Feb 15th And we are starting!

(above is a photo of a stolen moment knitting away on my caplet!)

Between the book next to me right now awaiting this post to be written so I can start reading! — and the soft green cakes of this awesome Umbra yarn.., and the fact I BOUGHT OUTLANDER ON iTUNES!!…today couldn’t be much more wonderful!

For those reading this BE SURE you are working from THIS PATTERN —> (On The Road v. 2.0 ) for the capelet

The body set up should read:

“Set up Body:

Set up row: Knit all stitches

Next row (RS): k all sts

Next row (WS): * k2, p2 *  3 times, pm, k5, pm, k1, pm, k 46, pm, k1, pm, k3, pm, *k2, p2* 3 times k2.”

Your original pattern had 36. Mea culpa, forgive me.

Something to note as well:

I would be very interested  to have you weigh in! When I knit Claire’s Capelet: On The Road,  I found gauge on size US 10.5s…but I was the only one, which is often the case I find between my knitting and my test knitters. Each of them got identical gauge on 10s (as the yarn recommends) which is why I had 10s included in your kit.  So be sure to let me know what needle you got gauge with…or are you just going for it?

And that brings up a great Chatting topic for us today and the next couple of days!

> > > > > > DO YOU SWATCH? < < < < < <

Share with us about that! Do you only swatch for certain things? If so, what? And what is your method for choosing what you do and do not swatch for and how you came to decide that?

For Fun share in your comment your craziest experience when you did not swatch! Don’t hold back either! We really want to hear what happened!

For sharing your pain with us we will collectively decide as a clan THE WORST story and you will win a prize! You can choose an ebook of one of Diana Gabaldon’s books OR Episode #2 of the Outlander series from iTunes! (Everyone has heard episode #1 is free right? I know!!! I squealed too!)

I can’t wait to read all about your thoughts on swatching! Why, why not? And do tell us a scary Did-Not-Swatch story before Sat Feb 21st and WIN WIN WIN!!


51 thoughts on “Feb 15th And we are starting!

  1. Bought Outlander on iTunes – check!
    Watched Episode 1 – check!
    Cast on my capelet while watching Episode 1 – check!
    Have the audio book queued up in Audible for my commute to work – check!
    Swatched – ummmm no check…I rarely swatch for shawls and scarfs (unless it is really important to do so!!) and I just make sure I have LOTS of yarn. Also I know I can adjust this type of garment much more easily….scary? maybe!! But sometimes its fun to live life on the edge 🙂

    So the one time I didn’t swatch for a garment? A cardigan knit in cotton. I mistakenly thought the natural growing tendency of cotton would make up for any length issues…but I was oh so wrong. The cardi stayed on my shelf for a few months before I finally gave it to the salvation army. Some sweet young lady is probably ecstatic with her new handmade lace cardi…I should have swatched!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • =) Woohoo!
      You will have to let me know what you think of the audio book! I previewed it on audible, but wasn’t keen on it…perhaps I judged too quickly!
      And your sweater story!


      • I like the audio book so far. It took a bit of settling in but that is true for listening to any new performer. Since I had watched the first episode of the series my mind keeps trying to see TV Claire and her husband’s faces while I’m listening. Oh, and no way could I watch just one episode…I see myself as a repeat offender here…this story is good!


  2. Priya says:

    It is tea time- and finally time to relax! Needles are out and Outlander is on The TV. I very rarely swatch. When I first started knitting, I used to swatch for all my patterns. Now, I just launch into the adventure, and see how it pans out. So this method, as you can guess, does not always work. A friend had a baby last year, I had a very cute cardigan pattern and some really nice yarn … And thought why not? Ummmm…. The cardigan ended up being doll sized! I had to frog it all after spending two months on it. I was so focused on the details and color work of the cardi, I didn’t notice until my mom pointed out the size. I should have spent time swatching… Still don’t bother though, oh well…


    • OH NO! What a story! And even after that you don’t swatch? Is it because it bores you are you just a risk taker?
      Have you watched Outlander before? Did you download it from iTunes?


      • Priya says:

        My mom and I watched outlander when it was on tv, and enjoyed it. Neither of us had read the books, but it got us hooked. (The same thing happened when my family started watching game of thrones…) As for the swatching, I really just can’t be bothered… I have such a short time each day to knit, I would rather spend that on my project… And you called it Mel – it is so boring!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Beth Case says:

    Hello, all! I have cast on and started knitting the cowl. I’m doing another KAT this month, so having to divide my knitting time!

    And no, I don’t swatch. I don’t tend to make things where it matters and I am far too impatient to make a swatch. I’m afraid I won’t be in the running for this week’s prize, because I have never had a problem when I didn’t swatch. I think the only time I can think of something not turning out the size I intended was a a Christmas stocking that was about 30 inches long, but the recipient didn’t seem to mind! More room for goodies! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • A 30 inch long stocking sounds like A WIN!!! All the goodies that will fit in to that stocking should be a BONUS!
      So you haven’t had the issue ever arise (that even though it may not be crucial to fit) you ran out of yarn? I had that happen once (k, more than once…) and I was so mad at myself! My gauge since the time losing use of my left arm has gotten so w-i-d-e off the mark from what I used to have that now I do swatch, but I generally ask my test knitters to weigh in on things as their gauge may match but we are WAY different on needles from time to time. They all usual are identically to each other and i am the loner off using a different needle size!


  4. I’m sitting here watching Supernatural episodes with my youngest daughter and my husband and I’ve been working on my capelet most of the day. I just got to the body set up and realized that there was a mistake. I immediately logged in here to see if there was an update – and there was! I’m glad to see it, because now I can continue on!

    Swatching – I usually only swatch for clothing items. Scarves, blankets, loose cowls, and so on, I don’t feel need to be swatched because they’re going to work no matter what. Then there was the day that my daughter wanted me to knit a beret for her and she wanted it fast, so I just cast on and started knitting – no swatch. When I got done with it, it was miles too big! It fell down over her eyes and she’s adult sized. Since she had picked a 100% wool yarn, I decided to see if I could felt it down to size. I washed it twice and finally got it down to a decent size but then my daughter decided she didn’t like it felted because it wasn’t slouchy. I ended up donating the hat to our cancer center, where it was immediately snapped up. I’m glad that somebody loved it! That taught me a good lesson and I did swatch for the capelet and got gauge with the size 10 needles you included. I teach knitting classes and make sure to stress to my students that they need to swatch, and that it’s most important when it comes to clothing items.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad you saw the update! Sorry about that!
      LOL! I laughed because YOU DID get gauge with the 10s!
      When you have taught, do you find most students think it is boring or a bit of a yarn waste? I like playing with my swatches, so I see them as doodling prompts where I can play around a bit!


      • Most of my students hate to do gauge swatches but they will usually do them for clothing. Unless the pattern says that the gauge swatch needs to be washed and blocked, they usually frog the swatch after making sure they have gauge and use the yarn in their project, so it’s not wasted and they make sure to have enough.


  5. Rin says:

    The one and only cardigan I’ve ever made (for those curious, it’s Harvest by tincanknits), I didn’t swatch at all. I thought I did, because back then, I thought “swatching” meant knitting the thing for two to three rows or so and measuring to make sure I was getting the stitches per inch noted on the pattern. I was so impatient and excited that I skipped the “wash and dry to see if the thing will hold” part of the instructions.

    Needless to say, it didn’t turn out well at all. I am now the proud owner of a cardigan that is probably a size or two bigger than I normally wear, with one sleeve slightly shorter than the other.

    It’s…not fit to wear outside the home, but it does keep me warm! 🙂


    • Ohhhh, poor you! At least you can wear it round the house! It is your “special at-home sweater”
      I hear you on the impatient part though! Don’t you just want to start some times? The yarn and the pattern and the “I want to have this whipped up NOW!” feeling…. ahhhh…I know what you mean!


  6. Mel, I have a question. I’m working on the body of the capelet. On Row 2, after knitting the long stretch (originally 46 stitches), we m1l, slm, k1, slm, then s1r and sm – this marker wasn’t placed in the set up for the body, but I put it in the first time I knitted Row 2 in the body. My question, however, is this – after making m1r the first time, what do we do with that stitch the second time and so on when we get to that part? Do we knit it or what? I’m stuck until I know this. Thanks, Kim


    • Aloha Kim! I will happily add a quick photo tutorial if that will help, but in words here is what you do:
      The row say: k2, p2 to m, sl m, knit to m, m1r, sl m, k1, sl m, m1l, knit to m, m1l, sl m, k1, sl m, m1r, slm, knit to m, sl m, k2, p2 3 times k2 to create new stitches.
      On row 2 you knit all the stitches, even the new increases you just made on the last row.

      So each time the new stitches created are grafted in and you won’t need to adjust your markers if that is what you are asking.

      When creating stitches, each time you knit to the m as instructed even if that means you will knit a newly added stitch.
      Does this help or am I not fully understanding your Q?
      If not ask again and I will gladly try again!


      • Sorry, the answer didn’t populate until now. I was checking before. So, each row I just knit that last M1R stitch and all the others that are created on rows before that. Okay, thanks!


        • I am sorry it didn’t pop up faster for you! I have to click my “refresh” button from time to time to see all of the new comments.
          Please let me know if you need any extra help. I find I learn best by seeing something, so I can make a quick photo tutorial if after a few rows you still feel a bit unsure!


    • Ellen Sweat says:

      Kim, the m1r and m1l stitches become just regular stitches after you make them. On the next m1r/m1l row you knit to the marker(this includes any stitches previously added during a m1r/m1l row). Hope this helps.


    • Aloha Robin! In the above post I talk about that =) The part that says: “Something to note as well:

      I would be very interested to have you weigh in! When I knit Claire’s Capelet: On The Road, I found gauge on size US 10.5s…but I was the only one, which is often the case I find between my knitting and my test knitters. Each of them got identical gauge on 10s (as the yarn recommends) which is why I had 10s included in your kit.”

      The size 10s are the ones that will work for the pattern. I should have altered it in the pattern, but hoped to make it a topic of conversation with gauge and swatching.
      So please read over the post above for more details.


  7. Ellen Sweat says:

    I have cast on and currently knitting the body section. Love this yarn 🙂

    I do swatch but not always. It depends on whether fit is important or if there is question/concern about the yarn.


  8. Misty says:

    I was very excited last year to knit a stylish new cardigan in some lovely, splurge-a-licious new yarn. I forced myself to swatch and was thrilled to get gauge. I knit along devotedly and was thrilled to watch the cardigan grow, complete with an extra inch to accommodate The Girls. Then I wet the sweater for blocking – and it became ginormous! And then it was no longer stylish. 😦 I ended up following some advice about how to shrink it down enough that it’s wearable, but it’s still not stylish like I had hoped. It’s comfy but frumpy. Needless to say, now I also block my swatches (& take before and after measurements) before spending time and precious, delicious yarn like that.


    • Oh Misty! This is heartbreaking! Even worse that you actually took the time at first to swatch!(just not the soaking and blocking…) so it isn’t as if you weren’t trying to skirt the requirements. Awww!


  9. Hi Everyone, is anyone else working on the body? Do you know what to do with the last M1R when you get back to them on subsequent rows? I’m feeling a little frustrated. I was sailing along so smoothly and now I can’t continue.


  10. Nina says:

    I’m a bit late to the party … I cast on during my lunch break today! I swatch … but not an official swatch. I start knitting the project and check my gauge .. .. If I am on gauge, I keep knitting — if my gauge is off, I will Frog and change needle sizes. I’ve been knitting for many years and know that I typically knit a bit loose … so I always start with a needle size one smaller than recommended. I only brought my February Supplies from my kit today and I am pleasantly surprised to get right on gauge with the size US 10 needles!

    Oh my …. this yarn is D-Licious !!

    My very first knitted sweater, a cardigan, was a disaster. I was too anxious to knit the pieces and didn’t take the time to knit a swatch ( …. or, apparently, to check the gauge … ). As a new knitter, I didn’t fully appreciate how important it is to knit a swatch! The pieces were too small — it created a cardigan that would fit a very small adult. I was very disappointed but thought it would make a nice gift for my elderly Grandmother. My Knitting Mentor insisted that I find a way to make my very first sweater fit ME. I really didn’t want to rip it all out and start over again. And I was certain that I didn’t have enough yarn to knit bigger pieces (another valuable just-learning-to-knit lesson ….) My creative inspiration kicked in — I found a nice yarn that complemented the main sweater yarn, and I crocheted a border around each piece — measuring along the way to make sure the pieces matched the dimensions of the pattern schematic (with help and guidance from my Knitting Mentor…). It turned out to be a very nice cardigan that I still have and wear …. I will often share it with the students in my knitting classes to help them appreciate the value of swatching and checking gauge!


    • What an awesome story! I love how you took what could have been a sad ending and worked it out to be AWESOME!
      And I am on board with you! This yarn is soo wonderful! I really wanted to have one extra extra splurge-y (that has to be a real word) yarn included for participants. And this soft bit of camel heaven is just the thing!
      And you illustrate again why I trust my test knitters more than my own gauge as a litmus test. =)


  11. Just starting today, love working with this yarn it is very different!
    My funniest thing not watching – sweater for my hubby. It was my very first sweater and it was so tight it would only fit our dog! 😳 That was back in 1989. Put my needles away after being so discouraged and switched to cross stitch and quilting. I started knitting again in 2005 with socks because it was handier to take with you.


    • Oh my goodness! This is definitely an illustration of how gauge does matter! I think the husband sweater to dog sweater size ratio is jaw dropping! You poor thing…and your hubby too! I bet the dog looked stylish though!


  12. I am working on the body and I have a question on the 2nd row at the end when your pattern says sl M, M1R, sl M knit to marker sl M ( I don’t have a marker after M1R ) should I add one or is this a mistake?


    • Ellen Sweat says:

      I do not have a marker after the m1r at the end of 2nd row either. There should be 6 markers total. 2 are for marking the k2/p2 edging on both ends and the other 4 are for 2 each around the k1 to mark the center of the increases. Do you have 6 markers?


    • Aloha! I was trying to re-work things for you and others who wanted things added to the pattern. I am sorry I didn’t answer you faster. You are on the right path and quite brilliant!


  13. Andrea DeNeen says:

    I started watching when I started participating in MKALs with kits to make sure I would have enough yarn. When I was starting out and just doing blankets I tried a blanket with 12 blocks- all with different stitches. I chose different brands of yarn and was really only paying attention to them being complementary colors. When I went to stitch the blocks together each set of colors had completely different dimensions! Definitely an ah-ha moment for me.


  14. Jocelyn says:

    I don’t usually swatch for smaller items like shawls, cowls, mittens etc. But I always swatch for sweaters or patterns where I’m concerned I’ll run out of yarn. So I don’t really have a horror story about not swatching but I do have one about swatching incorrectly…

    When I first started knitting I didn’t realize that you are supposed to wash and lay out your swatch to dry in the same manner that you would lay out the finished project. So I swatched for a child’s sweater and pinned it out (quite extremely) without washing it to see how far it would stretch. I really can’t tell you what I thought I was going to accomplish by doing this, I think I was just blindly following what I thought was the proper technique.

    Once the sweater was done it ended up fitting my 3 year old nephew instead of my 6 year old son, who it was intended for! Luckily it was my nephew’s birthday the same weekend that I finished the sweater and he wore it all of the time and it was very well loved. So I’m not sure how much of a horror story that is really. It’s more like a lesson learned, as well it caused me to better research what the heck I am supposed to be doing and think more carefully about what I am trying to accomplish as I begin each project.


  15. knitstostaysane says:

    Always last to the party! You guys sound like you’re having fun with the knit. I still have lots of deadline knitting to do, but while I wait I’m reading.
    My good friend recommended the series ages ago and I started reading it a good six months ago. I’ve started again snd im thoroughly enjoying the read.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ted says:

    I have only swatched once. I wanted to make the Carlito Sweater by Mathew Gnagy in a silk yarn. So glad I did! I knit about 8 million inches of the main cable pattern and set it aside. Over the next couple of weeks it grew 2 inches wider and 1.5 inches longer, just sitting in my knitting basket. I still haven’t found yarns in the colors I want to do that sweater.


  17. Hello everyone. You all seem to be marching on with your caplets.

    Mel asked me to chime in with my recent swatch story.
    I was making a beanie hat for my brother in law which was an R2D2 design (Star Wars R2D2) and it was using stranded knitting which i’ve never really done before.
    I didn’t swatch. I used the instructions for the small adult size but could really have done with doing the big adult size.
    It fits but it fits my son much better than my brother in law, and he has a small head.
    I don’t swatch for shawls or cowls but I do for things that need to fit properly and I should have swatched for a new technique.
    Lesson learned.

    Happy knitting from Scotland where it is a breezy cold springlike morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • knitstostaysane says:

      Louise, I loved your Instagram photos of your R2D2 hat.

      I want to say that your project bag is stunning. I LOVE the colours. It’s so clever that you used two different colours of thread.

      I now have 2 of your bags. I have a sneaking suspicion they won’t be my last.


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