It's time for our next data post in the #kwswatchexperiment: Meadow!
For the Meadow swatch, we asked knitters to cast on 28 stitches using US 6 (4 mm) needles and work in stockinette stitch with a 2 stitch garter edge on either side. The needle size given in the swatch instructions was pulled from Meghan Kelly’s design from our Summer Sweaters collection, Hidalgo.
For every yarn, measurements were taken pre-and post blocking. Please see previous posts for my measuring and blocking process for these swatches.
MEADOW STITCH GAUGES
MEADOW ROW GAUGES
LOOSEST VS. TIGHTEST UNBLOCKED
• Swatch 4 had the loosest gauge at 20 sts and 28 rows / 4".
• Swatch 1 had the tightest gauge at 24 sts and 35 rows / 4".
LOOSEST VS. TIGHTEST BLOCKED
• Swatch 4 continued to have the loosest gauge, and became even looser, at 18 sts and 27 rows / 4".
• Swatch 1 continued to have the tightest gauge, and, interestingly, did not change post-blocking at 24 sts and 35 rows / 4".
MOST DRAMATIC CHANGE BETWEEN BLOCKED AND UNBLOCKED
• The loosest swatch, Swatch 4 had the greatest change in stitch gauge: unblocked, the gauge was 20 sts / 4”, but after blocking it loosened up even further to 18 sts / 4”.
• Swatch 5 had a considerable change in row gauge, from 32 to 28 rows / 4”, a full row per inch.
GAUGE MATCHING POST BLOCKING
• Swatches 1 and 5 matched stitch gauge post blocking, but the row gauge was off on both. (Swatch 1 was 35, and Swatch 5 was 28 rows as compared to 32).
• None of the swatches matched row gauge post blocking.
GAUGE: 24 sts and 32 rows = 4” (10 cm) in St st on larger needles, after blocking. / NEEDLE: US 6 (4 mm) circular.
At its core, the construction of Hidalgo is quite simple – after working the two pieces of the split hem, the front and back are joined for working in the round. The front is worked in stockinette stitch, and the back in a simple lace pattern. Because the body is worked in one piece, the needle size used for the lace should be the same as that of the front.
In the case of this sweater, I don’t think it is vital to also swatch the lace pattern, but if you’re concerned about your stitch and row gauge on the stockinette as compared to the lace, you could always do a lace swatch to compare. If your lace row or stitch gauge is way off, or you are unhappy with the needle size as dictated by the stockinette, you can modify the pattern for working flat and then seam the pieces once complete.
Just remember, knit the correct number of rows to match length, as the row gauge will most likely change for both the lace and stockinette stitch after blocking.
Additionally, if you’ve decided to go this route, it is most likely because your row gauge for the two pieces will be different, so it is important to take this into consideration when seaming.
If all of the extra swatching and potential seaming aren’t up your alley, you could knit a few inches of the body and wet block the piece just to make sure you are happy with the fabric. This is a great way to check that things are going smoothly before spending all of your time knitting an entire garment!
Do you have any additional suggestions when combining multiple stitch patterns in a single piece? I'd love to hear them!