I am in a bit of a brain freeze state. I just finished tech editing the Victorian Child’s Coat for the Highland Crafters. Their website can be found here. Making the inches, centimeters, current sizing standards, of a vintage pattern all come together while still being true to the original designer’s vision is a bit of a whirlwind in the brain. When it came to an end this morning, my brain just said, “See ya!” I love the work, especially on vintage patterns, so I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s just that my brain has temporarily left its room.
Don’t know if it is just me, but it seems lots of people are knitting baby things lately. I get many questions in my emails about baby sweaters, sizing, and so on. I thought it might be beneficial to run through some information that can help the knitters and crocheters with their baby sweater projects.
First, if you are working from a pattern, follow it. Start by getting gauge. I know you don’t want to hear about gauge. As a knitter, I don’t want to hear about gauge. As a designer and tech editor, everything depends on gauge. Think of gauge as a Supreme Power; it is what holds everything together and makes it come out right. It is a Power greater than the knitter, the designer and the tech editor. It is The Great It.
I’ve been knitting for a while, I’m 57 so it’s been a long while. I have favorite yarns that I turn to time and again. Over time, I have learned what gauge I can get from a specific yarn and with what needles. However, I don’t trust this information to be stored in my brain only. My brain, and I am kind of attached to it, can be a little like a sieve at times, not great at holding in water (info). Over time I created a notebook where I’ve noted yarn, needle and gauge. This is a help when I look at a pattern and want to knit it in a yarn I am familiar with. I look at the gauge in the pattern, the gauge in my notebook and I know if it is doable. It is of no help, however, if the pattern I want to knit or crochet is calling to me in a yarn I have never worked with. In that case I absolutely, positively need to knit or crochet a swatch, which feels unbearable, and an impossible task. I might as well be asked to move the moon closer to the earth. How much do these people expect from a knitter? I want to knit the project, I don’t want to waste time swatching. This is where I need to have a little bit of control over myself. I am an adult. I can do this.
Usually, I swatch for about 2 inches. Okay, not true. I swatch for maybe an inch. Okay, I swatch for maybe less than an inch, just enough to allow the tape measure space to gauge the stitches, rip it out and start the project.
As I said, gauge is king.