I recently swatched for the Drops Alaska 109-3 cabled cardi!
Gauge requirements: 16st and 20rows = 4" square.
I cast on [B]18 [/B]stitches, and worked st st for the middle 16st, but the end stitches are garter stitch, that is to say “knit” on both WS and RS. I knit for about [B]24 [/B]rows. That gave me a great [U][I]field[/I][/U] to measure the row gauge.
Row gauge isn’t as critical as stitch gauge most of the time. Especially if you are substituting yarn, you might have to decide upon the best needle to get perfect stitch gauge over perfect row gauge.
If you intend to knit garments, [B]a good swatch[/B] is the only [B]‘tool’ [/B]
or ‘indicator’ that tells you the garment ‘will fit’!
Here are 2 photos of my swatch:
For the Drops ALASKA cabled cardigan, accurate ROW gauge is
more critical…and if the row gauge isn’t right, I would have to
make some modifications to certain parts of the design.
I also knit [B]3 ribbing/celtic cable swatches[/B] (in another color of the same tweed yarn)…to tinker around with [I]the look of a longer ribbing[/I] than called for, [I]and to see how tall MY celtic cable would be.[/I] The Celtic cable is a 16-row repeat, so I wanted to know FOR SURE how tall it would be. I used 3 different needle sizes & combinations for these 3 swatches, but finally settled on US9 for ribbing, and US10 for body! [B]Now I am sure that my Alaska 109-3 cardigan will fit![/B]
The fronts and back are all knit on one long needle (no side seams) …and almost 300 stitches wide…and [B]that is too many stitches to ‘practice’ on[/B]…only to find that the sweater is too narrow, and having to frog miles and miles of work! Oy! It is better to practice on a good swatch. Then implement your results on your real sweater!
Here is the ribbing/cable swatch that I settled on!
And here below, I pinned the swatch around my arm…to see if I would like the 3" ribbing for a cuff! (I do!) The pattern only asked for a 1.5" cuff. (It looks lame. Don’t like it at all!)
I didn’t take these photos for this POST. I took them to memorialize my work on this cabledcardigan in my Ravelry folder!
If you are a Raveler, you can follow along here! I am almost done with theMISS BBcardigan, but took time out to tinker around with the pre-work for the “Alaska 109-3”! Fun stuff!
I’ll be casting on for the Alaska while MISS BB is blocking! She is almost completely knit up…just the sleeve cap for the final sleeve, and off to the spa she goes! (blocking: full bath, rinse, pat dry, block)