reading my blog!

Posted by Karen at April 14, 2006 01:12 PM
Comments

Yep, that's one dandy swatch! So, what novel did it read? LOL. It looks wonderful, and I concur with your reasoning on why it didn't change the gauge significantly.

Anne

Posted by: Anne at April 14, 2006 03:21 PM

Ya know, it's a sad day when someone is envious of the activities of a sweater. My ablutions lasted five minutes and attracted the attention of every child in the house. Showering with an audience, my favorite activity. You knitting is absolutely beautiful, if that's a prototype, you're a shoo-in for level 2 :)

Posted by: Enjay at April 14, 2006 05:28 PM

The vest is fond of chick lit: _Confessions of a Shopaholic_.

Enjay, it wasn't until about two years ago that my family stopped gathering in the bathroom every time I was taking a bath. So I empathize, but I can also say, you might continue to have an audience at your house for a few more years.

Thanks for the nice compliment on my vest.

Posted by: Karen at April 15, 2006 08:12 AM