Friday, 13 April 2012

Miette Knit-Along- We have yarn! And a swatch!

Hooray!  My yarn arrived in the mail!

Look at it! 
It's Cascade Sierra, an 80% cotton, 20% merino blend.  It feels so nice and smooth, and it's got a subtle sheen to it.  It's really nice!  I chose it because that was the yarn the pattern "officially" calls for. 

And lookit!  I already made a gauge swatch!  I'm a slow, beginner knitter so this took me hours, no joke!  I'm hoping I speed up a little bit by the end of this cardigan :)

But before I get into that, have you been following Gail's posts?  She has been going over so many helpful things, I've already learned a lot :)  And umm, guys, she also made us a spreadsheet!!  How nice is that?

Here are a few of the things I've learned so far:
-That twisty shape I received my yarn in is called a hank!  You have to wind it into balls yourself before you can knit from it!  You can see I already did two, it was actually quite fun :)
-This pattern is knit on circular needles, but it's not knit in the round- you just use the circulars because it makes it easier to hold!
-Gail rules at explaining things and is super helpful!

Now, since I'm going to be hand-washing my finished cardigan, apparently I need to block the swatch!  (Blocking is when you wet it and let it dry to shape it..or something!)  Eep!  I still need to learn what to do here!  I'm hoping this won't change the size of the swatch much though, since I couldn't resist and already did some maths based off Gail's extremely helpful post. :)
And based on my maths, I might have to alter the pattern less than I thought :)

Knit on size US size 8 needles (5mm)
Check out my swatch!  I knitted it with a garter stitch border as this is supposed to stop it curling at the edges.  As you can see, 16 stitches across seems to be 3 1/2 inches.  So that's less than the pattern gauge which is 16 stitches measuring 4 inches.  But if I'm not mistaken that's actually good!  Because my bust measurement is much smaller than the pattern, this means knitting at this smaller gauge will make it turn out closer to my size :)

And this is why I don't want my swatch to grow if I block it:  The maths I did seems to indicate I could make the smallest size and have the bust measurement turn out almost perfect!  That would be nice!

Here's my maths if you're interested:
-16 stitches divided by 3.5 inches: 4.57 stitches per inch.
-I need a finished chest measurement of 29" (that's my bust of 31" minus 2" for negative ease)
-So 4.57 times 29 equals 133.  I need 133 stitches across the bust.
-Lookit!  The smallest size on the pattern has 135 stitches- pretty close!  yay :)

So I'm thinking maybe just take out 2 stitches.  Of course I will be getting plenty advice from the pro on this!  But... this only works if my swatch doesn't go all weird from being blocked.  Boo blocking.

How is everyone else doing?  And if you want to join, check out this post for all the info you need!


  1. Hurray! Your swatch looks fantastic! And I love your color too. Sierra is such a great yarn.

    All your calculations are spot on! And we really won't need to take out the 2 stitches - it's less than a half inch overall, which won't make much of a difference. If you're anything like me, the less I thinking I have to do, the better! I'd rather just follow the pattern!

    Go ahead and wash your swatch in wool wash or even baby shampoo - just a tablespoon in a sink full of water. Let it soak for 15 minutes or so, then lift it out and gently squeeze out the water, being careful not to wring or twist. Then roll it in a towel (like rolling up a yoga mat - it' the only analogy I can think of!) to get more of the water out. Lay it flat on some more towels, adjusting it into a square with the correct dimensions (in this case, you want to stay as close to your original gauge as possible). Then the hard part: wait for it to dry!

    I looked up the care instructions, and this yarn can also be machine washed (gentle) and tumbled dry - so if you have a washer and dryer, that's a much easier and quicker option!

    You're very close to starting your sweater!!

    1. Oops - I read your post before I read the comments on my blog! I see you don't have a dryer, so go with option #1!

  2. Isn't Gail amazing? She's such a pro! :)

  3. Jo, this is where I am in total awe of your work. Knitting is something I have absolutely NO patience for. I love wearing knitted garments but I could never do it myself. I took a machine knitting class in my design course-oh my, was my project UGLY! I can't wait to see your finished sweater.

  4. This is going to be such a beautiful cardigan - I LOVE the color you selected. Your knit swatch looks really good too.

  5. This is embarrassing to admit, but I don't know how to knit. I know everything there is to know about sewing but when it comes to knitting, I know nothing. It's refreshing to hear that you're a beginner and learning a lot and making a lot of progress too :)

  6. I am just starting to knit my own Miette and came across your blog and have added you straight to my blog list - knitting - check, Colette patterns sewing - check, embroidering owls - check :-) Everything I have on the go at the moment!


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