For my birthday present this year, His Awesomeness bought me 2 sweaters' worth of yarn from Knit Picks (of my own choosing). I'll be making the Green Tea Raglan, and the Slant Neck Pullover, both from the Spring Interweave Knits. Both with Knit Picks Mainline.
I'm using Dusty Lavender for the Green Tea Raglan, so I may end up folowing other people's example and calling it the Lavender Tea Raglan. (Speaking of which--yum.)
I swatched before I had figured out what was causing my sizing issues with the Somewhat Cowl, so I swatched like a mofo. I mean, look at this thing--it's ginormous!
I used 2 needle sizes for the stockinette and 3 needle sizes for the seed stitch. But when I meaured it, all 3 needle sizes got the me the same exact gauge. And it wasn't the right gauge for the pattern. I even started a new swatch with 2 more needle sizes. I still got the same gauge.
So I threw the thing in the wash and I figured that after some more measuring, I'd just have to do some math and probably make one size for the sleeves and another size for the body to compensate for the gauge issues and hopefully it would all fit in the end.
So I sat down with my gauge, a ruler and a calculator. And wouldn't you know it? The freaking thing now had the right gauge. In the section where I used the needle size called for in the freaking pattern.
Consider me a convert to the Church of Diligent Swatching.
This was Tuesday. Both sleeves are done and I've started the back. The seed stitch is going more slowly, but I'm still making good progress.
Of course, now I've discovered that Main Line is not actually machine washable. Um...oops?
I'm thinking that I'll machine wash & dry the pieces before I sew them together (with or without blocking--I'll be playing it by ear). That way, I'll get the same gauge as the swatch. As for washing the sweater after that, well...I guess I can always re-wash the watch and see what happens.