A child of the 60s must have

June 27, 2009

designed Cromarty. What was she smokin? It is a gorgeous sweater, that is why I wanted to make it. But the gauge! The pattern suggests a size 5 (3.75mm) needle and indicates a gauge in st.st. (which I interpreted to be stockinette stitch) of 25 stitches and 31 rows to a 4 inch or 10 cm. square.

Bingo. Right on the money. So without further maths, which was a mistake on my part, I casted on. By row 3, I was starting to wonder. Seemed like a whole lot of distance on each round. So I pulled out a really long cable needle and moved it over just to see. That thing was freaky huge.

I’m talking 56 inches around. Now, I understand this is a really wide sweater with a boxy cut. But, 56 inches is so large that it looked like it would be uncomfortable to wear. I sat down with a calculator to figure out where I went wrong. Cast on 184 stitches for each the front and the back. That’s 368. At a gauge of 6.25 stitches to the inch, that’s 58.88 inches, and given that the pattern has cables pulling it in some, I probably was still hitting gauge right on.

However, the pattern schematic shows the sweater being 57 cm or 22.5 inches. Mistakes were made. I think someone got their math a little messed up and I double, triple and quadruple checked mine so I don’t think it was me.

My choices. Redesign the sweater like a lot of people have done. Leave the bigger more interesting cable patterns, but swap out some of the smaller patterns for even smaller ones and just eliminate a couple. That’s an option.

I also read that a lot of people used way different yarn and needle combos and very few people, even the ones that used a DK weight used a size 5 needle. Most used a 4 or even a 3. I would have to switch yarn — there is no way I could get a reasonable fabric/size combo with the yarn I am using by just dropping needle size.

I also considered that many people have taken well over a year to finish this sweater. That was the deal clincher for me. I brought this yarn with me with the intent of taking a sweater home on 6 Sept.

Back to the drawing board. I have a couple of contenders right now: One is a cable and lace cardigan from Vogueknitting, the other is Classic Elite pattern called “A Morn in May.” Both have lots of interesting stitch action. Might be a real challenge to get either finished, so I’m going to be quite realistic here and keep looking for something that can be finished in just a couple months.

Or maybe, I’ll just go back to socks. I brought sock yarn too. Maybe it’s time for more socks.



I wore these yesterday when I went on a beach walk. I got fascinated by the compositions the shells and seaweed made in the sand. I’ll spare you the bulk of the photos, but here are a couple of my faves.




2 Responses to “A child of the 60s must have”

  1. Kimberly Says:

    Seriously, I think they both must be super tight knitters – everything I have made, even kits from VY, are always way bigger than the measurements they say, and I am not a particularly loose knitter. Sorry you are having trouble though!

    Great beach photos – hope you are having great weather!

  2. Chrissie Says:

    What a beautiful pair of socks. If you ask me, socks are always a good knit when traveling. I don’t like to concentrate on bigger objects when I am not at home with all my gadgets. But then again you will stay such a long time that you won’t feel like being on the road. And I am a real sock nerd, so admittedly I am biased. ;-)) So of course I want to know which pattern you used on this one. Looks like it would make nice men’s socks as well, provided you use a yarn in more subdued colors.
    The other pictures look like beach-ikebana. Very nice. It proves that whatever an artist tries to achieve, nature beat them to it. It also reminds me of jewelry. I for one would be pleased to see more of that.

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