frustration 2012

August 7, 2012

i am frustrated. (get your head out of the gutter and focus, please)
i have literally been swatching for days for my rhinebeck sweater,
and frankly i’m thinking of throwing in the towel.

i want to make dale of norway’s liberec,
but i cannot for the life of me obtain the proper gauge.
(things might get technical and mathy after this)

the pattern was designed for either falk or heilo,
both of which are listed as sport-weight yarns.
i’ve decided to use blue moon fiber arts bfl sport
(which is amazing and if i ever figure this out,
you’ll get to see my amazing colors).

the gauge i’m supposed to obtain is 24sts/4″ on 3mm needles.
(my needle gauge says that’s a u.s. 3 but the internet says a u.s 3 is 3.25mm. anyway) on that needle, i was getting 30-32sts/4″.

i began to worry.

after swatching 5 times (5 times!!),
i’m up to a size 5 needle (3.75mm)
and i’m still not on gauge.
not to mention the fabric is loose for my taste.

how on earth are these norwegians getting that gauge on that needle?

then it hit me.

it’s not a sport-weight yarn. it’s dk.

ravelry says it’s sport.
the dale of norway website says it’s sport.
but it’s not. it can’t be.

i returned to ravelry. yep. heilo and falk are listed as sport.
then i saw the little ‘comments’ tab and my heart sank a little.
i clicked on it and what did i discover?
ravelers say it’s really more like a dk than a sport,
and even thicker than some yarns that are listed as a dk!

the only thing i can think of is dale of norway is calling their yarn sport-weight because they are knitting a dk yarn to a sport gauge on a smaller than standard needle (which will of course make a lovely thick fabric for skiing and improve stitch definition) rather than look at the actual diameter or wpi of their yarns.

in my despair, i considered just finishing the vest i was knitting/spinning for rhineback last year (and have secretly been working on this summer) since i was unable to complete it on time and has been hibernating ever since. then i remembered i’ve been emailing the designer because the pattern is wrong. i found one big error, and they sent me a corrected pattern. then i went to continue and found another. what really baffles me is how several people have ‘successfully’ knit the vest. how? the pattern it wrong! and it’s not something one can just figure out. i need the information from the designer!
(at what point should they offer me a refund?)

anyway.

i have a decision to make.

since ravelry tells me the only colorwork sweaters i can knit with sport-weight yarn are by dale of norway, i must either do some math to make this sweater happen at the gauge i’m getting (we won’t even go into the horror of row gauge and color work). or i can just give up.
i have a significant amount of extra yarn for the main color.
maybe i’ll just forget colorwork all together.

regardless,
i need to decide soon if i have any hope of finishing by rhinebeck.

suggestions??
i could use the advice.

13 Responses to “frustration 2012”

  1. rodittis Says:

    Using a “dk like” yarn on the suggested needed sizes would result in a very tight gauge indeed. Maybe this was an important consideration for the ski team but I don’t like my sweaters to be stiffer than my actual ribcage.

    So here’s what I would do: give up. LOL. Cause in general I’m not down for those kind of knitting challenges.

    But if you’re not a quitter like me and a thick sweater sounds lovely to you, try doubling up the yarn to see if you can get gauge that way. ( Of course that might mean you don’t have enough yarn. )

  2. C. Weller Says:

    Use EZ’s EPS and some graph paper to basically design your own? You have charts from the Dale of Norway sweater, and plenty of swatches to work from. This is, in a way, saying you should do the maths, because that is an awesome sweater, and I may want one for myself now.

  3. Andrea Says:

    Have you thought about finding the gauge you like best that’s closest to the called for gauge then knitting maybe a larger size? You mentioned you have extra MC yarn so it seems like that will buy you some flexibility. Obviously you’ll have to do some math but that sweater is meant to be worn to Rhinebeck!


  4. You lost me at “things might get technical and mathy after this” but I just want to say I lurve you and know you’ll figure it out. Cause that’s what you do. You’re a figure-outter-er.

  5. Anonymous, too Says:

    First, breathe into a paper bag and quit hyperventilating. Have a beer, too. You’re making more typos than usual.

    Second, put this one into the “ideas that still need some work” section of the stash. (Maybe also find a source for that Dale of Norway yarn, with the idea of buying a ball or two to get a better idea of how the pattern would knit up — but this can wait until after Rhinebeck.)

    Third, get some really great, almost all-purpose, yarn and an easy, yet fun, pattern that’s written for it. (Go for a colorwork pattern if you want or add your own colorwork details — even if just some stripes at neckband, wrists, and waistband.)

    Fourth, feel a great sense of accomplishment as the sweater flies off your needles, surprising even Mo with how quickly it is done, weeks before Rhinebeck.


  6. I have worked with Dalegarn Heilo, and can vouch for the fact that it is DK weight. It is a SUPERB yarn! The Norwegians seem to have a slightly different idea of yarn weights than we do. They know how to make yarn though.

  7. Audry Says:

    I think you should just find a plain sweater pattern that matches your yarn, then add the colorwork you are interested in. I know you can do it!

  8. Susie Says:

    My advice is find another pattern & don’t break your ass over this. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

  9. Sarah Says:

    I’d get out Knitting Without Tears and use EPS to design my own at this point. If I can’t get gauge after a few swatches, I determine that the yarn and the pattern aren’t meant to be. I don’t think it’s worth making yourself crazy.

  10. whotaughtyoutoknit Says:

    Ive been reading your blog for about six months and really enjoy it. My advice is to set this yarn aside for now. You’ll figure out how to do color work with it another time. Get some beautiful fall colored yarn and a pattern that works with it. Then enjoy. Life is short. I hope to say hello at rhinebeck

  11. Bryndis Says:

    I´m by no means an knitting expert, but I have often used another thickness of yarn than the pattern calls for and never had any issues. I just calculate (must admit I love math and challenges) from the gauge and then just adjust a few stitches so it fits the amount of stitches in the colourwork. I say go for it. f.ex if the pattern calls for 170 stitches in the beginning… with gauge 24 stitches and you get 31 stitches.. My formula is “your gauge/gauge in pattern * stitches in pattern”. In this case f.ex 31/24 * 170 stitches = 219 stitches.

    A lot more work with the more stitches but will be well worth it, if you love the pattern and the yarn.

  12. Sally at Rivendale Farms Says:

    I am definitely not a colorwork, nor a sweater, expert so nothing advice-wise here that would help you one bit. However, I do think you’re definitely skilled enough to figure this out using the charts, the yarn you have and the other wise suggestions given above. The sweater will definitely rock at Rhinebeck.

  13. Linda Says:

    Just two thoughts for you. Sometimes my gauge in the round is different than my gauge knitting straight, so you might try that. Also, they may be measuring a color work gauge versus a single color gauge and that might be why their gauge is 6 st/inch versus your 7.5. Good luck. Their sweaters are beautiful as is your knitting. So persevere.


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