Well, here we are at week #1 of the Knitumentary Project! I’m so excited that you decided to join me as we take an exciting journey through the Mimosa top. I hope you’re ready for an exciting five weeks as I share my insights and discoveries while I create this stunning pullover.
Not Your Typical Knitalong
This is definitely different than a typical knitalong because I’ll share behind the scenes, candid moments and insights while I knit my way through Mimosa.We’ll go on a little knitting exploration together, and I invite you to also share your discoveries and ah-ha moments that surface along the way.
I’ll also give you special “homework” assignments each week. The first one is a special challenge with I think you’ll really enjoy, so keep on reading to the end to find out!
You’ll also get a chance to chime in on the Creative Knitting Facebook page each Sunday when I launch each new post. It will be your turn to talk about your progress and what you like best about the pattern, what you like least and any other thoughts you may have.
This lovely piece was designed by the Berroco Design Team, and it is becoming on just about any body type. I think it’s perfect for this time of year because we can add a long-sleeved top underneath and as the temps warm up, layer with a simple cami. The sample above is made with Maya in color jicama. I chose to work with hermosa, shown below.”
The Gauge Swatch Challenge
OK, so today I’m going to talk about… the dreaded gauge swatch. I know it’s a love-hate thing for some of us, but I personally enjoy this beginning phase so much because it provides many clues about the pattern.
If anything confuses me, or if I mess up, I’d much rather figure it out on the gauge swatch. There’s nothing worse than discovering an error that could have easily been resolved on your gauge swatch.
While I was working on my swatch this weekend, some thoughts surfaced, which I think will help make the process a bit easier for you:
- Use Stitch Markers
The stitch pattern is a multiple of 14 + 9 stitches. Place a marker every 14 stitches, and then before the last 9 stitches. This will greatly help you keep track of your stitches. If you lose count, you only have to count the stitches in the repeat instead of from the beginning of your work.
For my gauge swatch, I cast on a total of 37 sts with 1 marker placed after each repeat, then ending with 9 stitches to balance the pattern.
- Use a Safety Pin Reminder
At a glance, I know if I’m working on the right or wrong side. If I see a safety pin on the work facing me, then I know it’s the right side of the work.
- Read Your Work
The cool thing about this pattern, is that once you get in the groove, you’ll notice that you will be able to tell which stitches you need to work without referring to the pattern or chart. Aside from the yarn overs and decreases on the right side rows, you knit the knits and purl the purls. Once you establish the first few rows, the rest can go on autopilot.
- Definitely Block Your Swatch
I’m a stickler for blocking the gauge swatch because think about it — it should mimic the fabric of your finished garment which you will likely (and should) block!
Blocking creates a more uniform and neater look to your stitches, and since your stitches do relax a bit after blocking, your work can “grow,” which increases the size of your finished swatch. The blocked swatch is what you should measure to determine your final gauge. Do take shortcuts. You’ll regret it later.
I want you to get creative with your gauge swatch! Show me an innovative way to transform your swatch into something new. Let’s get the creative juices flowing…and I’ll show you what I come up with too. I’ve got ideas swimming around in my head now!
Send your photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org by
February 9th! Extended to March 1st!
I will show off your finished creations here on the editor’s blog. The craftiest of all may even get published in a Creative Knitting magazine article about the unlimited ways you can use your leftover gauge swatches!
See you next Sunday!