The other day it occurred to me that all of my latest knitting projects are being knit in the round. There are my various socks-in-progress, my Strata Sphere swirl jacket, and this sweater, Abi, made with Berroco Remix.
In fact, the pattern calls for Abi to be knit in pieces but I couldn’t see any reason for doing all that sewing when it would be so easy to convert it to a bottom-up circular sweater. After knitting a gauge swatch I did the calculations, cast on for the front and the back, and began working in the round.
Let’s face it, until you get to the yoke Abi is a pretty boring knit. After the ribbing comes inch after inch of stockinette, broken up only by occasional decreases and increases for the waist shaping. Not a sweater to keep your interest under normal circumstances but the perfect project to work on while watching tv or going for a drive. In other words, the perfect project to work on this past weekend, during which I was guaranteed to spend at least nine hours in the car.
When we left home Saturday morning the sweater was already almost 7” long. By the time we arrived home again Tuesday evening I was into the third ball of yarn and the sweater had grown by another 7”.
Just the final set of increases and another 5” of knitting, then it would be time for the interesting part.
As our freeway exit approached I returned Abi to its project bag and remarked to Cameron that I really should run some yarn through the live stitches and try it on, just to make sure it fit. In fact, I said, I probably should have done it before now. And with those prophetic words, I set myself up for a major fail.
When I tried the sweater on this afternoon I was shocked to discover that it was WAY TOO BIG. How did this happen? I checked my gauge and it was bang on. Puzzled, I reviewed the cast-on numbers and found that they were also in order. A quick glance at my knitting confirmed that I had indeed decreased after the ribbing. Another look at the pattern, then another scan of my notes, some figuring on the calculator, and then it hit me.
After working the ribbing, instead of decreasing 28 stitches on both the back and the front for a total of 56 stitches, I had only decreased a total of 28 stitches all around. At 4.5 stitches per inch that made a difference of just over 6”. No wonder it is WAY TOO BIG.
Right now I don’t even want to think about frogging it back to the ribbing, working the correct number of decreases, and starting all over again but I know that’s what I’ll do (and the sooner I get the frogging over with, the better). An eternal optimist, I can’t help looking at the bright side of things. If I’d knit the sweater in pieces I might not have discovered my mistake until after I’d seamed it together so there’s something to be said for knitting in the round.*
I’ll try to remember that when I am reknitting the inches and inches of stockinette…
*I later realized that if I’d knit the sweater in pieces I never would have made this mistake in the first place. Oh dear, there may be no bright side after all.