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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1699 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2014 :  9:52:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't believe I did it: I frogged a >completely finished< pullover vest knitted a few yeas ago for my DH.

I thought about it for a long time. What was worse was watching him wear something that was just way too big. All the math was right, but I didn't know at the time that switching for gauge was all about a >blocked< swatch.

The worst part was starting to undo the darned in ends, but once it was all apart and skeined again, the yarn got soaked and hung to dry. All better, with a blocked swatch.

I started knitting the new sweater about four days ago. It looks and feels better, and I am getting a chance to plug in some shaping techniques I didn't know about the first time. And I am keeping some really beautiful, natural-fiber yarn away from the thrift shop.

How many out there have ever done this? Oddly, it looks like I will do this again, with a sweater I knit for myself. Back to knitting,

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.

azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2361 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2014 :  07:27:59 AM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think that's a bonus to knitting, Ceil. If it doesn't fit anymore or we just don't like it, we have the ability to rework it or rip it and start over. Much better than leaving it in a drawer or tossing it. I've done it and don't have a doubt that I'll do it again. I've told my daughter that if I ever give her something she just doesn't like/doesn't fit/etc., to let me know and I'll happily tear it apart and start over. Guess that makes me a process knitter. Enjoy your new sweaters!

azblue
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Reminder to myself: PROVISIONAL cast on for EVERYTHING except toe-up socks.
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Catlover
Gabber Extraordinaire

390 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2014 :  10:31:14 AM  Show Profile Send Catlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good for you! Years ago when I was in college I made a v-necked mohair pullover that I loved. I wore it a lot and washed it but after a couple of years found out that mohair garments can stretch. When the neckline got to be just too big, I took it all apart and re-knitted the yarn into a cardigan and wore it for a lot more years. Now I can hardly believe I did it, but I have fond memories of wearing that sweater.
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serenestitcher
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2014 :  04:57:00 AM  Show Profile  Send serenestitcher a Yahoo! Message Send serenestitcher a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Often. Even when we swatch and measure like crazy, yarn is a living thing and it changes at the garment level. I don't think of a thing as finished til it looks good on the wearer, and I frog at all stages of a project..wrong hem, unhappy sleeve, and yes ..whole sweater fits poorly and back to the skeins.

serene stitcher
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Alvern
New Pal

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2014 :  05:39:58 AM  Show Profile Send Alvern a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have done this same thing several times. It is like the project just eats at me until it is right. We have an image of the finished product in our heads as we knit and when it doesn't come out that way it is such a disappointment. Ripping it all back out is very painful however.
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Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4368 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2014 :  06:08:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've done it, and probably not often enough! I tell myself that if I enjoyed making it the first time, I'm getting a bonus by getting to knit it again!

Jane

Betty deserves everything and more: Make a Donation
Blog: Not Plain Jane
Photos: Flickr Album
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Mshark
Warming Up

USA
69 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2014 :  06:20:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mshark's Homepage Send Mshark a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm about to try mildly felting a sweater that seems to be more like a yeast bread that just keeps rising and rising. First, I had a huge gauge fail -- my gauge in the knitting was quite a bit looser than in my TWO big swatches! I didn't think it was a problem because I knew from WASHING my swatch that it firmed up as it dried. But in the full size pieces, it seems to grow instead. So one of my snow day projects today is to spray it until its really damp and then run it through the dryer until the measurements match the schematic. But if that doesn't work, I'm going to take Ceil's attitude -- emotional frogging -- and let this lovely yarn live to see another day/garment!

Miriam
Knitshark
Yarn Longa Vita Brevis Est

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treadwater
New Pal

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2014 :  07:41:25 AM  Show Profile Send treadwater a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have two questions re: gauge: 1. Do pattern writers always base gauge measurements on a washed and blocked swatch? 2. Does the amount of yarn required as stated in the pattern include enough for the swatch? If some patterns are based on washed and blocked swatches and others are based on pre-washed measurements, how do we determine which is which? Re: yarn amounts, I always worry a bit that I won't have enough yarn for the project if I produce a complete 4"x4" swatch. Sometimes I just knit a small amount, check to see if I'm in the ballpark and go with it. Sometimes it works!
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1699 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2014 :  08:46:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To answer Treadwater's question:

For me, it's more about the gauge listed on the yarn label. I was unaware that the gauge listed represents a washed and blocked swatch, and so I consistently went up one needle size, thinking that I was knitting too tightly. So yes, the pattern designers are also working with a blocked swatch.

There is no way that's swatching can be included in the yarn amount for a project. For starters most sweater patterns come in different sizes, and some sizes require the same number of skeins or balls of yarn, which of course will differ in the final amount used. The best defense is to buy an extra skein that you can swatch with. If you have a lot left over after knitting a sweater, knit legwarmers or a hat.

I am getting ready to frog yet another sweater, this one that I knitted for myself, and I have loads of yarn that I didn't use the first time. As there is silking the yarn and I'm trying to figure out ribbing, I will probably knit three swatches. But this time I will use the needle size on the label, because I know I get gauge with that size, and then I will block the swatch.

The good news about my emotional frog is that I was able to cast on fewer stitches, so I am using roughly the same amount of yarn. (Some of the yarn had to be cut in order to take the sweater apart.) I did have quite a bit left over from the first time, and so I'm digging into some of that to knit the armbands and neckband on the vest. And I had plenty to swatch with!

Anyway, the upshot is to never cheat when it comes to a swatch. Lately I've been leaving my swatches attached to the yarn ball and block them that way. Then, if for some reason I need to restore that swatch to yarn that needs to go into the project, I still have one long piece of yarn. I may actually need to undo a swatch for a new sweater I am knitting for myself; I don't know yet. (Still waiting for the buttons to arrive.)

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1699 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2014 :  08:54:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mshark

I'm about to try mildly felting a sweater that seems to be more like a yeast bread ... So one of my snow day projects today is to spray it until its really damp and then run it through the dryer until the measurements match the schematic. But if that doesn't work, I'm going to take Ceil's attitude -- emotional frogging -- and let this lovely yarn live to see another day/garment!



I hope you can still get the sweater apart after felting it some! The yarn may have seen its last hurrah after it goes in the dryer. Let us know what happens!

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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Esquireknitter
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2014 :  09:05:56 AM  Show Profile Send Esquireknitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes; I've done the very same thing; with a sweater I'd knitted up AND worn for about a year. I loved the yarn (Noro Silk Garden) but hated the sweater it knit into; so one afternoon, I sucked in a deep breath - and frogged. And frogged. And frogged! My husband thought I'd lost it; but the emotional deep sigh of contentment and "the right thing" was truly gut-deep. And although I've not re-knit a sweater yet - it has been skeined and prepped and waiting for the "just right" next inspiration! So - better to frog an unhappy sweater to make a "happy" sweater, than to live with the unhappy one forever!
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geniaknitz
New Pal

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2014 :  11:08:12 AM  Show Profile Send geniaknitz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just finished doing that! Completed a pretty complicated hat for a distant nephew, (thinking the whole time that it sure seemed kind of big) - tried it on myself and WOW, huge! So I asked my husband to try it on and it was also big on him. I wasn't happy about unpicking all the (quite beautifully, if I do say so!) finishing stitches, but then when it was all frogged, and the new hat cast on, there was a HUGE feeling of relief. I'm in the process of reknitting it now and loving it.
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eldergirl
Permanent Resident

USA
1784 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2014 :  09:57:53 AM  Show Profile Send eldergirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Ceil, and everbody!
I just read Clara's Swatch Manifesto, and after getting teary-eyed about the yarn whispering to her about how it felt, and then sort of little puppyish jumps about cables, I read this thread for the third or fourth time.

And I find myself getting confused by a knitter trying to get "ball gauge", and a knitter trying to get "pattern gauge".

What is the difference between them, as far as approaching a project? Why would you try for the "ball gauge" if the pattern asks for something different?

That's my confusion, so Ceil, and everyone, can you help?

Anna

Life is beautiful.
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Mshark
Warming Up

USA
69 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2014 :  06:00:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mshark's Homepage Send Mshark a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It worked! The sweater isn't quite the perfectly-fitted item that would make Amy Herzog's heart sing, but I no longer have to wear it as if its meant to be double breasted and fastened with a shawl pin! The final step was to lightly steam press it to sooth the ruffled feathers of the yarn. Am relieved because you are right, Ceil -- once felted, the yarn would be un-reusable.

Miriam
Knitshark
Yarn Longa Vita Brevis Est

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Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4368 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2014 :  06:12:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Anna, I wonder, too. I don't aim for the gauge printed on the label. Instead, I think of it as a rough guide.

For instance, the gauge information Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, which is listed as Worsted, says: "5 stitches per inch on US 7 (4½ mm), 4½ stitches per inch on US 8 (5 mm), 4¼ stitches per inch on US 9 (5½ mm)". My swatch told me that the best fabric for the sweater I was planning, made with my hands, would be knitted on a US 6.

Since I'm knitting an Amy Herzog CustomFit sweater, and the swatch measurements were used to generate the pattern, my approach was a little different. If I were going to try to get gauge for a "regular" sweater pattern, my approach would be to aim for the pattern gauge in order to get the fit and fabric that the designer intends, on the needles that work for me. The yarn label would give me a suggestion, but my swatch would give me the answer—and that answer would be different for everyone.

Anyway, that's my take on getting gauge!

And P. S. I've had some epic sweater failures in my knitting lifetime, and I've always been able to blame it on the wrong gauge. I hope I've learned my lesson!


Jane

Betty deserves everything and more: Make a Donation
Blog: Not Plain Jane
Photos: Flickr Album
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1699 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2014 :  10:31:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by eldergirl

I find myself getting confused by a knitter trying to get "ball gauge", and a knitter trying to get "pattern gauge".

What is the difference between them, as far as approaching a project? Why would you try for the "ball gauge" if the pattern asks for something different?

That's my confusion, so Ceil, and everyone, can you help?



Last year, right here in KR, I began a thread about gauge. It's tricky to find from my iPad, bu type in gauge and you should find it.

Here's the thing: I was trying to get gauge with the knitting needles only. From that, I decided I was a tight knitter and I automatically went up one needle size.

Well, when a swatch is blocked, it gets wet, saturated, first. As far as I can see, that does two things: first, the water relaxes the yarn so it stretches some (this is further stretched a little by the person doing the blocking). Second, as the piece dries, every place the yarn crosses on itself, it bends around it. This is why, when you undo a blocked swatch (or a whole sweater!), the yarn is kinky.

When I gauged solely by needles and dry yarn, it looked fine, but when the project was blocked, it always came out too big. That's because of soaking the project to block it. I gave one of my DH's sweater away recently because it came out 14 inches too big at the chest! So I finally decided that I can knit with the suggested needle size, but I need to know TWO gauges, dry and blocked. It's a little scary to know that what I'm knitting is a tad small, but I take heart knowing that all will be well once it's blocked. In fact I have one sweater that I haven't even blocked yet, knitted four years ago. I guess it's time to do that. It's been a little snug on me, and. I'm sure it will fit better now.

Now here's the other caveat: you have to let the swatch dry COMPLETELY before you measure the gauge to know what it is for sure.

Unfortunately, the yarn labels simply state gauge and don't say that it's for a blocked swatch. What would it take for them to use a little more black ink to type in "blocked"? But I'm almost willing to bet that new knitters wouldn't have a clue what that means, and might not buy the yarn because of it.

Well, I hope this answers your questions. Trust the process!

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1699 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2014 :  9:26:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It took two weeks, but the emotionally frogged pullover vest is a re-knitted glory! It fits my DH beautifully, and now I can enjoy watching him wear it.

I will hope to take pics soon to put on Ravelry, but I wanted to announce this triumph before too much time went by.

So how did I celebrate this feat a few days ago? I frogged one of my own sweaters! I spent a lot of time using it as a kind of swatch to figure out where fixes were needed, even wore it for a day to see how it wanted to hang on me (or is that hang OFF of me?!). I wrote down a pile of pattern revisions on my projects page at Ravelry. I've swatched and blocked the swatches, so it's ready to start, and I hope it works this time. Eager to get started.

Addendum: It turns out that a sweater in progress got frogged, too. The hipband kept folding upwards, and I have every reason to believe I would fight the garment when worn. So I'll start over some time. This is the second time I've frogged the same pattern. I must have some courage now!

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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eldergirl
Permanent Resident

USA
1784 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2014 :  4:41:29 PM  Show Profile Send eldergirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hurray for you, Ciel!

Anna

Life is beautiful.
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1699 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2014 :  8:13:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I thought you would all like to know that, while the subject behind this thread is now completed, I finally took photos of it yesterday and put them up on Ravelry:

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/ceilr/charles-reknitted-pullover-vest

My DH looks good in it, don't you think?

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2361 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2014 :  07:13:11 AM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I tried, Ceil, but it says "no photo added". I like your Rowen Jolien, though. Lots of great FOs on your project page.

azblue
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Reminder to myself: PROVISIONAL cast on for EVERYTHING except toe-up socks.
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1699 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2014 :  12:03:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dang, I forgot to put the photos up after I wrote the description! You can go to the link now and see the photos. Sorry about that!

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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