Knitting... a sweater?!

I don't know why, but knitting has really enchanted me this fall and winter. One reason is probably that there's a wonderful LYS nearby, and the LQS I like is 45 minutes away! I've been knitting pieces to make kids sweaters for charity, and I made a few Christmas gifts... so I thought I ought to make myself something nice. I'll tell you, making a nice quilt would take far less prep work.

I picked a pattern, and went off to the store. I knew I'd have to swatch -- knit a 6" square to check knitting gauge -- but I didn't anticipate that would lead to three trips to the LYS in five days! It's good -- the LYSO still smiles at me when I come in the door -- but sheesh. We pick a yarn to try, and I get needles in the recommended size. Cast on 30 stitches, and knit for a while. Gauge is close, but not quite right; let's try the lace pattern from the sweater. Good, I can knit that without going crazy. Hmmm... let's try another needle size to nail the gauge. Oops... went the wrong way -- now I have too many stitches per inch. SIGH. Back to the LYS, where she says I have to block my swatch. Huh? She explains what to do, and I go home to try. This is the result:Cool. It's like a completely different object -- the character of the fabric is so different from the fabric right off the needles. But now the gauge is different, and I really don't know what to do -- other than go to the LYS again! We pick the correct needle size, talk about fitting, and I (ahem) changed my mind about the color. It's beautiful, but it's really blue, and kind of stripey in all the finished pieces I could find on Ravelry. Not a fan of the stripey... so I got this instead:

It's Dream in Color Classy (what a dumb name for a lovely yarn!) in Chinatown Apple. I think it looks kind of like dried apples, as I'm starting to knit it up. Slow going on this one... it's a cardigan knit with no side seams, so there are a LOT of stitches in every row! I'd show you the pattern, but I can't find it off Ravelry. If you're a knitter and on Rav, it's called Summer's End.

So, wish me luck. This could be a good or a bad adventure!

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