Tuesday Queuesday – Rowe

It’s Tuesday Queuesday! Don’t know what that is? I don’t blame you, we just made it up! In these posts we’ll talk about our plans for future projects. A place to gather thoughts and figure things out.

I’ve been wanting to make a Rowe since I was shown the pattern. That was over a year ago. It was placed in my Ravelry queue with the note of “a billionty yards of worsted”. Considering it’s going to need over 2000 yards, I think “billionty” sums it up nicely. It’s huge and bulky and cabley and looks like something I would live in during the winter. Save on heating costs, yanno.

  • Pattern: Rowe, my project page
  • Date queued: March 3, 2016 (right before yarn train!)
  • Yarn required: 1915-2275 yards (sizes 40.25-46.75″)
  • Yarn purchased: Cascade Eco, Latte, 5 skeins (2390 yards)
  • Difficulties forseen:
    • Gauge. I swatched three five a lot of times .
      • Pattern gauge is 19×30 for 4×4″ of double moss, 32×30 for 5×4″ of cable chart A or C.
      • My gauge on US7 was 20×20 on moss, 32×20 on cable chart.
      • My gauge on US6 was 18.5×32 on moss – unblocked. I got all excited, then I blocked and…started all over.
    • Sizing – this has a lot to do with gauge…
      • My high bust is approx 38″ (I need to get properly measured!)
      • Sizes are 40.25, 43.5, 46.75 (for the smallest three sizes)
      • FO is intended to have 6-8″ positive ease.
      • If I can actually get anything close to gauge, I’m going to knit 43.5″ size.
    • Seaming! I’ve made a ton of sweaters, and have yet to make a single one that I’ve had to seam at all. I’m just going to cross my fingers at that point…

The one really big issue on this sweater/coat/monstrosity is the gauge. Not actually knitting it, or seaming it, but the gauge. Most of the time I half ass my gauge swatches. It goes along with my general nature of “following” patterns and going with the knit-flow. I usually just want to check to make sure that my hat will remotely fit on my head, or my scarf/cowl with turn out…scarf/cowl sized. Even for sweaters, it’s usually just to make sure I’m close to gauge and that the final fabric won’t be see-through.

Rowe is different though. The sheer amount of time I’m going to put into it (even with my superhuman knitting speed) demands that I do it once. No getting halfway done, realizing it’s 4 sizes too big (or small) and frogging to start again. This is going to be done once, and it’s going to be done right. Cue an unseemly number of gauge swatches.

Gauge attempt 1:

First off was a small swatch on the recommended needle size (US8). It was laughably large/off gauge. I honestly think I did laugh – the sad laugh of failure right at the very beginning of a project. But alas, time to swatch again on 7’s. Don’t want to waste yarn though because I don’t know what size I’m going to knit yet, so I frog the US8 swatch and do it again on US7. And then again on US6.  All moss stitch, mind you – I haven’t even gotten to the cabled sections!

Gauge was everywhere. It was off, so off. I even went so far as to do a half swatch of the cable section with US5’s, because everything was off so badly! (It wasn’t helpful, it was the same friggin’ size as the US6 swatch.)

At that point I put it in the naughty drawer and resolved to try again later.

Gauge attempt 2:

Two and a half weeks later I tried again. Since I had been previously working with ramen yarn, and hadn’t marked my swatches in any way to remember what needles I used (dummy!), I decided to re-swatch everything.

I spent last Saturday night curled up on the couch swatching away, determined to make Rowe the best it could be. It took a lot of patience to get some video, but I found a couple of ways to make it work. Pretty sure my husband thought I was a crazy person, but he already knows that in his heart so it’s cool. 😉


Three hours on Saturday night, and an hour on Sunday morning later… I had my swatches. Four squares in total: two moss, two cabled with US6 and US7. I knew that US8 was too big, and there was no way I was knitting this big of a sweater, in this yarn, with US5’s. nope.jpg. I was pretty sure US6 was going to be my go-to, but I needed to confirm. And I did.

I learned my lesson from attempt 1 and embroidered my needle size in the corner. Once they were blocked, I used scrap yarn and outlined the pattern’s gauge numbers on the moss swatches. The results affirmed that US6 was as close as I was getting to gauge, but it was going to require some math.

Determining the actual number of stitches across for the 5″ on cables was a bit iffier than moss because of how much the purls pull in. US6 was actually closer to 28sts for 5″, but it mattered where in the swatch I measured (even after blocking). But for my maths, I used my original notes.


I took the number of stitches in each section from the pattern (for example, 44 sts across the front for the 43.5″ size) and extrapolated the gauge per section using the measurements page (seen in the background).

If my math is right, doing the 43.5″ size will give me something closer to the 46.75″ size, and considering it’s supposed to have 6-8″ of positive ease, that’s probably for the best. I think it’s going to turn out well. Cross your fingers for me.