I'm getting close to finishing the front panel of the top I'm making for my mother. This is a stitched photo of the total length. Strangely, a seam showed up in the image (around the 10" mark) after saving it that wasn't there while I was stitching together the two photos. Oh, well.
Click on the photo for larger view options.
With the gauge swatches showing me 15 hdc per 3 inches instead of the 12 hdc per 3 inches in the book, I was curious as to how much of a difference it made. I am using a different yarn than in the pattern, but it has the same bulk (3 or light), plus I'm using the hook size recommended. Technically, it should have been the same gauge, but things like a different brand of yarn, or even the tension I personally keep while working, can make a difference.
Based on the pattern instructions, 66 stitches should have given me a length of 16 1/2 inches. In measuring, I found 66 stitches put me at about 14 1/2 -15 inches, instead. Had I actually had the same gauge as the pattern, that would put the actual length (almost 23 inches) at 6 1/2 inches longer than the pattern. With the different gauge, the change added about 8 - 8 1/2 inches to the length it would have been without the adjustments.
As I near the point where I have to make the arm hole, I will need to check the width and see if I need to add any extra rows to make up for the different gauge. That part is easy. What I'm not sure of is how this will effect the sleeves under the arms. I don't actually know how large my mother's arms are, but I'd rather err towards larger than smaller. Will the difference in gauge make the underarm area too snug? I'll just have to measure against myself and hope she's not larger around the bicep than I am, and that there won't be any pulling in the armpit. That would be really uncomfortable, I imagine.
Meanwhile, I find I'm really enjoying how the resulting fabric is working out. It has a lot of stretch and give, is light and has a very fluid behaviour. I think it will be very comfortable to wear, if I can get the fit right under the arms.