I have been happily knitting on my Reverie swatches and enjoying just knitting with the yarn. I like making my swatches big enough that I have a solid four by four inch of knitting inside my square that aren’t right next to my garter stitch boarders. The yarn is super soft and halfway through the first swatch I got used to knitting with the extra halo that the yarn has.
That being said, I have had to knit two plain stockinette swatches so far. Since the pattern calls for the body of the vest being knit with US 6 needles, I figured that was a good place to start. I needed to get 20 stitches per four inches and I ended up getting 21 stitches per four inches. Not a big deal, but I really need to get 20 stitches to be able to get the proper measurement (even though I really like the fabric at that gauge, but I will remember that for later because I see more than one Reverie sweater/vest in my life). So, I tried again with US 7 needles figuring I would get gauge then. I ended up getting 19 stitches per 4 inches.
So, this is the part where we whip out the knitting math reference sheet and crunch some numbers to see the relationship between gauge and size. There might be a little bit of a test wall because I completely failed taking good pictures of my individual swatches and they are really hard to tell which one is which because they are so close in size.
The original pattern gauge calls for 20 stitches per 4 inches (5 stitches per inch). That means at my target size of 48 inches should call for 240 stitches around in the pattern. What I will need to do for my gauge swatches is to divide 240 by my stitches per inch and that will get me the size that the vest would turn out if I knit it with that gauge.
My first gauge of 21 stitches/4 inches would make it 5.25 stitches per inch. If I knit the pattern at this gauge it would make my vest about 45 inches around instead of 48 inches around. That would still fit, but it would have a bit of negative ease that I would have to squeeze into which would make it difficult to wear as a layering piece.
My second gauge of 19 stitches/4 inches would make it 4.75 stitches per inch. If I knit the pattern at this gauge, then it would make my vest about 50 inches around, which is two inches bigger than the size called for in the pattern. This would also give it a little bit of positive ease which wouldn’t be a bad thing in a layering piece, but it might use up a tiny bit more yarn. But, I have two gauge swatches that I could carefully unravel and use in case I would need more yarn.
The only other thing I could do if I really, really wanted to hit perfect gauge is to change my needle material, but I don’t really feel like buying a nickel plated needle for one project since I really do prefer knitting with wood for any size above a US 2 needle.
I am going to go ahead and knit one last swatch just so I can get comfortable with the cable pattern using Reverie before I actually start my project. I have no idea what I am going to do with all of these squares of fabric when I am done, but I am enjoying swatching so I don’t mind making them.