Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Flexibility, or Knitting on a Wing and a Prayer

I have a bad feeling about this. I'm getting gauge and I shouldn't. This is the third or fourth (or maybe fifth, if you count the design experiments) time I'm knitting this, and I've never gotten gauge.

Have I mentioned I really, really, really want this done in time for Christmas? I decided an act of faith was called for. Or at least some serious rationalizations. Maybe I wasn't supposed to get gauge. Maybe the elongated stitches skew things. Maybe it's up to me to determine the final proportions. Maybe the assembly helps it hold its shape. Maybe this time blocking really would work magic. And pigs may whistle, but they've poor mouths for it.

I finally gave in (gave up?) and tried to figure out how to accommodate the results of the gauge swatch (up 2 needle sizes, 1/2 stitch per inch tighter than the pattern called for) and those of the first full size knitting attempt (1/2 spi looser than the pattern called for). In some mystic combination of alchemy, stream-of-consciousness, and splitting-the-baby logic, I decided to go back down one needle size, but cast on extra stitches.

I knit. Reminding myself that not getting gauge was not cause for panic. Ignoring how stretchy it seemed. Telling my hands to stop with the commentary and just knit. I finished the first half. It is beautiful. It is nowhere near what the gauge swatch said it should be (27" by 18"), but I expected that. What I didn't expect was for it to be so close to the gauge the pattern called for. It's 33 inches long. At gauge it would have been 32.4 inches. I expected somewhere around 31 inches.

Okay. Fine. Breathe. I can work with this. If that's the way it is, that's the way it is. With some creative stretching, I can persuade it into, if not the dimensions it was supposed to be, something that would be wearable as a poncho. It will be a dramatic and flowing poncho. I doubt this will disturb Cate.

But how did this happen? I changed the damn plan to accommodate reality. Reality now dictates that I have an approximately 33" by 19" rectangle that is so malleable I can make it 30" by 21". Or 29" by 22." Or 35" by 15". And why do I have this crazy fear that the second piece will have nothing in common with the first, except the yarn?

Things are getting worse. Send chocolate. Preferably Butterfinger Jingles.

1 comment:

diane h said...

I would accept the happy surprise of the first rectangle but be ready to find out that the second will not match the first - erg.