Not washing the swatch is the reason I prefer my daughter’s Mrs. Darcy sweater to mine: hers was made too small for me and when washed was good for her size and mine. I used a different yarn for mine and after washing, it grew longer and wider and, though it is still sharp looking, isn’t as fitted as I would have liked. I actually thought it was a fluke, from using an unfamiliar yarn or something. But now I realize I was skipping a very important step in the annoying, joy-killing process of knitting preparation. (You know, where you experiment with needle size and yarn to make sure you have as many stitches and rows per inch as the pattern calls for, knit up a 4 x 4 test swatch, reknit until it’s perfect, wash it, and wait for it to air dry in order to know if the stitch gauge has grown as the wool “blooms.”) My suggestion is to start early with your swatching, maybe before you’re even finished with the previous project, so when you have that weekend to work on a sweater, you won’t just be sitting around waiting for your swatch to dry. Some even suggest a bigger swatch then 4 x 4 so you can get an idea if the weight of the fiber will pull the sweater out of shape. Then you have the excitement of drawing up new plans and calculations to take this weight into account.
At least the stockinette did. The k1,p1 rib didn’t budge. So, now the sweater was better in fit, but the edges were all billowy. I had visions of myself in Michael Jackson’s flap collars, and it wasn’t pretty. I then tried spot felting the ribbing. Is there really such a thing or have I made it up? It only thickened in a way that made the neat little ribbing imperceptible.
So, the top picture is where I’m at on my second try at this sweater; that is not too far. But it is too good a pattern not to knit right. I hope I don’t get bored the second time around. But I just can’t let it go with the piece of felt on my table, blanket- like though it maybe. I really want to make this and wear it.
Today, I want to get past the armholes so I don’t give up. Sounds like a Netflix kind of day to me.