Winter of Colorwork KAL Part 2: Pattern Selection, Fit, and Swatching
Posted by Christina Rondepierre on
Today is the big day! With the launch of our Winter 19 collection, the Winter of Colorwork KAL has officially begun. If you haven't decided which pattern you're going to knit along with, you still have time — the Cast On Date is next Wednesday, January 23. Browse our Winter 19 collection for some new colorwork patterns, or search our pattern archive. There are also thousands of wonderful patterns to choose from on Ravelry.
Then, read our previous post for tips on selecting your colors — whether or not you knit Gudrun Johnston's Pascal Cardigan with us, the same tips apply!
Selecting a Sweater SizeLet's start planning our Pascal Cardigans by deciding which size, shape, and length to knit. Pascal can be made with or without waist shaping, allowing for variation depending on how you'd like your sweater to fit. In the pattern, the finished chest sizes are the same for both the "women's" and "men's" versions. The body and sleeve length are longer in the "men's" version of the pattern. If you'd like your finished sweater to be snugger or looser, this is an easy pattern to adjust for gauge. Simply go down or up a needle size, being sure to check your gauge with a swatch to calculate your final measurements first! Keep in mind that chunky weight yarns, such as Quarry, have special "rules" to consider when selecting size. The bulkier the yarn you're using, the bigger the difference between the garment's circumference on the outside (public-facing side) and the circumference on the inside (where your body is). Because bulky yarns create very thick fabrics, the inside measurement of a bulky sweater is tighter than the outside measurement, much like the lanes on the inside of a race-track are a shorter distance than the lanes on the outside. Remember to take the thickness of your yarn and knitted fabric into account when choosing ease for sweaters that require heavier yarns. For more reading on the topic of fit and ease, (re)visit our article on Selecting a Sweater Size below!
Swatching for Stranded ColorworkAs with any project, don't skip the swatching step! Chances are, the colorwork pattern you select will be knit in the round. As such, we recommend the Speed Swatching method for checking your gauge and color choices. Circular knitting, in which every round is worked from the Right Side, can produce a different gauge than flat knitting due to a subtle variation in tension between knitting and purling that many knitters experience. Swatching is all about simulating the fabric of your final garment, so when preparing for a circular project, swatching in the round is the best approach. You can find our instructions on how to do so in our Swatching 101 article below! Join us next week for Cast On Day, and in the meantime, let us know which pattern you'll be knitting!