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Cecilia KAL – yarn, needles & gauge

We will be starting our "double" KAL - Cecilia Niemeyer tomorrow! Yay! How about taking some time to swatch and check your gauge today?If you are substituting yarn, I would suggest  you to check the yarn composition. The yarn used on the sample is 100% superwash wool and behaves differently than other fibers. Just keep in mind that a cottony, or silky etc yarn will drape differently than a wooly yarn. Swatch for gauge: This is an important subject for knitters! Usually we are so excited to start a new project that the idea to knit a swatch sounds like a major step back! Actually it is not - I swear!  Spending some time swatching, washing your sample and measuring will save us not only from ripping out the work a thousand times, but will also prevent the major frustration of finishing a project that it's too big or too small. if the piece does not suit us well, we can always pass it away as a gift, which is nice. But if you invest a good amount of money and time working on a project that you really like, maybe it will be better to end it happy with the result and wearing it proud of yourself! What is good size for a swatch? There are thousand of different opinions about this. If you have your own method and it works, please go forward with it! If you care for a suggestion, I cast on 3 times the stitches suggested on the gauge and also knit 3 times of the row gauge. Cecilia Cardigan gauge is 20 sts and 28 rows in 4 x 4" stockinette st. For this project's swatch, I cast on 60 sts and knit along 84 rows. Maybe you are thinking "Why so much??". As a knitter, I feel that my tension while I cast-on and work on the first rows is different than my tencion when I'm knitting after 30 min. just as well, my tension changes when I'm almost finishing, speeding it up to bind-off. With that in mind, this particularly bigger sample size works really well when I'm taking measurements from the center, where the tension it's similar to the one when I'm working on the piece. So, I would like to suggest that you take a few hours to swatch, take measurements, change needles and swatch again (if necessary), take measurements again and again. When you reach the suggested gauge, wash you sample. I like to leave the sample to dry without pinning, just using my hands to smoothly place it flat. After being dried, I like to hang for a while and take measurements again to check how the yarn will behave. Maybe you realize that you need to change for smaller needles to compensate the drape, maybe it's a wooly yarn that does not stretch so much and you are good with it...Anyway, the goal is to avoid unpleasant surprise  at the end of your project! Let's make some swatches? Yayyy!!! See U tomorrow! Peace Knit & Love...always! Paula

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