Thursday, September 26, 2013

Swatches and Thanks

My bare-bones pattern is mostly a series of headings and questions to myself. This one started out like this:

Sizes To fit 3 [6, 12] months, although babies vary greatly. When in doubt, knit the larger size! Our adorable model is wearing the six-month size. (Does the family want the full name, first name, or just Adorable Model here?)
Finished dimensions Chest: 18 [19, 20] inches; Length: 9.74 [10.5, 11.75] inches.
Yarn Dream in Color, Perfectly Posh Sport, sport weight, 70% wool, 10% mohair, 10% silk, 10% cashmere. 320 yards/293 meters in 100 grams. Color A: Amber Glass; (HOW MUCH?); Color B: Heavenly: (HOW MUCH?). 
Needles #5 (3.75 mm) needles, or size needed to produce gauge. (CHECK THIS) Any kind of needle can be used, but you will also need two #5 double-pointed needles to make i-cord. 
Gauge 24 stitches = 4 inches in both one and two-color stockinette stitch. (CHECK THIS)

As it turned out, I was half correct about the gauge. 6 sts/inch was totally cool with #5 needles on the single-color portion of the swatch. The two-color portion, not so much.


I should stop here and say a big THANK YOU to Laura Ricketts, who became my instant friend in May when she drove up to see me on a personal mission to make me give up my fear of color-stranded knitting and intarsia. Her knitting is awesome and wonderful and almost as nice as she is in person.

Anyway, when I saw that the two-color portion of the swatch didn't succumb to my screaming at it and trying to block it wider (I don't know why that doesn't work), I did a second swatch with larger needles. That portion of the pattern changed to:

#5 (3.75 mm) needles, or size needed to produce gauge. (I needed to use #5 for one-color stockinette stitch and #6 for two-color stockinette stitch.) Any kind of needle can be used, but you will also need two #5 double-pointed needles to make i-cord. 
Swatches complete, I emailed a tech editor (Stephannie Tallent) to get on her schedule, messaged a friend who has an adorable baby about modeling for photos, and got to work putting together a spreadsheet to get actual stitch counts before casting on for the sample sweater.

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