I have been knitting seriously for 31 years. In that time I have knit lots and lots of things. But not many sweaters for myself. It has probably been 20 years since I knit a sweater for me. After SAFF I decided to knit a sweater to wear to the next knitting event I was going to, Vogue Knitting Live in New York, which is this coming weekend. It seemed the knitterly thing to do.
I chose Hayward, stockinette with a deep raglan and boat neck. It is knit with Loft, fingering weight yarn, at a gauge of 5 sts/in. I was inspired by Melissa of Espace Tricot, who had knit the sweater twice in rapid succession. It looked great on her. It might look good on me.
I measured a couple of sweaters that fit me well and chose a size. I knit a gauge swatch or two and blocked them. I knit like the wind! I was so excited! I was knitting a sweater! For me! And then it was finished and I, following the directions, blocked it and seamed it and put it on. It looked good. It might just be a sweater I would wear. And then I sat down in it. Womp wah! There was a weird fold of fabric at the upper chest. Between the boobs and the neckline.
I consulted the knitting sages. I looked in books. At first I thought it needed a lower neckline. I frogged the front to the point where I thought the neck should be (undoing the raglan seams just enough) and tried it on. Still a problem. So then I decided it was the deep raglan. Sigh. I picked out the seams and raveled the front back to the beginning of the raglan. A long way. And then I sat down with paper, pencil, and calculator to figure the new rate of decrease for the raglan. It couldn’t be done. There was no way I could make the number of decreases fit into the number of rows I had to get to the neckline. Or rather, I suppose it could have been done but it would be a Frankenstein sweater.
A light bulb went off. I had checked the stitch gauge on my swatch but not the row gauge. Cause, really, on a stockinette sweater what difference could it make? But a raglan sweater? Oh, my friends, that is when a row gauge of 23 sts/4″ is very different from a row gauge of 32 sts/4″.
I am now knitting a modified dropped shoulder sweater in Loft. I can frog the front and back to the beginning of the armholes, decrease a little for modified dropped shoulder sleeves and then knit all new sleeves. It won’t be ready for Vogue. But it will be done. And I have learned my lesson, please the knitting gods.
I’ll let you know how it goes.