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Is everyone ready to dive into a new knitalong for the new year?!

There are a few things to note as you get started looking at this lovely pattern.  Before I get into all that, a note about yarn – mynd_1075146_medium2

In my previous post I announced our pattern choice and lined up some dates to remember.  Since I haven’t sent out a newsletter yet, announcing the KAL, I should extend the yarn request date to at least January 10th, to give everyone some time to think (really, you can order yarn and join us at any time!).  It takes 2-7 business days to receive the yarn from our yarn companies, depending on what you order, so we’d still get the yarn in before our “start” date.

Ok, let’s get down to it!  What to do now-

  1. Print your pattern!  I’ve printed my pattern and noticed that the measurements are in cm.  I can either measure myself with my tape measure and flip it over to the cm side or I can convert inches to cms here.

  2. Decide what size to make!  For new projects that have sizing, I like to draw a little schematic of myself.  I measure my chest, body length from the underarm, sleeve length from the under arm and upper arm circumference.  It doesn’t have to be pretty, but it helps to have it on hand so that I don’t have to keep measuring myself to remember those numbers.  (Alternatively, you could measure a sweater you love with a similar yoke style.)
  3. photo (28)I’ve decided to make the adult medium size for myself.  I measure 35″ around, which is 90cm.  The adult medium measures 38.5″/98cm, and will give me a few inches of ease for a cozy sweater.  I’ll adjust lengths as I go and I’ll buy an extra skein of my main color to be sure I have enough for a little bit of added length.Once I’ve decided, I’ll circle all of the numbers in the pattern that refer to my size.
  4. Calculate yarn!  We calculate yarn substitutions via yardage required.  It is the most accurate, given that different type yarns have different yards/oz.  Lett Lopi is 109 yards per 50g ball.  I’ve decided to do the “Adult Blue Sweater” version, which only requires 3 colors.  My adult medium size requires 763 yards of the main color, 218 of contrast 1, and 109 of contrast 2.  I’ll build in a little extra of the main color, since I know I’m going to adjust sizing a little bit and I don’t want to run out.
  5. Play with colors!  I haven’t quite decided on colors yet!  I’m resisting the urge to just do what is in the photo, but I do really like both the blue and the gray versions of the 3-color sweater.  Plymouth Homestead has two lovely shades of gray and two lovely shades of blue!  They also have 2 shades of brown and an oatmeal for a warmer, natural color choice.  I’ll have to come back with a second post about color choices!
  6. If you have your yarn/when you get your yarn – swatch!!  I know, I know… it feels like a waste of time.  But how much time will be wasted if the sweater doesn’t fit?  Or worse, if you don’t knit to gauge and you’ve calculated your yarn requirements based on knitting to gauge, you could totally run out!  So here are two suggestions for swatching, although I’ll be back here to post about swatching in more depth.

    You need to swatch in the round, since this whole sweater is knit in the round.  You can use this trick for “swatching” in the round.  Cast on for a square swatch, knit across your first row and instead of turning your work slide it back to the beginning of your circular needle.  Loosely loop your working yarn across the back of your work and knit the next row.  This will be the most reliable way to swatch without casting on for your whole sweater.  Here’s an AWESOME tutorial from Ysolda Teague!

    Your other option is to start knitting with the sleeve!  Knit your ribbings and begin your colorwork/stockinette portion keeping an eye on your gauge.  If you find that you need to adjust needle size you can do so before you get too far into your sleeve.  Alternatively, Elizabeth Zimmerman loved to knit swatch hats.  You could cast on and knit a hat in order to get to know the yarn and work out the needle size required for 18 sts = 4″. In the end you have a hat that matches your sweater! (Buy extra yarn for this option.)

Ok, I hope that helps you to start thinking about your project!  Let me know if you have any questions at all and as I start working out my colors and swatch I’ll update all of you.  Hope you have a very happy New Year’s Day – here’s to 2015!!

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