Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Lindsay Coat | Three Things.

My apologies. Kathy and I realized yesterday we'd never shared anything about our next KAL here on the blog (or on Instagram, or Twitter, or Facebook). Let's fix that now!
my swatch - Cima+Linen in Caffeine and Silk Cloud in Field
We're knitting Lindsay, a fabulous sweater coat designed by Cocoknits. We fell in love with the Shibui Mix version from last spring's Mix Event and knew that much knitting would need company. Now that Fall is upon us, we're ready to cast on. The plan is that we'll finish just as the weather cools off enough to wear it.

The Shibui Mix sample was knit with Cima + Linen + Silk Cloud. The Cima and Linen are the same color way and the Silk Cloud is a contrast/complement. Another option would be Rowan Felted Tweed or Lang Tweed with the Silk Cloud.

Our plan is to cast on next Friday (September 19) afternoon. But, if you want to get started sooner, here are three things to keep in mind:

First, swatch! If you want your coat to fit, you need to make sure you know your gauge (and unless you want to do a lot of fancy math, you want your gauge to match what the pattern calls for!) The slipped stitch pattern is a multiple of 4 stitches plus 2. I cast on 30 stitches for my swatch. That gives me six 4-stitch repeats plus 2 with 4 extra stitches to put a 2-stitch garter edge around the pattern.

I knit a couple rows of garter stitch and then swatched the pattern stitch between the 2-stitch garter edge. In other words, I started and ended every row with knit 2, and worked the 8-row pattern repeat in the middle.

The pattern gauge is 18 stitches to 4 inches. My swatch had 26 pattern stitches (the garter stitch edge doesn't count) so "on gauge" it should measure 26/18 x 4 = 5.78 inches. (I got lucky - mine did!) Note that the row gauge is 28 rows to 4 inches. Again, the garter stitch border doesn't count. I worked four repeats of the 8 row pattern (so 32 rows). On gauge, that should measure 32/28 x 4 = 4.57" If your row gauge is "close" (say no more than two rows different), you should be fine... any more than that and you might need to made adjustments to the pattern, particularly the sleeve shaping. (That's beyond the scope of our KAL!)

A final note about the swatch - you should wet block it before you call it good. Not only does the wet-blocking make a nicer fabric (and seriously, this Shibui Mix is like butter), it plumps up the stitches and gives you better measurements.

Second, the stitch pattern is a little tricky. Three of the swatches I've seen (my own included!) mis-read row 7. Each pattern row is always knit 2, slip 2 - the only difference is that the slipped stitches are moving over one stitch. Row 7 starts with one stitch slipped, then 2 knits, then two stitches slipped, 2 knits, 2 slips.... I realized my mistake halfway through my swatch. I didn't rip it out; that mistake isn't going to affect my gauge (but boy am I glad I hadn't started the sweater!)

Third, all the knitting begins with a Provisional Cast-on. My favorite method for this is to crochet waste yarn onto my needle and then work one knit row with my real yarn. (Here's a great tutorial). The row with your real yarn is the Cast-on. You don't want to start the slipped stitch pattern with waste yarn on your needle.

I started my first sleeve yesterday and I've finished five repeats of the pattern stitch. I am in love!

If you want to join our KAL, all you need to do is get your yarn, your pattern and start. Please feel free to share questions and comments here, on Facebook or in our Ravelry group. Happy Knitting!