“Oh, I don’t go by gauge.”

By which, Teacher Lady means she doesn’t do what I did – which is what the books said – make a swatch, size up from that to make a pattern larger that it was written to be.

Arrggh (my frustration is very pirate-y)!

I used the needles I was going to knit with, I used the yarn I was going to knit with – see where this is going? The dog sweater of Exceedingly Earnest Orangeness is too big.

beginner dog sweater, back, with a stripe

I even put in a stripe.

The lady sitting across from me at class last night suggested I get a bigger dog. GENIUS. That said, I am not getting a bigger dog.

The Teacher Lady asked what kind of dog I had and I ashamedly admitted to owing a part-poodle. He is a lovely, lovely dog but he is small, fluffy and yappy. He also likes wearing clothes, which I find hilarious and so – Dog Sweater A. Anyway, the point of all this is – the sweater is a bit bigger than the dog.

I used this formula to size up the pattern:

  • Using gauge given for pattern (ex: 5) , divide number of stitches called for in pattern (ex: 40) by gauge (so 40/5 = 8″) to find the inches the pattern makes (8″).
  • Using yarn gauge (ex: 5 stitches =1″) multiply that by the number of inches you want (12″) to get new number of stitches to cast on (5 x 12 = 60, cast on 60 stitches).

That sounds right, yeah? I got it from allexperts.com, “How to make a larger size than the pattern provides…” and followed the directions EXACTLY.

Or wait…did I? What the hell? Gauge? Uh, where is the gauge – what is the gauge? I made a swatch and counted how many stitches in an inch of knitting with my little ruler thingy. That’s gauge, right?

AUGH! Uh, pardon me while I step aside for a minute and google “gauge” …no, no “gauge” is just written as “tension” in the pattern I was using, and measuring the stitches in the knitting is the gauge…

I did 18 stitches, measured and got 4 stitches equaling one inch – 4 sts = 1″

In the pattern:

pattern dog has a chest circumference of 15″

for the back                  47 sts = 10.5″
for the under panel    19 sts = 4.5″

My dog, Dashiell, has a chest circumference of -wiggly- wait, no, treat!, uh 17″. So all I need to do is increase the pattern 2″, right?

So, 47 CO, wait, wait, 47 + 19 , err, uh, to make the whole…uh…oh, I only did the back, the 47 sts. Lessee, try this 47 + 19 = 66, gauge was 4 sts = 1″ so should be 66/4 instead of 47/4 so…

66/4 = 16.5

The pattern makes 16.5 inches. Oh, wow, MY MATH WAS WRONG! THAT’S WHAT IT WAS! I HAVE FOUND MY ERROR!

So, the sweater is supposed to be 1.5″ larger than circumference of dog. With Dashiell it should be 18.5″ then.

4 x 18.5 = 74

I left underpanel out of my calculations and came up with 68 sts to cast on for the back!

pattern back is 10.5, uh, make it 12.5 for Dashiell

4 x 12.5 = 50

pattern underpanel is 4.5″, make it 6″ for Dashiell

4 x 6 = 24

So.  Um, yeah. That would explain why the sweater is too big. Luckily I only cast on 58 sts for the back so it is only 2″ too large on the circumference. I think I can save the whole sweater by making the underpanel narrower and it will just be a little big on his wiggly wiggly self.

Which is a good thing because otherwise I would have to go to the park and grab other people’s dogs and stuff them in the very very orange sweater until I found one it fit. Which would be distressing and possibly get me arrested.

Here’s a picture of the ribbing the learned to do just for this dumb sweater:

1 x 1 ribbing on edge of very orange sweater

And here are the samplers I made to get the ribbing and the binding off right:

ribbing and binding off samplers

Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief that the damn dog sweater is possibly save-able, shall we?

Oh, oh! I forgot about the stripe I put in! Everyone was all “no, no stripe! especially not a red one!” so I totally put in a red stripe, and then had to rip it back ’cause I did something weird when I added it in, re-did it and got this:

red stripe in very orange sweater back

and this is how I did it:

knitting setup, including notebook and mustard pretzels

the Vogue Knitting Quick Reference guide and a bowl of honey mustard pretzels. Yeah, baby!

I will now start on the reduced size underpanel. Lets hope this works out!


“What are you doing?”

Firstscarf is stalled due to lack of yarn. It is this long currently:

scarf and measuring tape

I need more yarn and I haven’t made the trip back out to the yarn shop yet; enough to make it  a bit longer and for a  fringe. Even though the original pattern does not call for it. It is not a scarf if it does not have fringe, damnit.

So Firstscarf is stuck like this:

multi-colored scarf laid out flat next to measuring tape

so I did this:

beginning of a basketweave knit dishcloth

Which is the beginning of a basketweave dishcloth using a cotton yarn that is scented. I, uh, didn’t realize it was scented until I read the label. I have allergies, I couldn’t tell the yarn was scented. Now that I know I am both charmed and wierded out. Really, scented yarn? Yep.

I keep sniffing my knitting.

Anyway, the pattern came from a Chicks with Sticks book which is in the background of the picture. I tried to take a closer shot of the basketweave but my camera was just “hey, yeah, no – not doing it” so here’s my notebook and the book page instead.

My mother and I traded yarn ’cause I admired the devout orangeness of hers (my yarn was an indifferent  hunter green. I have often mistaken orange for green, and continue to do so. I am sure there is an interesting trauma in my past that accounts for this, but I don’t have a clue what it is. I just think it’s funny I get orange and green mixed up all the time.) I immediately began a dog sweater I don’t know if I can finish:

A* holding beginnings of dog sweater A

Which is mostly due to me not knowing how to decrease at all. I have a couple  books and my knitting class is in two days, so…

That is my nephew,  A*, holding the knitting. Being unfamiliar with my camera, the shots he took of me holding it were all blurred.

The color is, according to G*, “highway worker orange.”  G*, also known as my mother, has a long and sordid history with orange. She and Aunt M* once painted a whole wall orange and had to repaint it when my father came home and saw it. I understand there was a great deal of yelling. I feel I should paint my kitchen orange. Huh.

I learned to do ribbing (1×1) and a stockinette stitch just for this dog sweater.

ribbing on beginning of a very orange dog sweater

This is my third try at ribbing. The sweater is this far along:

very orange dog sweater, beginning

I sized the pattern up a couple of inches, hopefully I did it right and it will not envelop the small dog like devouring sea life. If it turns out too big I may cry.

Although the dog would probably be relieved.

My Dog


a small, very shaggy, wheaten colored dog


a small, shorn dog


In a Sweater:

small dog wearing a teal sweater

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