I love the buzz that happens just before a KAL starts. Most people have the yarn, the swatching is done, needle sizes are picked and everyone is awaiting the first clue! There’s such great excitement as all of this wonderful hand dyed yarn arrives in the post; big fat squishy skeins (remember the skeins are OVER 250g!) There were a few unexpected surprises with yarn colours for people; when colours are dyed on different bases you get very different effects in terms of depth and variations. Combine that with natural variations in hand dyeing and it’s pretty difficult to be 100% accurate. Blue Moon Fiber Arts are wonderful at sorting out any issues though so if you need something changed let them know!
I’m always amazed at the big differences in knitter tension. Knitters working side-by-side on the same yarn with the same size needle can have gauges with 2-3 stitches in 4″ variations. This is why swatching is so important. It doesn’t matter what needle size you end up using once you get the gauge you want! If you like the fabric better with a tighter gauge then you should go with that, just making adjustments as you work. If you get stitch gauge but not row gauge I’d suggest sticking with the correct stitch gauge as it’s usually easier to adjust for a different row gauge.
Alternatively if you don’t want to change needle size but want to adjust the gauge there are a few things that can help
- First of all try a different needle material or shape. If you swatched with metal try bamboo or visa versa. The needle material can have a significant impact on gauge.
- Alternatively try modifying your tension. If you are a very loose knitter check out different ways of tensioning your yarn, a small variation can have a big impact on your knitting tension.
The first clue is nice and short, and will give everyone a chance to memorise the stitch pattern before moving on the the shoulders. If you look at the photo of the back here we will start at the back of the neck with the big wide panel in the textured stitch. This panel is the width of the back of the neck and for this clue you will work this down to the depth of the yoke. As it’s nice and short the second clue will come out in just a week, and it’s a good bit longer!
Are you all ready to jump into the KAL? If you haven’t joined yet there’s still time! Just grab the pattern on my website here or ravelry, dig into your stash (or visit your LYS) and get your needles ready for Saturday the 7th!!
Once the clue comes out on Saturday come along and chat here. If you have any questions just add them to the comments here and if there are some good queries I’ll do a live video over the weekend chatting about them.