The Queue experiment

After my last yarn splurge resulting into 32 new skeins for my already substantial stash, I started working with the QUEUE option on Ravelry. I walked through my stash, trying to link each skein to a pattern I could and want to make with it, hoping I could reduce that stash.

While looking for the ideal pattern for these skeins of Catania cotton, I stumbled upon a little treasure.

Catania Aqua

I don’t remember how I found it, but I do remember it was love at first sight for this super cute, whimsical summer dress.

The swishing skirt, the colours, the neckline, I love everything about this dress. So I immediatly bought the pattern, fully intending to make it with the aforementioned stashed yarn.

But then I realised I made a crucial mistake. The pattern requires a DK weight yarn, while my yarn is only a Sports weight. Woops…
For a moment there I didn’t know what to do, but then I realised that I could just knit a bigger size than the size I wanted to end up with. Then with the finer yarn and smaller needle, the bigger size would then turn out smaller, right? Good idea!

First step was now decide which size I wanted to make. Therefore I consulted with my sister in law to know the chest sizes of her daughters, because yes, of course this pattern is meant for one of my nieces. I can already picture them twirling the skirt around! I needed the chest sizes, because the pattern recommends do base the knitted size on that and not on the age of the recipient.

Then I whipped out my Catania and knitting needles to make gauge swatches. I discovered that train trips are ideal to knit these up!

Gauge swatch 1 was knit with 3.5mm en I really dislike the resulting fabric.

Catania 3,5mm

The stitches are uneven and I’m prone to making mistakes. The end result is however very stretchy, which could mean that the dress could be worn longer by one child.

Gauge swatch 2 was knit with a smaller needle, 3mm, and I already like the look of this one much more.

Catania 3mm

The stitches are fairly uniform and the fabric is a little denser, but still airy. The stretchiness is somewhat reduced, but it still streches quite a bit.

And then it was time for some math!
The pattern asks for a gauge of 22 stitches for 4 inches. Swatch 1 gives me a gauge of 24 stitches, while swatch 2 gets 28 stitches for 4 inches.

Because I prefer the look of swatch 2, I continued calculating with that gauge.
If I would make the dress for my god-daughter, then I should knit the 4y size, provided I had the same gauge as the pattern. To start this size, I should cast on 50 stitches.
50 stitches at a gauge of 22st/4in would give me a cast on of 9.09 inches (50 divided by 22 multiplied by 4). Recalculating this to my gauge of 28st/4in would mean I had to cast on a rounded number of 64 stitches.

Then I looked back at the pattern to see if there was a size described with a CO of 64 stitches. The biggest size however described in the pattern only casts on 60 stitches, so that’s 4 stitches short with my 3mm knitting needle.

Now, I could of course repeat the exercise for the larger gauge swatch. Then I could CO 55 stitches for the chosen size. In the patter size 7y starts with 54 stitches, so this could be good. But I’m really opposed to knitting this yarn with the larger needle, because I really dislike the fabric it knits up.

So now I have several options to choose from:

  1. Or I could just knit up the largest possible size in the pattern with the 3mm needles and see how large the dress becomes. If it doesn’t fit my god-daughter, who’s the eldest of 3 girls, it could definitely fit one of her sisters in time.
  2. Or I do knit with the larger needles of 3.5mm, with the possibility that I dislike the end product, but the certainty that the dress will fit my god-daughter.
  3. Or I could just make the dress immediately for sister 2, for which I could knit the second to largest dress based on chest size and my gauge at 3mm.
  4. Or I could just not knit this dress with the stash yarn and buy a yarn in a suitable thickness for this pattern. Hah!

At the moment I’m partial to option 1.
Option 4 does look like fun – Jeij, another excuse to buy yarn! – but it would mean that my QUEUE-project has failed before it really began.
Option 1 thus remains the best option when thinking rationally.

And you? What would you do?