Last week I hinted that I was ripping out and restarting a project.  No, it’s not the skirt project.  That one went into the frog pond so I could ponder how best to proceed.  Instead, I resurrected a different project from the frog pond so that I could rip and restart.

Remember this purple sleeveless top from last summer?

IMG_20150820_173446_clr_smWell, it went into the frog pond because it was too short when I tried it on – despite having lengthened it at every available opportunity given in the pattern.  I need my tops to extend at least a few inches past my waistband.  It keeps the belly flashing to a minimum, you know.

As I was soaking up the warm sun last week, I decided this project needed to hurry up and get completed.  Right now.  I would like to wear it this summer.

So I dug it out and assessed the situation.  Yes, it is too small.  But in what way(s)?  Is it a gauge issue?  Is it a size issue?  Was I just not paying attention to the pattern?  Answers to these will help fix the problem and avoid further unhappiness.  A few measurements of the existing work, a few measurements of myself using the centimeter side of my measuring tape (instead of trying to convert from inches to read the metric sizing in the pattern), and I had my answers.

  • Issue #1: I had picked the wrong size.  My earlier inches to centimeters conversions had confused things and I had picked a size that would give me negative ease (read: hugs the curves), rather than the suggested positive ease (read: flows along the curves).  Solution: Knit the right size, dummy!
  • Issue #2: My gauge was off.  Using the suggested needle size, I was getting the correct stitch gauge but not the correct row gauge.  This meant that it was taking me one more row than the pattern designer to get 1″ of vertical work.  Which is exactly why my work was so much shorter than hers over the 15″ from the hem to underarm.  Add in the issue created by the negative ease, and the work shrunk vertically even more (stretch a piece of knit fabric horizontally, and it gets shorter vertically).  Solution: Go up a needle size.  Yes, I swatched to make sure.

Okay, then.  Ready to rip?  Here we go!

Ripit_CollageI know, you’re inwardly cringing.  But I’ll admit, I kind of enjoyed that.

With a (somewhat) fresh ball of yarn, newly wound and ready to go, and the correctly sized needles, I cast on again.  Purists will tell you to wash or steam the yarn to release the kinks created by the previous knitting.  If I were making something completely different, at a wildly different gauge, I would absolutely do that.  However, I’m not changing my gauge that much here, so I’m skipping right to the knitting.  Kinks and all.

After a few evenings of work, here’s my progress so far.

IMG_20160518_113134_clr_smI’ve reached the bottom of the waist shaping, so I decided to pause for a measurement triple-check before proceeding.  It takes just a minute.  And now I discover that I’m spot on for stitch and row gauge.  Success!  I can follow the pattern with abandon.

Now to zoom!  The weather keeps reminding me that I’d like to wear this top soon.


*Wow, the light really plays tricks with this color for my camera.  The true color is more accurately represented in the ripping photos.

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