Sweater Sanity Check

Remember how I told you that gauge was important? When making a garment, knitting at the correct gauge will ensure that your garment will fit the way it’s supposed to.

Because of that, it’s a good idea to make sure that the gauge  you got when you swatched is the gauge you’re getting when you’re actually making your project.

After I knitted a bit of the stockinette back, I decided to do just that.

Stitch gauge - 17.5 stitches over 4 inches

Stitch gauge – 17.5 stitches over 4 inches

Row gauge - 25 rows over 4 inches

Row gauge – 25 rows over 4 inches

The pattern calls for 18 stitches and 25 rows over 4 inches. I’m half a stitch short and spot on for the row gauge.

So, to check the fit, let’s do some math…

For the size I’m making, the pattern states that the back width at the bustline should be 26 inches at the stated gauge. 18 stitches per 4 inches, over 26 inches comes out to 117 stitches across the back. 117 stitches at a gauge of 17.5 stitches over 4 inches comes out to 26.74 inches. This pattern is designed with two inches of positive ease, which means that it should fit loose. That extra 3/4 of an inch won’t make much difference. I feel pretty good that the sweater will fit me across the shoulders and back.

Let’s talk for a minute about ease. Depending on the style, a sweater may be designed with positive or negative ease. Ease means that the sweater measures larger (positive ease) or smaller (negative ease) than the actual body measurements. Merle was designed with two inches of positive ease and the pattern instructions say to measure the bust and choose the size that is two inches larger than your measurement. Understanding and paying attention to the ease and the gauge will go a long way to producing a finished garment that fits well.

Since this sweater is knit from the top-down and all in one piece, it will be very easy to try it on as I go. In fact, I can get a rough idea of how it will fit already.


Silly Sweater Selfies


You should have seen the other faces I was making.

At this point, you can see that it’s a high collar sweater and the cabling is stiff right now, but it’s already softened up quite a bit.

I just keep knitting and knitting. On Thursday, I got to the point that I split the sleeve stitches off and I’m working on the body.


Happy. (Thursday)

On Friday, I did the waist decreases. Saturday and Sunday, I just knitted and knitted and knitted.


Happy (but sleepy) Saturday night.

At this point, I’m starting to want something else to do to break up the monotony of all the stockinette. I have at least 9 more inches to knit just of the body, then I’ll make the sleeves. But I’m really afraid if I stop knitting on this, it’ll be put off again and again and it’ll be another endless WIP. I have at least one commission project I know I’ll be working on, so I’m trying really hard to get as much done as possible before I set it down.

It turns out, it’s really great TV knitting, though. I can do several rows in a 45-minute tv show (we’re currently watching through Stargate: Atlantis again) so maybe I can finish it in a few weeks.

P.S. – Most of my knitting happens at night, when Jellybean is (supposed to be) in bed. My in-progress photos are usually cell-phone quickies taken in my little nest. I’ll get my husband to take a great photo when it’s all finished so I can show it off in all its glory.


Filed under Knitting

5 Responses to Sweater Sanity Check

  1. Impressed! Hang in there, you can get it done.

  2. Keisha

    I think it’s looking fabulous! I’m envious, really. I’d love to start something like that but I get to the point, like you are now, that it seems like it’ll take forever. I put it down for a break and my WIP turns into Oh-hey-I-remember-working-on-that! 😀 I’m just awful about getting bored and walking off.

    • abby

      I really really want this sweater, so I keep reminding myself about the end product. I’ve had a few cursed sweaters and this is my curse-breaker! I’m determined! 😀

      It helps that I try it on every night. Before I put it away, I put it on. I measure my progress, pet it, and just cuddle it for a few minutes. One day soon, I’ll be able to do that without worrying about losing stitches 🙂

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