My friend Knitterary and I, had this crazy idea some 10 months ago (I think) about knitting the Alice Starmore pattern Fulmar. I loved the cables and could totally picture myself in this sweater. Yet, I was scared. Why? I don't know...maybe her reputation proceeds her and with all this talk about how great her patterns are and gosh, lets not even talk about the price her books going on Ebay. ouch.
Amazingly we have 77 members so far and it seems to be growing. If your interested in joining, just look up FulmarKAL under yahoo groups. We cast-on come October 1st and I'm thrilled to know that others are doing this scary thing with me...makes it kinda PG-13 instead of rated R.
So far, I've swatched for my Fulmar. The yarn is Silver Creek in a soft merino and I'm still working out the gauge in my head. Here is the swatches I made over the weekend:
I started with the recommended needle size 3.00m (us3) and the fabric was very wonky. Longer on one side and tighter in other spots. Over all I was getting mixed measurements of 28 to 31 stitches depending on where I measured. I was looking to get 30 stitches. I decided to block the swatch and was even more amazed to see that it stretched to 26 stitches. sigh.
I then casted-on again with a smaller needle size. The new swatch was created with 2.75m (us2) and the fabric was much denser with stitches popping. This swatch did not turn out as wonky as the previous one and I got consistent measurements of 30 stitches over 10cm. Out of curiosity I blocked this swatch and it grew. It is now 29 stitches over 10cm.
The smaller needle will most likely work better for me, but I'm concerned about the grow factor. My first choice was to knit the 38-40 size. Now I'm starting to think I'll knit the smaller size. I'm going to gain stitches and roughly add approximately 4 inches to an already roomy sweater. I think if the sweater is too large, I wont wear it as often. Plus, if I knit the smaller size that would be a huge motivation to keep losing weight!