Smothered by Swatches

This weekend I sat down with my TKGA Masters 1 submission and figured out where it’s going. I blocked a few more of those swatches and decided to redo a few. I’ve finally figured out the cause one of my most frustrating tension issues. When doing stockinette, the 2nd stitch on the knit sides alternates between being too loose and too tight. I tried doing some rows tight and some rows loose, I tried wrapping the purls the other way, I tried wrapping the knits the other way, and while I could see the results of each, nothing addressed the critical issue.

Now I know that the problem is caused because nothing anchors the tension of the last stitch on the purl row, so opening the first stitch up wide on the knit side, or tightening that stitch, steals excess yarn from the purl row. However, I’m not sure how that will translate to technique and how successful I will be with it.

Anyway, I took some pictures of my blocked swatches and put them in a new project notes page for the Masters course.

I returned an extra ball of yarn from the Matinee Coat and looked around the store for something to spend the store credit on and picked up a ball of Rowan Wool Cotton with the Zig Zag sweater in mind. I swatched that up and got perfect gauge with just one strand. So I’ll get enough of that and get started. I also decided that since I still haven’t received the yarn for the Classic Slant Cardigan that I’m going to try to cancel my special order (it’s been nearly 3 months and I’ve lost enthusiam).

I also made some progress with the gloves. I’ve just divided for the fingers, but it’s a bit of a mess right now, so no photos until you can see the fingers!

Tonight I’ll try to clean up those gloves and play with that technique issue a bit, then I’m off to Maryland for work. I’ll probably bring either Marcel or Squiggles because they’re both pretty easy to travel with.


  1. Felicia from sweetgeorgia:

    Hey Amy! Good work on your swatches! I just received my instructions last night and I’m starting the swatching this weekend (if I can find any spare time!).

    Have you checked out Flory’s website? http://floryknits.com/index.html

    She’s one of the adjudicators on the panel and has mentioned before that the first stitch on the knit side needs to be knit tightly so that the stitches aren’t loose on that side. I don’t know if this will help. Good luck!

  2. amy!:

    Yeah, I read Flory’s posts on the Masterknit List. But making the first stitch tight was one of my problems. It makes the last few stitches on the row below it too tight and musses with the edge stitches.

    The main key about her advice is that the first stitch on every row must look exactly like all the rest of the stockinette stitches. If you pull too tightly, then the first stitch on the row below gets too tight and actually inverts around the one two rows down. I’ll have to take some good closeups to show the issue sometime soon.

    It took me forever to figure that out and fix it. I’ve got a handle on it now though.

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