Knitting

Three on Thursday | Planning a New Project.

Joining in with Carole, Kat and crew to share three things … about planning my next sweater project. Kat asked yesterday if we were “planning any knitting”. I told her I almost spit out my coffee – I am always planning what I’m going to knit next. or next month. or someday.

For sweater knitting, my planning generally involves three key steps:

1. Choosing the pattern. This one – Bodie, designed by Elizabeth Doherty, came across my new pattern feed on Saturday morning. I fell in love immediately – the piece looks fun to knit (a must for me) and it would fill a gap in my wardrobe. We all need a go-with-everything medium-weight cardigan, right?

2. Choosing the yarn/color. This has become a lot more fun since I quit working at the shop. I now feel free to knit with whatever yarn I choose and I don’t feel guilty about buying it on sale from an on-line store. (yes, Webs and I are now fast friends.) This pattern suggests a lovely wool/cashmere blend from Plucky Knitter. Sadly, that’s not in my budget. I thought Blue Sky’s Woolstok might work, but Elizabeth thought it might be too thick and suggested I swatch to see. so…

3. Swatching*.  One of my friends had a nice-sized ball of Woolstok leftover from another project. Yesterday I knitted the swatch (the pattern isn’t out yet, but Elizabeth has published swatching instructions – love it!), blocked it and waited somewhat impatiently for it to dry. This morning I measured – it’s perfect! So I went back to step 2, chose a color (a go-with-everything greige) and placed my order!

The pattern will be released next month and I plan to be ready to cast on right away. At the rate Taproot is coming along, I might even have time for something else in between. Good knitter problems, amIright?!

*Swatching is only a key step in my sweater knitting. I rarely swatch for accessories – unless they need to fit (e.g., hats and socks) – and then only if I’m using a yarn that’s a lot different than the pattern suggests. But for sweaters, it’s a must. For Taproot, I’m using the recommended yarn, but I had to go down a needle size (and my row gauge is still a little big). For Bodie, I’m using a different yarn but the suggested needles worked fine.  How do you approach swatching?

8 Comments

  • Kym

    Lovely sweater! (I noticed that one in my feed, too. . . ) It really does look like fun to knit! Like you, I always swatch for a sweater. When possible I knit a sleeve as my swatch, but when that isn't possible, I return to regular old swatching. (You are the fastest knitter I know.) XO

  • Juliann

    I have swatched for a few hat patterns because I am not sure if my yarn substitutes will work. And I swatched for my two sweaters. I actually have a sweater stash of Lark that I have swatched on three different needles and now I am looking for a great pattern to use that yarn. The sweater pictured here I beautiful!

  • Bonny

    Bodie really is a beautiful sweater! And I think you know my answer to your question about how I approach swatching – I knit Hitchhikers! 🙂

  • karen

    Swatching?? what's that? ha ha ha. I swatch if I'm using a new to me wool. I tend to pick projects that don't need a swatch like a top down shawl. Or I knit with tried and true wools. I guess I'm kind of lazy….or I am brilliant. You pick 😉

  • margene

    I swatch and, in fact, had to do two swatches for the sweater I'm knitting now. It is Brickyard, which uses the top pattern of your swatch for its yoke. Swatching is A MUST if you want half a chance of a sweater that fits.

  • Honoré

    Well, My sweater knitting has been limited but I have switched, as instructed. I really like the pattern you're doing and the color will be great and go with every thing. Looking forward to seeing it in progress and on you. Knit on!
    Cheers~