Especially when you completely fail to check it.
Remember the too short cabled sock?
I bit the bullet and frogged it all the way back. I knit it again; giving myself the extra length I needed in the foot, and got ready to start the gusset. I decided to try it on first, and noticed something I’d ignored the first time.
Even with 72 stitches in a round, it felt too snug going around the ball of my foot. Not to mention that the toe was so short it ended before my small toe even started.
I went and looked on Ravelry, and there were all kinds of gorgeous versions of this pattern. None of them had that over-stretched look I can see in my work. What had I done wrong?
I remembered how tightly I was knitting the sock. I called it “wrist-aching” in my last blog post, and boy was that ever the truth. If I knit for more than about 25 minutes I had to shake the tension out of my wrists and stretch my fingers out to loosen them up.
So I took out my tape measure, laid it across the sole stitches and, for the very first time since starting the sock, actually counted how many stitches there were in an inch. The pattern calls for nine… I was working at ten.
I’m pretty sure that when I saw the gauge in the pattern, I just went straight for my US 0 (2.0 mm) needles. Never, not once until this morning, did I actually measure my stitches per inch.
And that, dear readers, brings us to the moral of the story:
If you’re knitting at such a tight gauge that your hands hurt, you might consider that you are, in fact, knitting too tight. Way too tight. You might even consider checking your gauge before your hands start hurting you.
Excuse me, won’t you? I’ve got a sock to frog.