Sweater Knitting: Swatching

sweaterknitting
I only ever wrote one post in my sweater knitting series and decided it was time to bring that back and hopefully do more regularly scheduled posts about it since sweater knitting is my favorite and I still has so much more to learn. But today for this Friday I really have more of a question…
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How often do you swatch?

I will be the first to admit that I feel like swatching is such a pain, when I’m ready to go I want to get started but it’s a necessary evil. I don’t want to spend all my time knitting a sweater that ultimately doesn’t fit and I’ve had a couple of mishaps early on with ill fitting sweaters becaus I just didn’t pay enough attention to knitting a gauge swatch or two to find the right needle for the project. And creating gauge swatches also lead me to consider using different weights of yarn and needle sizes to achieve gauge but get a different fabric. A perfect example is my Colorblocked Boyfriend Cardigan.
Colorblocked boyfriend sweater
The original pattern had a gauge of 16 x 22 stitches for a 4×4 inch gauge on size 8 needles. I got the same results using dk weight yarn and size 10 needles. It created a lighter fabric with a bit more drape to it which is exactly what I wanted. So do you always make a swatch before you get started on a large project? I’m curious to hear what you all do.

FO: A Sweet Little Sweater & Socks

My friends are having a baby boy in about a week or so and I missed their baby shower so I decided to whip up a little sweater for spring and some socks for baby Greyson.
For Greyson
Even though his name is Greyson I didn’t want to do all grey because that’s boring to me. So I went with pumpkin orange and charcoal grey trim for another Wee Sherlock sweater. Also I don’t like to cable that much so I omitted the cable down the middle with a simple garter stitch panel. It’s clean and simple and I like the look of it.
For Greyson
I really like this pattern for a different looking cardigan. I love the buttons going down the side inside of the middle. Although my pics make it look brown it’s more or a charcoal grey for the trim and the buttons. I was hoping that would give it a slightly masculine vibe but it’s pretty gender neutral no matter what. I also decided since Greyson will be born in late February/early March by the time he truly starts to fill this out it’ll be warm so I didn’t go with long sleeves. It’s a nice soft layer to add over any onesie he might be wearing that day or he can wear it as a shirt as it gets warmer. And I didn’t feel like making a hat so instead, I made socks!
For Greyson
I went with the Little Squirrel socks from TinCan Knits and each one took me an hour and a half to whip up for the newborn size. I was working with size 5 needles and worsted weight yarn (my favorite baby yarn, Caron Simply Soft. I will admit I was too lazy to do a kitchener stitch to close off the toe so I just did a 3 needle bind off and called it a day.
For Greyson
I had to stuff a little tissue paper inside of them to get them to fill out so you could actually see the shape of them. They’re so tiny! I can’t believe little baby feet will eventually be filling these. So there you have it, two super simple and quick knits to whip up over a weekend when you want to make something for a baby.

Stitching Status: Weekend Update

Happy Monday! Sometimes I sit down to write and realize I don’t take as many pictures as I probably should for someone who blogs. I try my best a lot of times to just be present and enjoy what’s happening and that means not pulling out my phone or a camera. For example, I met a frequent commenter and now friend, Claudia from Proper Tension on Friday! She was in DC for a conference so we met on Friday after I got off of work for burgers in Capitol Hill. It’s always great to meet up with someone you feel like you know because of their online presence and it’s even better when they’re just as great as you had hoped. And since I don’t have a picture with Claudia, here’s one of Jellybean…
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and the ball of yarn I worked with this weekend. I pulled out a lovely ball of Pumpkin colored Caron Smiply Soft to work up a little cardigan for my friend Larry and his wife who are having a baby very soon! I whipped up this hat for Larry a few years ago as a thank you and I thought his son might look good in orange too.
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And at the last minute last night I said, why not whip up a pair of socks to match? Clearly we’re not getting a serious winter here so I made the sweater short sleeved for spring and instead of a hat decided on the Little Squirrel socks by TinCan Knits. I figured he may get more wear out of the sock in the spring than a hat. And one little sock only took me an hour and a half to whip up (they’re worsted weight and newborn size). I can finish the second sock tonight, wash and dry them with the sweater and then put on buttons. It’s the sweetest gift and I know he and his wife will love it.
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Also the sweetest, my girlfriend has taken up sewing and made my dogs bandannas! Cher is serious about her modeling. LOL
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I immediately put them on after I opened the mail and the only way to make the girls stay still is to put them on a high table. And of course, Jellybean almost attempted to jump off. Sigh…she believes she’s part flying squirrel. I swear.
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And my last fun tidbit from the weekend, I wore my pair of knit print leggings I picked up from Sweet Legs! I know people rave about Lula Roe leggings and I bought one pair but I hate the process and didn’t love them that much. So when I saw someone on Instagram wearing these leggings I went to the site and decided to give them a try. They’re great quality, decent price and they shipped to me super quick! They’re a winner in my book. I may order more prints for my weekend wear. So that’s what sums up my weekend, how was yours?