I decided to proceed with Liv after knitting a swatch with size 3 US needles, even though my gauge doesn’t match the gauge specified in the pattern.
I seldom knit to the smallest or largest size in a pattern, and one quick-and-dirty way I have of “adjusting” my gauge is to plug my gauge into the smallest size. I know I’m not getting the measurements the pattern thinks I am, but when I use my gauge with the number of stitches in the pattern, things seem to work out. For this pattern, I want the widest measure to be around 20 inches on the front and 20 inches on the back (a total of 40 inches for the chest circumference). I’m getting about 30 stitches to 6 inches, and so when I use the small measure (cast on 96 stitches and increase to 100 stitches), I will get a width that is between 19 and 20 inches on the back. So this method is working for me. Now all I have to do is knit to the smallest size values, and the sweater should work out.
Like many other knitters of Elsebeth Lavold patterns, I find that the patterns could do with much more explicit directions. It particularly bothered me that there was no schematic, and so I fooled with Microsoft Word’s drawing feature, and I created one for the back:
This was my first attempt with this part of Word, and there are measurements that are off on the graph. But it does give me the guidance I need for the back, and I’ll fix it as I go along. Eventually I’ll post a corrected schematic that anyone else working with Liv could use. It would be necessary to change the measurements for the version of Liv that you’re using, but the basics would be there.
So Liv is officially a WIP.
I tried to find other knitters who made Liv and other Elsebeth Lavold patterns to figure out why my gauge was so far off, and from the information I found, it seems to be me. I also considered that I like a tighter knit so that a non-wool sweater doesn’t stretch over time, and my preference may be the reason I want a tighter fabric. In any case, the size 3s are ok for the body, and I’m using 2.5mm for the garter stitch.
One other knitter said that her gauge varied for different parts of her sweater, and that seems to be happening to me, at least a little. Notice that I’m getting around 20 ½ inches for the bottom. I think this is ok, because it will go around my tummy (not my most flattering measurement), and I could do with a little more fabric there. I plan to tighten up a little as I knit on to get back to 20 inches. (I’ll also try a few more crunches, but I think that age is not on my side when it comes to abs, and my “core” is probably as good as it is going to get, despite the efforts of the health club trainers who lead our "over 50" exercise class.)
So as with all things, this took somewhat longer than I imagined. The Shetland Triangle is still unblocked, but the weather is humid and dreary, and so I think that is best left for a dryer day. Ed’s sweater has more rows, but the left front is not done. So this week I’ll continue with the front and work on Liv.