Friday, October 19, 2018

Urban Reflection CAL Week 1: Gauge

Hip hip hooray! The Urban Reflection CAL officially starts today!!! Who else is super excited?! I hope you are, that's why you're here right? You've seen all those lovely pictures (courtesy of KT and the Squid) of the Urban Reflection Wrap on Facebook and Instagram, you joined the Official String With Style Facebook Group, you bought your yarn and now you're sitting down with your hook saying, "GET TO THE URBAN REFLECTION CAL ALREADY!!!!!" I hear you, I got you, here we go!
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Urban Reflection CAL Week 1 is all about gauge. I know, I know, it's probably all stuff you've heard before. And if you're like me, checking gauge on an accessory probably sounds like a waste of time because matching the pattern's finished size isn't usually crucial when it's not a garment. The reason I'm having us all go through this step is because I know so many of you bought beautiful yarn from KT and the Squid and in the sample I made up the yardage was pretty close. I would hate for you to run out of yarn when you are almost to the end and have to start your Urban Reflection Wrap ALL OVER with a different hook. That's so frustrating!! I don't want that for anyone!

SOOOOooooooo..... We're going to check gauge! Happy dance!

Checking gauge really isn't that big of a deal and I promise it is so worth it in the end. Look was a difference blocking makes on just the swatch. Imagine what it will do for your finished Urban Reflection Wrap!


Before blocking
After blocking











A few things to keep in mind:
  • The Urban Reflection Wrap is worked with two different colorways. I suggest that you use the color that you have decided not to use as your border. I worked both my gauge swatch and my border in the same colorway. It's doable but really tight. I don't suggest it. The good news is, if you get to the end of your Urban Reflection Wrap and decide that you want to do the border in the color of your gauge swatch, that's ok, you can always frog (rip out) your swatch and use it in your border. It'll just save you a little time if you make that choice ahead of time.
  • If you are using a wool or wool blend yarn, make sure you are using a wool wash. 
  • Start with the hook recommended and work up a swatch. Once you know how your gauge compares to mine you can adjust up or down in hook size if necessary. It will be more important for you to match the number of stitches in the gauge swatch then it will be for you to match the number of rows in the gauge swatch.
  • If you are new to blocking, make sure when you pin your gauge swatch to dry to spread it out evenly. I suggest to start by pinning along the bottom of the swatch. Your beginning ch will stretch the least. Once you have that in place you can pin the top two corners by stretching them up slightly. Lastly pin all the rest of the sides into place making sure the swatch is square.
  • You don't need fancy blocking mats, they're great but a mattress and straight pins work just fine. I blocked my wrap on my blocking mats but did my swatch on my guest room mattress.
  • When measuring gauge make sure that you are measuring inside your swatch. You will have a more accurate measurement if you aren't measuring from the outside edges of your gauge swatch.

Gauge pattern
14 tc x 6 rows = 3" square
F (3.75 mm) Hook

You will need to work a swatch larger then 3" so that you can measure inside of it.

Ch 28
1. Tc in 5th ch from hook and in each ch across, ch 4 turn (25 tc)
2. Ch 4 counts as a tc, tc in next st and in each st across, ch 4 turn. (25 tc)
Repeat row 2 until you have a total of 10 rows.
Break yarn.
Wash and block your swatch the way you plan to wash and block your Urban Reflection Wrap.
Measure to check your gauge.

Should you go up or down in hook size?

This part sometimes gets confusing so here is a quick reference list:
  • Too many stitches in your gauge swatch? You need bigger stitches so that there will be fewer stitches in the gauge swatch - you need a bigger hook.
  • Not enough stitches in your gauge swatch? You need smaller stitches so that there will be more stitches in the gauge swatch - you need a smaller hook.
Any other questions? Come join the Official String With Style Facebook Group or message me on Instagram @stringwithstyle. I'll be around to answer questions and help you all start with confidence. This is going to be awesome!!!

The first part of the FREE Urban Reflection Wrap pattern will be posted here on the blog next Friday, October 26, 2018. However, if you just can't wait, I did promise that the PDF would be available today. For those wishing to keep everything collected together on Ravelry or saved on your computer, or maybe you just like avoiding ads, you can purchase the full PDF pattern HERE on Ravelry.

See you again next week!

Be Happy,
BreeAnna

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