Join us for our first knit-a-long (KAL) of 2024: Ruth by Cocoknits!
Ruth strikes the balance between sophistication and comfort. It’s a straightforward Cocoknits method pattern with an incorporated collar, but the magic happens when you cross the front collar stitches, transforming it into a streamlined shawl collar pullover. Side vents add to the ease and wearability of the sweater. Ruth is available in 10 sizes.
The Ruth pictured is knit out of Bread & Butter Everyday in the colorway Elote. There are many colors to choose from so take a peek! Everyday is made of soft U.S. Merino wool. each color is blended prior to spinning creating a heathered, gorgeous yarn.
ABOUT MY RUTH
One of the things I enjoy most about KALs is sharing my process of making a piece. When deciding to participate or host in a KAL, I do so with the intention of learning a new skill in-community, hoping that it may inspire folks to take the plunge and do the same.
Instead of engaging in my perfectionist tendencies of thinking I need to know everything before I begin a project, I enter the process with what I call a Beginner's Mindset. I ask curiosity and possibility to take center stage with the trust that I will be able to find help via the plethora of online videos and forums available at this time. When I KAL in community, I invite you to this process and to this mindset.
Let's start with discussing gauge and swatching.
Always, the first thing I do when starting a sweater knitting project is to swatch. Always. I designed Everyday, I know it really well. I have swatched with it multiple times. And still, in this case, I knit a swatch. I measure and record how many stitches and rows I achieve over 4". And I block it the same way I plan to wash my sweater once it is done. And I measure the stitches and rows again to compare how the fabric changed before and after blocking.
Why swatch when I know this yarn so well?
+ Yarns can change ever so subtly at the mill.
+ My hands and body change.
+ I want to be aware of potential loopholes as I knit the sweater.
Here are my results over 4" on US 6 needles:
19 st and 28 rows
17.25 st and 26 rows
What the pattern calls for:
17 sts and 25 rows / rnds = 4” / 10 cm square in St st with US 7
My thoughts about the gauge I am achieving:
The fabric is a touch too tight. However, in knitting a large piece like Ruth, I want to keep my hands and shoulders relaxed, so I believe as I knit, my fabric will become looser not tighter. And having this wiggle room will allow me to relax in the process. If I were to go up to a size 7 needle, I fear that I would be worried that my fabric will be much too loose and that I will end up holding my hands and shoulders too tight and that I will injure myself. (This is the potential loophole I was referring to above.)
TIP: Create a YO and K2tog for the size of needle used to create the swatch. If you look closely at my swatch, you can count 6 holes created by YO/K2tog combinations.
Once you begin knitting your sweater, it is good to check your gauge as you knit.
Remember your gauge swatch is blocked and your sweater is not. So make sure to compare your sweater to the unblocked gauge swatch measurements.
If your gauge is off, it is not the end of the world. It happens. And there are a few ways to handle it that do not include ripping out your sweater. If your gauge is too tight (too many stitches per inch), switch to a bigger needle. If your gauge is too loose, vice versa. One of the reasons I love my Addi Clicks, is that I can easily switch the tips in this case. Moreover, I can switch one tip, so to gently start making a fabric that is closer to the gauge I would like to achieve.
Ok! Now that my swatch is complete, I am off to start knitting!