The gauge swatch that lied.....


..... and other tales of horror. Ok I'll admit that this isn't a real knitting horror story. It more like a story that should be followed by that horn sound wahh wahh wahh wohhhhhhhh.
My plan for the purple cardi was to start out all the fronts and back as one piece, with little fake purl side seams. Then it would be split when I got to the armhole so there would be set in sleeves. See we have it all done to that point right here.

With most of the stitches on waste yarn I start wrapping it around me in the train seat and think "this looks too wide". No panicking though because who makes a final decision when just staring down at yourself in a train seat. I get home and repeat the process in front of the mirror and it looks even wider than before, like 2-3 inches wider. So out comes the ruler to see if the stitch gauge is different than the 5.5 per inch on my gauge swatch. No it still comes out 5.5! (See photo proof, the .5 stitch is lurking in the shadow) I repeat the measuring several more times even measuring 4 inches and getting the correct number of 22. Then the number of stitches get counted and I find that there are 199 stitches which divided by 5.5 makes 36.18 inches not the almost 39 inches I'm measuring when the sweater is wrapped around me. What is going on!
It took a good half hour to think of checking the gauge while I had the retangle wrapped around me. It seems that once you have 199 stitches hanging vertically the gauge becomes much more like 5 st per inch, which the calculator tells me is close to 39". Grrrrrrrr. There is a silver lining though, I did some increases under the arms that can be taken out. This takes the stitch count down to 187 which will still be a bit bigger than I wanted but doesn't require everything to be ripped out. That isn't going to stop me from participating in some brownie therapy tonight.

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