When I visited last year I bought myself a sweater quantity of the DK yarn in the colourway Dora.
I picked out a pattern ages ago that I wanted to use it for, Girl On Fire by Mary Annarella, and I even bought the pattern during last year's Indie GiftALong and it's been sitting in my library waiting for me to devote the time and the yarn to it. Recently I'd been thinking it would be nice to have a WM sweater to wear that weekend. I have two - both Elphabas, one three-quarter sleeve and one short-sleeve so probably not suitable for Bavaria in October. Those three skeins of Dora DK have been making noises in my stash "Knit us up, come on, you know you want to..."
Last week I came to the decision that if I was going to make that sweater it was now or never or I won't have time to finish it before I go. But I've never used WM DK, and I'm told it grows when you wash it. (Super wash often does. It usually shrinks back again in the dryer but I don't tumble dry my hand knits.) I'd need to account for that growth because that sweater is fitted, and to make things just that little bit more complicated, I've lost weight recently and am a dress size smaller than the last time I knitted myself a sweater. I'd need to take measurements as well as calculate stitch and row gauge.
In the end I did a deal with the yarn (as you do...) If I swatched and got a tension I could work with, I'd go ahead. So I swatched. Off the needles I was getting 22 stitches and 32 rows to 4 inches. I washed the swatch, shook it out a little, laid it flat to dry. After that, 20 stitches and 28 rows to 4 inches. And what does the pattern call for? 20 stitches and 28 rows. Spot on, absolutely spot on. Now I know swatches lie but if that wasn't some kind of sign that I was meant to just go ahead and cast one I don't know what would be.
So here I am, knitting Girl on Fire with less than three weeks to go before my trip. Never mind Girl on Fire, my needles are going to be on fire trying to finish this in time! I started on Monday, today is Saturday and so far I'm just about to start the waist shaping. Of course I like to really add to the time pressure by working an extra 12 rows of bust darts as well, as if there wasn't enough knitting to do already.
I shall update here each weekend until it's done. Nothing like a bit of blog accountability to get a project done.
What have you knitted to a tight deadline? Did it work out?