Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Knitter, Know Thyself

Gauge.

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.

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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.

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7 inches wide, 19 inches long. A scarf... at least half of a scarf.

Gauge.

6 comments:

SJ said...

Much better! I hate gague. Hate it. You are a brave woman to start over again - but you've never been afraid of that, have you?

Geek Knitter said...

Sometimes its just what you have to do!

Stine said...

I have a bad habit of subscribing to the "Gauge? We don't need no stinking gauge, it's a scarf!" philosophy.

Geek Knitter said...

Yeah, that's usually me too... until I realized I wasn't knitting a scarf so much as I was knitting a small tablecloth!

Kate said...

Small tablecloth...hahahaha!

Is that the scrunchable? Version 2.0 looks great!

Hi, by the way!

Kate said...

Duh, I can't read...sorry...it's a different pattern. It still looks FABULOUS, though!