This is what happened.
I finished the dragon cloak (photos to follow in a future post) and I didn’t have any other WIPs (believe it or not). I was antsy with crochet freedom. I realized I now had time to start that sweater from Lion Brand that I posted before on a Freebie Friday.
I thought I’d start with the granny squares called for in the pattern. I don’t make garments very often, what with gauges and special notes and what nots. When I do make a garment, I just use my body as a guide with constant holding up against me and trying on. I don’t need no stinking gauge!
Firstly, I did look over the pattern and read the special notes and perused the stitches used. I scrutinized the diagrams and made an attempt to understand where the pattern was going. Then I jumped right in, grabbed the hook called for (size I) and started hooking. Two things happened right away. 1) I didn’t like the granny square. It looked good in the photo but it was meh in practice and though it wasn’t hard, it was more complicated than I expected for something that looked so plain (to me). 2) It also seemed very large. Too large. I held it up to my body, pictured six of them and realized they would make a huge sweater.
Some of you might be thinking right about now how silly I was for not looking at the gauge in the first place and you’d be absolutely right. Luckily I knew at this point that I needed to find that gauge. It stated that the granny square should be 3 3/4 in by 3 3/4 in. That just didn’t seem right. I pulled out my ruler. My square was over six inches! Wait a minute here. How could I be so off? The pattern recommended using a smaller hook if the gauge was off so I ripped back the square and tried again with a smaller hook (H). It was still too big, by a lot!
At this point, I was contemplating using an even smaller hook size. But the yarn was already getting fiddly with the smaller hook. I couldn’t imagine using an even smaller one. Besides, I didn’t even like the square so I took a step back and looked at other granny squares around the web to find something better. I found one I liked.
Here is my square below. I was pleased with it but it was also over six inches! Obviously, I needed to think some more about this.
First off, I am not using the yarn called for in the pattern. When shopping for the yarn, they didn’t have all the skeins or colors I needed for the sweater. Instead, I tried really hard to use another yarn that had the same properties as the one called for. The yarn I picked look nice and had the same properties as the yarn called for.
I went back to the store to compare the yarns side by side again and it was definitely chunkier than the yarn used in the pattern. When I originally bought the yarn, I did check the labels in the store AND I felt up both yarns. I DID put the skeins side by side to compare the colors and the feel but did not compare the strands side by side. The label on the yarn called for said 12 sc with a J hook makes 4 inches. The label on the yarn I bought says 14 sc with a J hook makes 4 inches. Wouldn’t that mean I should end up with a smaller square with the yarn I bought? All this to say I guess I shouldn’t be trying to read labels! Seeing the strands side by side, the one I got is chunkier and I probably crocheted too loosely.
I already have a sack full of this yarn so I’m not going to buy more yarn. Originally I was going to follow the directions for the larger size in the pattern but now I’m considering using the sizing for the smaller size and a smaller hook (G) hoping it ends up being the right size. I’m going to rework that square above with a G hook and a tighter stitch and see if I get the right size. The stitch count around the square is similar to the one used in the pattern so that shouldn’t throw off the pattern.
All this has me wondering if I even need a stinking pattern to make myself a sweater. Maybe I can just look at the pattern and see if I can ’emulate’ it. Get the ‘gist’ of it and do my own thing. Might turn out even more disastrous but let’s think positively.
I’m just glad I started with the granny square because it allowed me to see my mistakes on a small scale and force me to acknowledge the gauge. If I’m going to follow patterns, I need to respect the gauge. It’s there for a reason.
I’m not sure which direction I’m going to take but a sweater WILL get made. What it looks like will be anyone’s guess. 🙂
Spring Flower Square
I didn’t change the pattern except for changing the UK terms to US terms and making the abbreviations more consistent.
Ch 5, ss to form a ring.
Rnd 1: ch 3 (counts as dc), 11 dc into ring, ss to close-change color
Rnd 2: *ch 3 , 2 tr in same st, ch 3 picot, (2 tr, ch 3, ss) in next st, ch 1, skip 1 st, ss in next st, rep from * around, change color
Rnd 3: join at any picot with sc, *ch 5, tr in ch 1 sp between petals**, ch 5, (sc, ch 3, sc) in next picot, rep from * ending last rep **, ch 5, sc, ch1, ss to first sc
Rnd 4: ch 2 (counts as sc), *4 hdc in ch 5 sp, hdc in tr, 4 hdc in ch 5 sp**, (sc, ch 3, sc) in corner, rep from * ending last rep at **, (sc, ch 3) in corner, ss to join
Rnd 5: ch 3 (counts as dc), 1 dc in same st, *1 dc in each of next 10 sts**, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in corner, rep from * ending last rep at **, (2 dc, ch 2), ss to join.
I am not affiliated with any websites nor do I make any money from these sites. They are simply patterns I like or would like to try myself.