Posted by: GourmetGirl | July 23, 2013

Too Large!

I just finished a sleeveless sweater with an I-cord bind off.

I love the look of an I-cord bind off, but it takes a long time to bind off 34 inches! While working an I-cord bind off, you have a LOT of time to think. This time I was thinking about a sweater I knit about 15 years ago.

It was before I started designing knitwear – I still changed patterns – but had not yet put the size of the needles and gauge together. (more on that in a minute….) It was a Debbie Bliss pattern that has a shawl attached to the side of the sweater. I remember loving the idea, finding the shawl yarn and hunting for a cotton solid yarn. A gal at the yarn shop was helping me.

This is what happens all too often: I don’t remember if the yarn I chose was of the same weight as the pattern, but the pattern said size 7 needles and those were the size needles placed in my yarn filled hands. Off I went with size 7 needles and a light worsted to DK weight yarn. (My opinion now after many sweaters knit with too large of needles.)

Yes, that sweater today sits in the bottom of a bin of knitwear unworn. Why? Because it grew so much after wearing it and it now hangs off my body! SummerBreeze 050

So, back to the day dreaming part while working the I-cord bind off….. I was thinking how much I love the shawl attached idea of that sweater, love the shawl and it’s yarn, love the feel of the cotton sweater yarn – and how maybe I should take it apart, saving the shawl, unraveling the cotton sweater and re-knit it with smaller needles!

Now mind you, I have a closet full of yarn for dozens of projects with ideas floating in my head! Why would I want to unravel and re-knit a project? Crazy, yes!

But, I remember how great that sweater felt to wear! And it is that feeling that makes me want to try it again.

What size needles would I use? The sweater I just worked the I-cord bind off was on size 2 needles with a sport weight yarn and I have another sport weight yarn on my needles using size 1 needles. JUST CRAZY? The needle size, I mean! You should feel the drape of the just finished sweater! It is fabulous – and I can almost guarantee that sweater will not grow so large that it falls off my body.

20130513_072431I only use size 7 needles now for open lace shawls – In Bloom is on those needles now – so I definitely would not choose size 7 needles to re-knit that sweater! No matter what it says on the yarn label! Experience tells me what size needle to pick up when holding that yarn in-between my fingers.

Remember the sport weight yarn that is on size 1 needles? I first chose size 2 needles, but when working up a swatch thought the stretch was too much. Hint: work up a swatch! You do NOT want a sweater to have too much stretch!

Okay, I have gotten on a rant again about too large of needles…..Time to go dig that sweater out of the bottom of that bin of sweaters and decide what to do next!

Happy Knitting, Nancy

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