One of our sample knitters Jenny created two versions of the Sand and Sea Shawlette by Alana Dakos that is published in the Coastal Knits book that came out last summer. We have found that the patterns continue to be very popular with our customers. Jenny’s yarn selections make a very clear demonstration about how a change in gauge can affect the finished product.
The smaller version of the shawl was created with lace weight yarn. She choose a stunning color combination very reminiscent of beachy tones with Madelinetosh Prairie in Cove for the main stockinette section and Sea Silk by Handmaiden in the sandy neutral colorway that is perfect complement.
The larger version was created with a sport weight yarn. Anzula’s Cricket in the Madam colorway is paired with the same Sea Silk held double this time to better match the larger gauge. Two skeins of the Cricket were required to complete that stockinette section, and still the yardage is significantly less than the more than 800 yards of the laceweight yarn that was used for the smaller shawlette.
These two shawlettes can make clear how modifying the yarn called for in the pattern can bring beautiful results, and how fewer stitches and rows per inch can create a dramatically larger finished project. This is why we often encourage knitters to feel free to use any yarn that they love for a pattern, but to consider changing needle size and/or finished project size if the garment is meant to have a particular fit.
Experimenting with blankets or shawls that don’t need to have a particular finished dimension can be a fun way to get practical experience playing with gauge.