Hi, my name is Melissa and I'm a moron. Seriously. I had this huge post written up about Georgia and how it was in time out all because of me being in Knitter's Denial*. I seriously haven't touched Georgia in well over 2 weeks. I came thisclose to ripping the needles out and frogging that bitch 'til it was nothing but a halo of cashmere. Maybe I should give you a little background first, catch you up to speed.
Ok, when I started Georgia I was cocky enough to not knit a gauge swatch since I've knit with SweetGeorgia yarns enough times to know exactly what my gauge is. So why swatch? I did the calculations and ended up deciding on knitting the 36" in hopes of getting a 34" bust in the end. Math was done, all necessary info was highlighted on the pattern, I quickly casted on. Easy peasy, right? Well, I noticed that the fabric I was getting was a bit more loose than what I'm used to**, but figured that the cashmere content of the yarn will bloom after a good soak and the fabric will stiffen up a smidge. No biggie. I finished the yoke and draped it over my shoulders and thought that it looked a little big. Yet I thought nothing of it. This is a top down garment and I'm used to knitting bottom up. So what do I know? This is probably normal.
I divided the stitches and separate the sleeves from the body, and tried it on again. Seems big. Nah, I'm not wearing a bra. After each buttonhole is knit I would run to the bathroom and try the cardigan on. Each time I thought it looked big. Each time I decided I was crazy and it was fine. Then I'm 2 inches, 1 buttonhole, and 5 garter rows away from finishing the body when it I finally come face to face with that nagging feeling in the back of my head. This cardigan is way too big. I tried it on again. Yeah...seems big to me. Crap.
I whipped out my calculator (ok, I took out my iPhone) and grabbed the closest piece of whatever that I could write on and started calculating. Something doesn't add up here. For some reason my calculations state that this cardigan was going to be 5 inches bigger than what it should be. Meaning that I was knitting a 40" bust. And trust me when I say that I do NOT have a 40" bust. Faaaarr from it. Crud.
I don't know how many times I did the calculations, but I even went as far as Google-ing "knitting calculating gauge" and then re-doing my calculations. I decided right then and there to stop knitting Georgia and wait for the Friday knit night to roll around. I needed to converse with my knitterly friends and get this mess straightened out. Did that idea fair well for me? No. No, it did not. Instead I got 2 different answers. I went home feeling completely defeated and not sure what to do with Georgia. I didn't have the heart to frog her yet, and felt like I should keep the knitting cables in her for now...just in case. I definitely wanted this cardigan and was resigned in knowing that I was going to have to re-knit the pattern if I wanted this project to come to fruition. After a while I thought in order to save myself the heartache of ripping out my work, I would simply start knitting from the other end of the ball of yarn that was still attached to Georgia and unravel her as I knit and needed the yarn. That way it wouldn't look like I was back at square one. Good plan, right? For now though, I'm going to zip her back up in her project bag and not look at her for a while. There are other cardigans wanting to be made.
Fast forward to last night. I'm typing up that aforementioned huge post about Georgia going down. I'm talking about my gauge and how I'm a stitch over the recommended gauge. As I'm typing I'm looking over at the Post-it notes I have on Georgia's gauge. I also spied the actual pattern and had stopped typing to look at it. That's when it hit me. Something about the gauge wasn't right. I quickly Googled "knitting calculating gauge" again and got this site, skimmed it and then re-did my calculations before whipping out a measuring tape and re-measured Georgia. Then I quickly got out my cable connectors and joined another cable to the one at the hem. With my breath held, I tried the cardigan on. Again.
She fit!! Georgia fits!!
Well, my first calculations were right, the ones I did when I started the project. When I did the calculation the second time around, I don't know what happened or how it went wrong. I had written the wrong gauge down yes, but to get such a big difference in numbers?? The pattern's gauge is actually 6.5 stitches to the inch and I had it written down as 6. And trust me, half a stitch is a huge deal! I guess I had it stuck in my head for the longest time that the pattern's gauge was 6 stitches (mine is 7) and that it's going to be 5 inches bigger than planned. When in reality the gauge is 6.5 and my 7 stitches was going to make the bust 2.6" smaller!! AND it was going to be nowhere near 40".
Are you following me? Or did I lose you?
Either way, the lesson here is to NOT do math when you are extremely tired and to NOT do math at 2am in the morn when you are completely sleep deprived. Oh, and the second lesson learned here: STOP second guessing yourself! But how happy am I to know that I don't have to frog this project and that I was right all along?!
Phew!! What a sigh of relief!! Now you can expect to see a finished Georgia sometime in the next few weeks! YAY!!!!
*Knitter's Denial is a condition in which a knitter knows something is "wrong" with whatever it is that they are knitting. This something eats away at the knitter each time she picks up that particular project and sits in the back of the mind waiting for the knitter to acknowledge it. The knitter has a gut feeling about, they sense it, they can actually see it, and yet the knitter will just keep knitting on.
**Apparently I can't read patterns, which even mentions how the "loose gauge makes for a faster knit resulting in a light and elastic fabric". I need to stop skimming when I supposedly read.