Gramercy Park progress: starting the back and doing ONE MORE swatch

This is my the hem of the back, compared with the blocked swatch. The new cast-on is lovely on the WIP, but I haven’t blocked it.

I started knitting the back, and it is progressing very well.  However, I had this niggling worry while knitting that I needed to do one more swatch.  You see, I really believe in swatching for a project the way you plan to knit it: the same yarn, needles, stitch pattern.  When I swatched for this project, we had not yet learned the special cast-on, so I swatched with a different stretchy cast-on.  It didn’t occur to me until I’d finished the hem of the back, that I hadn’t swatched and blocked the 2-needle cast on:
So, I cast-on for a tiny swatch. Just 17 sts: one chart repeat and some border sts.  This isn’t for gauge, it’s to see if the cast-on blocks nicely with the lace patterning when I’m the one doing the knitting with this yarn and needles.  Just a safety check.  I don’t consider it a spoiler to show you the cast-on, on the needles.  It is interesting to see how tight it is, with the 2 needles.

Just 17 sts, and you can see how tight it looks on the needle. When the size 1 needle is pulled out, the added yarn allows for super stretch!


When the small dpn is removed, this stretches like crazy.  My tiny swatch looks very happy, blocked and dry.  The cast-on is really pretty.  The special twist in the method creates a lovely little bead at the base of each stitch. You wouldn’t notice unless you look closely, but it’s that type of detail that really rings my bell.

Anyway, I’m rockin’ and rollin’ on the pattern, and just finished the waist decreases.  One thing about knitting with lace, it is super easy to keep track of your rows.  This chart is a 26 row repeat, so counting is a snap.  I’m aiming for starting my waist increases at 8 in. deep, blocked. My blocked row gauge is 8.5 rows/in, so I calculated where I will start the increases.  8 in. x 8.5 rows = 64 rows.  So, my first waist increase will be on row 65, a RS row. Elegant, huh?  I will do a measurement first, of course, as a double check, to see if I am close to 8 in.  But, I really trust the math.

My progress might be a bit slower, going forward, as I prepare to teach 4 classes for VKL next week.  One of the classes is my Gauge Master Class, and I really love sharing current projects and swatches with the students.  I think that real-life examples show that teachers walk the walk, and this isn’t just theoretical stuff that works for some people.  It is vital information that makes our craft easier, more predictable and our projects much more successful.  It will be fun if one or more of my students is doing this KAL, too!  We can compare swatch stories!


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