The Best-Laid Plans

I swatched and washed the Kathmandu yesterday. It took several tries before I got the gauge right.
This stuff blooms *a lot*. The recommended needles are 5 mm / US 8. After washing the swatch on those needles, I got 3.75 stitches per inch. Uhm, not even close to the 4.5 listed on the ball band.
I went down to a 4.25 mm / US 6 to get that gauge post-washing. I really didn’t mind though — I prefer the feeling of smaller needles in my hands anyway.
Several of you commented that the yarn bloomed when washing and stretched when wearing.
Since I was between sizes, I went with the smaller size. It should be about 1.5-2 inches smaller than the cardi I’m measuring against (a favorite from Banana Republic — no I didn’t knit this one!) when it’s washed, so if it stretches a bit I should be OK.


Do you see what I see?
Here, take a closer look.

And no, it hasn’t even been washed yet.
What gives? Well, it took me a while to piece it all together. I think I knitted my swatch tightly when trying to get the gauge to go down to 4.5 stitches per inch. But when I’m just casually sitting and knitting, I’m knitting at my more normal tension. The yarn is just about 4 stitches per inch.
This just isn’t going to cut it.
Since both Jacqueline and Julia mentioned that the yarn stretches out with time, I don’t want to knit it so loosely. I’m going to have to experiment a bit more and see what I can come up with.
For those of you who have used this yarn — what gauge (post-washing) did you get? What kind of needles did you use?

17 thoughts on “The Best-Laid Plans

  1. I would say go down to the next size provided but I don’t know if there is a smaller size provided. If there is no cables on the inside of the arm, you could decrease there I guess.
    The yarn is lovely though :)

  2. There might be a slight error in your comparison. I think the pattern says the finished measurement of the cardigand is closed with the cables overlapping. It’s shame the arwen would be pretty in that yarn.

  3. Wow! That is crazy! The only thing I can think is to go down another pattern size, maybe. Going down any further on the needle doesn’t seem like it would help if the yarn is going to bloom, cuz it will stretch anyhow.

  4. there are days when i wish you could knit up a garment and it would automatically be frozen in that shape :) all of the washing and wearing and then changing of the garment can be a real headache some days! but this is the sort of things we knitters like, too: a challenge.

  5. I won’t even bother you with the specs on my post-project gauge because my gauge is always so much looser than normal humans, but yes . . . it blooms a LOT! My sweater fit perfectly before I washed it, and then afterwards? It would have fit my father! I ended up putting it in the dryer and shrinking it back to something that would reasonably fit. At least its size is consistent now . . . and it’s extra warm, what with the partial felting . . . (grin)

  6. I’m writing you here because I’m afraid you won’t get the email. The fronts of your sweater should be wide enough to meet in the middle with the panels folded back. It seems like that is the RIGHT size. I would not go down.

  7. Well, I used the recommended needle size for the hat I knit with it, and I can’t measure the gauge it is post washing, because a) it’s knit in 2×2 rib, and b) I had to felt it to get it to fit my boyfriend again! Even felted, the hat still fits loosely on him. I’m tempted to just toss it! I would go waaay down in needle size if I were you, or way down in pattern size. I remember reading about similar problems with this yarn on someone else’s blog awhile ago. Too bad, cuz that color is *gorgeous*! I bet you’ll get it to work!

  8. Honestly? Wait for the Karabella. I personally think the yarn is lovely but not for this pattern. It seems a bit too rustic for this pattern and I think the smooth, sleek Aurora 8 will be a better match…and you can use this yarn for a Mariah, Eris, Rogue, ect. If you do choose to stay with this yarn, as another commenter said, go down both in needle and pattern size so you can knit “naturally”.
    You’ll work it out Jody :)

  9. My gauge with this yarn was 4.5 st/in and 7 rows/in with US 7 needles, after washing and blocking — but I am a pretty tight knitter!
    I had to do quite a few swatches before I got there; I was shocked at how much it grew.
    On the other hand, I have NOT noticed much stretching of the fabric of my sweater — but I haven’t worn it very much yet, either!

  10. Gauge! Loft! I have taken to soaking my yarn overnight; hanging it to dry; re-winding it and then knitting it. I encounter fewer surprises. Lovely yarn.

  11. i remember that i used addi turbos to knit mine…but i have no idea what size. and my less than comprehensive blogging back then doesn’t mention it either.
    i havent checked my post wearing, washing, abusing etc. i am just too scared! it doesnt fit me at all the way i wanted it to anymore and i think it would kill me to find out. especially since i always wash my swatches before beginning.

  12. Hi everyone. Good company and good discourse are the very sinews of virtue.
    I am from Vatican and also now’m speaking English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Actually they said was that gear officers additions.”
    Best regards :), Alissa.

Comments are closed.