Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vogue! *Shakes fist at sky in rage*

Now that I'm finished plunging tiny swatches into subzero baths (and now that the quarter is over), I can actually get some good ol' fashioned knitting done. It's a project I've wanted to do for a few years, but there's always been this nagging issue--the yarn I want to use will not knit to the appropriate gauge. It is otherwise perfect for the project: it has the right drape, the right color, the right stitch definition, and the perfect amount of character. It's just a little too dense.

Fortunately, my math cannot be conquered by mere issues of gauge, and so I finally bit the bullet, knit a proper swatch, properly blocked the proper swatch, measured, and went to town. Everything was going swimmingly. The math was working out surprisingly well. I had even figured out how to make the whole chart fit when I had 4/5 of the rows in the original (shorten the diamonds). It looked lovely. I should have known better.

After all, this was a Vogue Knitting pattern.
(specifically, #22 sleeveless tunic)

And we all know how the last thing I tried to knit from a Vogue pattern went.

 (Vogue, I love you, but test knit your patterns for the love of everything good and holy in this world.)

Do you know what really throws a wrench in my plans for perfect math? Failing to include all the measurements properly. What do I mean? Well, the center panel is 133 rows. 133 rows works out to exactly 18" in gauge, which just so happens to be the exact length of the sweater before the armpit. How convenient, how lovely, the chart is the perfect size.

Except it's not.
There's 12 rows of garter before you start that chart.
That's an extra inch and a half that's not included in any measurement or diagram, and when the pattern tells you to start waist shaping 8" from the beginning, it really means 8" from the beginning of the chart. As a result, my perfect plan was 2" off (due to the change in gauge), and I had to cut out the top triangle.
Now the top and bottom don't match...
I soldiered on, though. It didn't really look bad, after all, and the measurements were still perfect. Plus I had already committed hours to this piece and I don't like ripping back things that don't result directly from my own mistakes.

Well, now I'm 6 rows short of the finished measurement, which is also 7 inches from the end of the center panel chart. Everything was working out perfectly. The measurements matched the diagram.

And then I went back to the directions.
There's 7 rows of garter after this section. I have completed the diagram, and I still have an inch and half of knitting to do.

For the love of everything.
The tunic's waist is not going to be at my waist if I drop it an extra inch and half. Everything was contingent on these measurements. Why do they lie to meeeeeeeee...

So, I see 4 options.
1) Keep doing what I've been doing, and maybe it'll work out okay when it's all sewn up. (the old me. I'm a process knitter, right? I don't care about finished products. It's about the journey.)
2) Start the garter right now. (the paranoid me. She's currently screaming "You're going to wear this in public, right?")
3) Work 2 rows of garter and call it a day. 3 needle BO the top to make up for the difference. (the problem solver me. She doesn't really care about the pattern that much anyway)
4) Rip the whole stinking thing out and redo it to accommodate what I've learned. (the perfectionist me. Usually this one doesn't get to have its day in court, but she's been making some pretty good arguments lately)

3 and 4 look like the best options, but I'm open to suggestions.


  1. My option would be #4. If it's not right I won't wear it. Of course, I might be nuts (and a product knitter).

    1. I think I'm going to rip it all back...I knit a row on it this morning and had to put it down because it felt so wrong to work on it.