And so it begins. Yesterday, in between chunks of reading and note-taking, I wound up a skein of Knitpicks Shadow in Redwood Forest with an intention to swatch. After struggling with attempting to cast on/join laceweight yarn on circular 6s (which I was going to try first after reading some rav comments), I gave up on the magic looping because I was too lazy to dig up a book to refresh my memory on the start-up part of it and went looking for dpns.
Take 2: Bamboo dpns, size 6. AKA the dullest dpns in my collection. I cast on 76 st and knit a few rows of k1p1 ribbing (a popular rav mod to prevent rolling), cursing all the while. Then I remembered these needles, given to me by someone quite dear. Maybe there were sixes in this set?
Nope. But there were dpns in size 7s (which the pattern uses), and they were pointy. The needles determined my plan of attack: with only one set of viable needles for starting the project without wanting to poke myself in the eye repeatedly, I dove in, SANS swatch. I mean, if the results of the swatch do not matter because there is only one set of needles in the house that will be enjoyable to knit this yarn with, what could a swatch really DO for me?
Famous last words, I know, but if the knitting isn’t enjoyable, why do it?
Here’s how it is working out so far. On this sleeve, I’m getting 7 st/inch and 8 rows/inch on 7s. The pattern gauge is 6st/inch and 8 rows/inch. I’ve read that some folks have found that Shadow will grow, and the sleeves are pretty big on a lot of people. With this pattern’s particular construction, my st gauge is not as important for overall size (notwithstanding the arms, but I am happy with them being a little smaller), because the pattern moves from sleeve to sleeve across the back, rather than down, and my row gauge is on, and then the back gets picked up and worked down. Does that make sense? I think so…
Also, I am aware that I need to keep an eye on all of this, and laceweight yarn on bigger needles seems particularly responsive in the land of blocking. Yay!
I’m glad my needle dilemma reminded me of these needles. It feels good to be using them.
Back to the books…
I think you have it exactly right – if it isn’t enjoyable, why do it? It sounds like the row gauge is what’s important here, so I think you’ll be fine. Plus, I agree about the blocking — you should be able to stretch it if it turns out too small. What a pretty color you’re using – I can’t wait to see more of this sweater!