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Preparing to holiday

I’m going to Thailand on Friday with my old school friends. A couple of years ago we started talking about what we were going to do for our 40ths, and decided that, instead of a bunch of parties and presents and all that, we’d go on holidays together. I didn’t think it would actually happen, but happening it is. Five of us are going to stay in a resort in Phuket, leaving this Friday.
 
Now, one of the most important questions I have to ask before any holiday is: what should I knit? I’ve decided on Romi Hill’s Village Sweater Wrap. It’s an odd garment – part giant shawl, part cardigan, but I’ve noticed that my taste is moving towards longer, looser, less structured garments. This should be great holiday knitting – the middle is just endless garter stitch, and there is no possibility that over ten days I will finish it. This also has the bonus that I have somewhat suitable yarn in stash:
 
I swatched this weekend. Sometimes I can be cavalier about swatching, casting on a sleeve or just making an educated guess, but I want to make sure this fabric is nice, and with over 300 stitches, this was not a good time to just cast on and hope it looks good:
 
The main drama with the swatching was my stitch gauge was too big, so I went down a needle size. Then I counted my row gauge, and it was really, really too big. So I went down another needle size. My stitch gauge was close, but even with blocking it small, instead of stretched, my row gauge was coming in at 24 rows for 10 cm, not the 40 called for. Then I went to bed, stressing about what I was going to knit on this trip. When I got up this morning, I went to see if the row gauge had magically changed overnight. And I looked at it and realised I wasn’t counting rows, I was counting ridges. Now I’m going to reblock it for length, and it should be good to go!

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