I knit sweaters that don’t fit

Before I start babbling about my latest knitting ‘adventure’ I want to say thanks to all of you for all the kind messages I received these past weeks. It means a lot to me knowing there are so many kind souls out there sending me virtual hugs. 🙂

The last week I’ve been in the search of my knitting mojo and tried to find it by trying to knit on several of my projects hidden in my big pile o’ wips. I put all of them away after just a few rows, until I realised what I needed most was endless stockinette. Somewhere I knew I had a sweater in hibernation and I had this vague memory that I was about to separate the sleeves, after which it would indeed be endless stockinette. Perfect!


This post is full of life lessons I would like to remind myself of, and the first one is: please please please future self, make decent notes on where you left of in a project if there’s any chance of you putting it away for a long period of time. It took a lot of head scratching before I figured out where the hell I left off in this thing, and the fact that the pattern is written without any paragraphs (most of it is just a looooong piece of text) I felt like poking my eyes out rather than knitting. After lots of head scratching I found my way back into the pattern, separated the sleeves and was ready for endless stockinette.

As for the second message for my future self is one I expect to be ignored, because this isn’t the first time I’m reprimanding myself for this. It’s no secret at all that I’m lazy when it comes to gauge swatches. Making a gauge swatch requires planning and patience. By the time I get the yarn for a new project I feel like I’ve already done a lot of planning (picking yarn is hard work!!) and my patience has run out. I have to start the project, there’s no time for swatching. With this sweater I actually did a gauge swatch though.. kind of… I knit a swatch, saw it was off and instead of any smart decisions about it I decided to just go down a size and by the force of knitting magic this sweater would end up fitting perfectly!


Apparently magic is dead and when I got to a point I could try my new sweater on for size I found out it was way too big. I spent an evening in denial, thinking I could just do some extra waist decreases or maybe throw it in the dryer for a bit. But I think we all know this isn’t the way to go and the progress so far will be frogged. You’d think this would set back my knitting mojo entirely but actually that isn’t the case, because getting this far in the project I realised a couple of thing. Firstly, I’m still happy with the colours I chose! It happens quite often I think I chose the perfect colours but once I cast on I change my mind completely. So yay for me still liking the colours! Secondly, I feel like this sweater is going to be really really pretty! The design is simple, the colours are simple, but if I get this to fit I’m going to wear it a lot. With that certainty I feel motivated to start a proper swatch and then do my calculations before diving into the knitting again.

Next time I’m going to knit something that needs to fit without doing a gauge swatch please remind me of this post, because I know I won’t.


22 thoughts on “I knit sweaters that don’t fit

  1. This is so so so recognizable 🙂 I like the colours too!
    Reasons for me for knitting so many socks is that you mostly don’t need to swatch for that.

  2. I am exactly like you when it comes to gauge swatches. I do not do them! That may also explain why I haven’t dared to try my hand at knitting a jumper yet. One day… And then I better remind myself of this post and get down to swatching whether I like or not!

  3. Love those colors! I have a whole sweater that I *did* swatch for, and it still ended up way too big! I’m still debating whether or not I want to frog it and re-knit it smaller, or leave it how it is, and it’s been done for almost three years!

  4. I haaate doing guage, but I definitely force myself to do it nowadays. and when I say that, I mean I knit a few rows, have a count of stitches, assume mostly ok and go for it :p which was probably my downfall with my last sweater but hey we live life on the edge! I’m glad you feel cheerful still even though you need to unravel it – I find a sense of calm when I decide to do that, and excitement at the prospect of doing better next time 🙂 looking forward to seeing it 🙂 jenny xx

    • That’s how I did my first swatch as well, but apparently it wasn’t good enough :'( And I think that the idea of doing better next time is a vert healthy way of looking at it. There’s been plenty of times when frogging got me down, so I surprised myself a little that it didn’t bother me this time.

  5. I have ripped out many many sweaters because gauge was wrong and sometimes I did do a swatch!! you have company and you are not alone. I hope it works out 🙂

  6. I didn’t knew I had a knitting twin…. I’m the same! (gauge swatch lies anyway, denial, knitting magic going wrong, mojo, color, “picking a pattern is already hard work”….) This is so me! I’m sorry about your sweater being too big, but still…. what a relief to find that I’m not the only “optimistic” knitter in this world!

  7. i wish I could say I’ve never ‘felt your pain’…..but alas, I’m known as the mad -ripper. At least, you have nailed some of the important things…..color, style, technique. All that’s left is the fit…..you’re going to get it this time!!!

    • Yes!! That’s exactly how I feel about it. If a silly little thing called ‘fit’ is all that stands between me and a nice sweater, life really isn’t all that horrible.

  8. oh no!! I think this happens to everyone from time to time, and I’m terribly guilty about not keeping good notes when I make modifications on my knits (and I make small tweaks to just about everything). I hope your trip to the frog pond isn’t too painful.

  9. Yes, those are two lessons that we all find ourselves facing! I find that first one in particular very hard to remember to do and have lost a lot of valuable knitting time because of it. Now, I always highlight or mark where I left off in a pattern (plus what size needles I used) in case it goes into hibernation. I absolutely love that color combo and think that you made the right decision to frog and start over.

  10. LOL. I LOVE Natalie Dee. That particular comic= my life.
    I neglect to gauge swatch. Knit most a sweater… frog it. Start a new project… neglect to gauge swatch… a pattern emerges.

  11. Yep that’s me! Never knit a swatch to figure out my gauge- boy have I paid the price for it with sweaters that don’t fit! The beautiful berry colors is so pretty and fresh with the white stripes!
    Glad you are back in this space- you were dearly missed

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