So important. One of the great immutable laws of knitting.
I knit loose. The first few items I knitted were so tight they could have doubled as bullet-proofing material. So I changed the way I hold my needles, the way I hold my yarn, everything. And now I knit loose.
I know this, I accept this, I make adjustments for this.
Except for this time.
I’m making a scarf for my step-father, a free pattern called “Columns” that I got at KnitPicks. I’m using Elegance, a most luscious and amazing alpaca and silk blend, in Barn Red and Redwood. A joy to work with, truly. The pattern calls for size 7 needles. Please go back and reread my third paragraph... I knit loose.
Did I practice this pattern at all? Test drive the yarn, try different needle sizes while I got used to how slippery it is? Nope, not me. I just dove right in with the 7’s. And even though the scarf looked maybe a little wide, I just kept humming right along... until I used up 110 yards of Barn Red. Then I finally had to face it.
This scarf wasn’t just wide, this scarf was friggin’ ridiculous. 9.5 inches wide and only 15 inches long.
This was not a scarf... I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t a scarf. (Please note that the fabric is so loose that you can see through it it several places.)
I took the tips off, stuffed it in a box and ignored it for several months. Last week I realized that I've got less than a month until step-dad's birthday, so I started over... and I actually knit a gauge swatch. Settled on 5s and, after 110 yard of Barn Red, this is what I got.
7 inches wide, 19 inches long. A scarf... at least half of a scarf.