Ginny’s Cardigan KAL: Choosing Yarn

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I’m excited to tell you that the Ginny’s Cardigan KAL will be starting on Saturday, August ginny310th! This means you still have time to get a copy of the magazine (I hear some people are having a hard time finding it in print, I haven’t received my hard copy yet either). It also means you have time to choose your yarn and knit your swatch.

The KAL
I’ll be reading messages and responding to questions regularly in the Ginny’s Cardigan knit-a-long thread on Ravelry. I’ll also be blogging here about my progress on my sweater, and some helpful tips and information on knitting the sweater.

Choosing Yarn
For my sweater I’ll be using Classic Elite Woodland. This is the same yarn that I used towoodland silver make the sample that’s featured in the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits. For my sweater I’ll be using silver #3103. I really like grey, and I thought about the charcoal but I was afraid that the owls wouldn’t show up as well in the dark color. I like Wooldand because the nettles give a beautiful shine and texture to the yarn that I really love. I believe that most sweaters need to be knit in wool. Wool holds its shape and has memory unlike cotton, silk, alpaca, or acrylic yarns, which tend to stretch and droop. Personally I want my cardigan to hold its shape, and have nicely fitted sleeves. Woodland is 65% wool, which is plenty to give it great stitch definition and stretch.

Swatching
You should always swatch for a sweater. Here’s why: let’s say that you’re supposed to get 20 stitches and 26 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch (that’s the gauge for Ginny’s Cardigan), which is 5 sts per ich. Let’s say that instead you’re getting 4.5 stitches per inch, or 18 sts in 4 inches. It seems like half a stitch per inch wouldn’t be that big of a deal right? But if the total number of bust stitches of 180, 180 sts at 5 sts per inch is 36″, but 180 sts at  4.5 sts per inch is 40″. That means that your sweater would come out 4″ too big!!! Getting row gauge can be difficult. Sometimes blocking can help with this, so I would try knitting at least a 4″ swatch, and then block your swatch, because usually with a little smoothing during blocking you can block to row gauge, and in general knitting that is stretched a little bit vertically looks better than something that is overly stretched across the bust.

Stay tuned for more posts about the KAL. The yarn is on its way, and I can’t wait for it to arrive!

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