The swatch that (nearly) cost me my job

Well, a bit of an exaggeration, but not much… I have been thinking that two out of three brothers are getting jumpers (Bull 1 and Bull 2) and the third brother, who just received a scholarship in Germany goes empty handed… and he goes in January. So I have decided to make a jumper for my nephew David. And since this wonderful yarn just arrived (Bendigo, Persian, it is a mixture of wool, alpaca, mohair and silk), I started swatching. I found a lovely pattern (since I am not making a third Bull, no no no), which I like the look of in an Interweave magazine (Point Gammon Pullover in Interweave Knits Fall 2010), but not quiet. It needs to have a saddle shoulder and the feature cable in the front needed a bit of work. I wanted the centre medallion to really wrap around the running cables, and that meant re-charting the entire centre and to re-size the lattice pattern in the middle diamond.

I swatched and knitted, charted and fiddled, unraveled and tried again, until it was really right. I (seriously!) nearly forgot to go to work yesterday and only got it right after I accidentally knitted the pattern from my upside down pattern sheet! Life works in mysterious ways.

For all those of you who have had enough about reading about gauge, just leave the rest of this post unread, please. Look at the dressed swatch, how much the gauge has changed! Over 4 inches! This is the dressed gauge, very different to the raw gauge, eh?

The other thing worth noting is that I have used a 3mm needle, instead of the 4mm recommended on the docket , which puzzled me, but here is why: when I knit cables, I knit the cables loosely to allow for the stitches to have some ease to go sideways. So there you go!

I cannot wait for getting the calculator out, and Elizabeth Zimmermann’s book, and get down to working out the numbers…

…unlike Josie, who seems very happy in her newly discovered bed and is determined not to get out of it for nothing in this world.

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