Wednesday, November 29, 2006

And She's (Not Quite) Off

I was going to cast on for Clare's sweater today. Really, I was.

We had picked up her yarn at Nana's Knitting while she was in for Thanksgiving. I didn't expect her to chose a color as far away from brown as it was from the Rowan Felted Tweed I'd bought, but I think she might have. It's Cascade Heathers in 9449, dark blue with peacock and purple.

(Yarn Country has an even better picture.)

In preparation, I printed off, read and marked up the pattern. Not only did I circle the relevant numbers and design features, I lined out all the others. I have this vision of knitting one sleeve in XS, or trying to incorporate contradictory necklines.

I had my size 5 and 6 circulars all ready to cast on that 110 stitches when I felt the word "gauge" flitter across my mind. (Ah, nuts.) A sacrifice to the sweater god seemed called for. I decided I'd better make up one swatch. One.

The pattern calls for 20 stitches across 4 inches on size 6 needles.

Not 20 stitches across 3 1/2".

As they say, "Oops."

Rooted out a set of size 7's. Knitted another swatch. Yes, I know that makes two. And we're talking "Oops," again. Not to mention drat. 20 stitches across 3 3/4 inches.

By now, I'm feeling a little peeved. I don't really like to knit swatches. It feels like a waste of yarn. Besides, I start thinking about all those stitches that aren't going into the sweater, imagining I could be a couple rows into the project by now. I took out a pair of size 8's and debated whether I couldn't block to gauge. Liz apparently heard what I was thinking and pinned me to my chair until I knit the swatch, right down to the last bind-off stitch. Rotten cat.

Rotten, know-it-all, supercilious, smarter than I am cat. She was right. I got stitch gauge.

Also row, but how many swatch pictures do you want to look at?

I'd like to pretend I'm not tap-dancing right now. But I got gauge. When I die, I may have those swatches pinned into my coffin. They can bury me under a tombstone with the epitaph, "She got gauge."

1 comment:

diane h said...

My table mate at Stitches said she sometimes has to pull out her gauge swatch(es)because she has cut it pretty close on the yarn.

I think moving up to a larger needle will take more yarn - maybe not since it's gauge?

I barrelled out to NK last night to buy my Dale of Norway yarn because I am supposed to be done to the color work in the sweater I signed up the class (for) on Dec. 6. I got stitch gauge though on my first try ;-)

Don't tell the ladies at Knitche that Clare likes blue.