Friday night I washed and blocked Hey Teach.
After I laid it out, I measured it because it looked way too big. The back piece measured 27 inches and each front measured 14 inches. Uh-oh. That’s 55 inches once it’s sewn together, without the button band! The size I knit was supposed to be the 46.75 inch size. See the problem here? Yeah… me too. Once the 1 inch button band is added, that’s a total of 56 inches around which makes it 9.25 inches bigger then the size it should be. I tried not to panic. I told myself “Oh it will shrink when it dries, I should wait and measure it then!” So, I waited, trying not to panic.
Saturday I checked it again. It was really close to being dry. The size hadn’t changed. I checked the gauge and found that I had 3.5 stitches and 5 rows per inch. I pulled out the pattern and found that I should have 4.25 stitches and 6 rows per inch. Uh-oh. I thought about my options here. Washing and drying wouldn’t work to shrink 9 inches away, so I knew that there was only one option: FROG. I was upset and wanted to cry. I thought about what I could have done differently and why my gauge could have changed so much when I washed it. That’s when it hit me: I didn’t wash and block the gauge swatch! I knit a small gauge swatch, saw that I was getting 4.25 stitches and 6 rows per inch on US 8’s, frogged the swatch and started the sweater. I checked gauge again on the sweater to find it was the same, so I just kept knitting. I was impatient and wanted to get the sweater started rather then wait around for a swatch to dry.
I noticed recently that my gauge didn’t differ from the pre-washed swatch to the post-washed swatch, so I thought I could get away with not washing the swatch and going with the pre-washed gauge. I know this may be a shock to you, but not all yarns behave the same after washing! I know, weird isn’t it? Hahahahaa 🙂 Really, though, I know this. All yarns are different and change in different ways when washed, so I think that my impatience convinced me that my gauge doesn’t change when washed and I should just go for it. Here’s the results of my “just going for it”:
I knit another gauge swatch on a few different size needles, washed and blocked it and found that I should have used US 7’s. Last night, I frogged the entire sweater, so it now looks like this:
I’ll start again soon, on US 7’s and hopefully I won’t be frogging this again! 🙂