Remember this sweater?
For which I bought this yarn at Stitches West 2012?
I’m finally getting started on this project!
Step one: wind yarn into balls (one of which is smaller because I’d already done step 2 by the time I took this picture).
Step two: gauge swatch.
This pattern unfortunately calls for 5 different needles in three different sizes (the others are different lengths). I usually knit really tightly, so I started by swatching the larger needle I would need, one size up. It called for a 6 and I tried 7. This looked pretty good.
I use a technique I read in my Little Red in the City book for keeping track of gauge swatches. When doing stockinette stitch like this, you just put in a few purl bumps in one row that equal the size of your needle. So, there are 7 purl bumps where the arrow is above, because I was using a size 7 needle. Cool, huh?
I started a size up for the smaller needle as well (called for a 4 so I tried a 5), but this was clearly too big, so I switched to 4’s, which look to be perfect, for some unknown reason. On this swatch there are two rows of bumps. Everything above the 5-bump row was done with size 5 needles, and below that was the size 4 needles.
Step 3: Plan for alternating skeins.
I have never had to alternate skeins before unless I was changing colors. But this is hand-dyed yarn and a whole sweater, and I don’t want it to look patchy. And if you can’t tell from the photos above, one of these skeins is obviously lighter than the others. So, I did a bunch of research on Ravelry, and decided that since I’m knitting flat, it would work best and look best to alternate three skeins. Problem was that I have four skeins, and I didn’t want one left at the end without anything to alternate it with.
So, I devised this plan.
I’ll start with balls A, B, and C, and knit until the balls are about 1/3 gone. I can determine that using my kitchen scale. Then I’ll switch to using balls B, C, and D until all the balls are (another) 1/3 gone. Then I’ll switch to using balls C, D, and A. At this point, I will have basically used up ball C. I will then switch to using the last 1/3 of D, B, and A. I actually think this will work!
Unfortunately, after swatching and buying needles, I have decided that I am still short one pair for making this sweater. And of course it’s the ones I need to do the cast on. But I’m ready to get started once I get that pair of needles!