A few changes

Body3repeatsKnitting on Firebirds continues as usual, with a pace of about one lengthwise repeat per week.

Previously I mentioned that I was going to shorten the sweater by one repeat. Well, plans have changed after taking a moment to check my tension.

While my stitch tension seems to be fine (~7 sts per inch), I found that my row tensions is off a bit. I’m knitting 8.43 rows per inch while the pattern calls for 8 rows per inch. Yikes! that’s going to make the sweater about one inch shorter.

I’ve gotten squeamish about shortening the sweater one whole repeat. That would be 3.5 inches, which seems too much. At the same time I’m also concerned about the width. As I’ve been contemplating this dilemma, I remembered hearing the teacher in a beginning knitting class say that you can always block a sweater so it’s wider or longer but not both. With that in mind, I’ll go ahead and knit all seven lengthwise repeats and try to stretch the sweater out an inch with a woolly board.

Besides worrying about the overall length, I also started thinking about how my row tension could affect other parts of the sweater; specifically the armholes and neckline. The difference in row gauge means that I’ll need to start the armhole steeks a few rows sooner so that the length of the armhole matches the length specified in the pattern. However, no adjustments for the neck opening will be needed. After doing a bit of math, I found that the tension differences won’t make enough of a difference to merit adjustments.

Chart_marking_tapeOn another note, I was at the fabric store yesterday checking out fabrics to cover my needle binder and found these tapes near the  rulers used by quilters. Apparently, quilters use them to mark off frequently used measurements on their rulers. When I saw them I though, wow I could use those for marking my knitting chart for my current project.

My first attempt started with a piece of blue tape from “Tape Go Round”; the funny tape dispenser with six little tape rolls. It didn’t take long before I found out this tape wasn’t going to work. When I tried to move it to another row it didn’t come off very easily and started tearing my paper chart.

Next I used one of the tapes called “Glow-Line Tape”. This tape was about $1 cheaper with couple more yards of tape. This one worked much better but oddly isn’t quite tacky enough to last more than a couple of rows.

I ‘m considering going back to good old Post-it notes.

14 thoughts on “A few changes

  1. I got some highlighter tape from a teaching supply store and it works really well. I do keep my pattern in a plastic page protector though so I haven’t had any trouble with it sticking too much. The tape seems to retain its stick pretty well too.


  2. For chart tracking, I use a magnetic strip (you can buy it rolls and cut the length you need to suit your chart size) and a sheet of steel (I use the lid of a large cookie tin). You put the pattern on the steel and the magnetic strip holds the pattern there and I use it to keep track of which row I’m on. Works great and it doesn’t mess up the paper.
    BTW, I’m a quilter and I don’t use those hiliter tapes. I prefer masking tape – way cheaper.


  3. Wow what a response. Thanks everyone.
    Yeah, I was wondering if that other highlighter tape is better. Sometimes I put my chart under plastic but this time I was having trouble seeing it. My eyes must be getting bad.
    Perhaps the tapes I bought would work better if I had the chart under plastic.
    I do have a magnet and metal board but I’ve found they don’t travel well. It works great if I’m sitting on the couch.


  4. Rebecca:
    If your row gauge/tension is higher than the pattern, your fabric will end up smaller. Essentially, I’d need to knit more rows to match the length mentioned in the pattern. So with this pattern 4 inches should equal 32 rows but I’m getting 3.75 inches.
    I was going to shorten the sweater by taking out one lengthwise repeat but now I think that might be too short especially when I stretch the sweater on a woolly board.


  5. I found a new way to mark rows on my charts during my last project…it’d only work if you have your chart in a clear plastic sleeve though.
    The blue painter’s tape works perfectly. It’s sticky enough to stay in place, but comes off the plastic sleeve easily to move to the next row. And it stayed sticky enough for me to finish the entire stole using the same piece of tape. I’m definitely using it from now on to keep my place!


  6. I love your Firebirds sweater. It’s lovely.
    Regarding charting…I use Post It tape. It’s white tape in a dispenser made by Post It. Just cut off enough of the tape to run the length of the charted line. You can lift the tape and it will stick quite a few times. Of course I place my chart in a plastic sleeve before I afix the tape. I also write notes or count rows on the tape as well.


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