So, I know I said I didn't need to swatch for the CPH because I've worked with Malabrigo before and have a whole sweater to use as a gauge swatch. But I kind of got to thinking, it's not a great idea to tease the Knitting Goddess like that. So even though we all know that math lies and gauge is a myth and swatches don't bear any relationship to reality...I knitted a swatch.
And to my complete surprise--although why I should be surprised by anything that happens while swatching is beyond me--instead of the 19 stitches and 22 rows to 4 inches that I got consistently with size 8 needles over the course of an entire long sweater coat, I got exactly the 17 stitches and 24 rows to 4 inches on size 8 needles called for by the CPH pattern.
I checked it three times. And then, because I am savvy to the ways of the swatch, and it occurred to me that this could be due to a variation in the thickness of that particular section of yarn, or an unconsciously more relaxed tension due to wishful thinking on my part, or the alignment of the planets...
I swatched again with a second ball.
And I got 17 stitches and 24 rows to 4 inches. Again. At this point, I am pretty much certain that this is a setup. This is not reality. This is the Knitting Goddess snickering behind her hands, because there is just no way I could have enough yarn (Malabrigo--on sale) of exactly the gauge called for to knit exactly the sweater I want to do at exactly the time I want to do it.
Then again, maybe it's these:
Have you seen these? These are amazing. Beautiful. Perfect. These are the new Knit Picks Options wood needles. See all the pretty colors? They're much prettier in person. If you already have the Options nickel-plated needles, these work with the same cables. They are grabbier than the nickel-plated needles, but not as grabby as bamboo needles--or at least not as grabby as the 20-year-old bamboo needles I've had since college (oh.my.god.--was I really in college 20 years ago?! Excuse me for just a moment; I'm having a small personal crisis requiring a little deep breathing intervention. Stand by.)
Okay. Uh...needles. Right. These are grabbier than the nickel plated needles, which I love and would ordinarily use for this sort of sticky wool, but...these are new. And colorful. And this is my first chance to use them. So I am. And this could be responsible for the gauge difference, because the wool isn't sliding as easily and I have to tension a little looser to keep it moving. That is the logical explanation.
I prefer to believe that it is simply because the needles are so darned beautiful. You know how beautiful people always seem to have the best luck and are the most popular and successful? (Not that I would know from personal experience; let me know when they start handing out the goodies for being a gawky nerd.) I think the sheer beauty of these needles is casting a little knitting magic over this project and I am experiencing a minor miracle.
Either that, or it's the Knitting Goddess, setting me up for a big fall.