Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Unexpected in February

Well, unexpected anytime, really. I got gauge on the Victoria Fingerless Mittens using smaller than recommended size needles. I cannot tell you how flabbergasted I am. This never happens. Whether I substitute yarn (which I did) or not, I never get pattern gauge until I've sized up my needles. Bigger needles, that's the magic I use to tame my knitting. This is so much a given, so indelible a part of my knitting credo, so fixed and immutable a star on my map of the knitting heavens, that I don't even try anymore. I knit tight. Ergo, to get gauge I will go up 2 needle sizes. End of story. Which is how I ended up knitting with a US size 8 instead of the recommended size 6.

I had some warnings, had I been attending. The direction say something about knitting 22 rows of K2tbl,P2 ribbing and something something 4 inches. I finish that part and look at about 4 inches of ribbing. Excellent. I dutifully change needles according to directions (you use 3 different sizes, one for the picot and lace edging, one for the ribbing and one for the hand; I sized up for all of them) and watch blissfully as the pattern emerges. I am terribly pleased with my yarn and color choice. I finish the thumb and start on the palm. I am, at this point, considering skipping the part where she tells me to sew up the thumb, thinking I could do all the seaming at once, but after a few or 10 rows I realize she had a reason for that particular direction, so go back and seam.

That's when I decided to check the fit. It was huge. The thumb of the mitt extended past the tip of my thumb. Fingerless mitts are not supposed to do this. The whole point of a fingerless mitt is to leave you with your dexterity intact, to keep your digits free so you don't need to fumble for that quarter for the parking meter and can find your keys by feel and button your coat. You cannot imagine my astonishment when I measured and found I was off in my row gauge (row gauge? who worries about row gauge?) by about 2.5 rows per inch.

I frogged down to the ribbing, swatched and made the amazing discovery noted above. That's when I went back and checked the directions for the cuff. "Four inches from CO."



diane h said...

But if you read the instructions so closely, you are robbing yourself of knitting time. If only they wrote the instructions right the first time!

Luni said...

Reading the first line, I thought this was good news. Seems I was wrong? When are the good knitting fairies going to visit you?

Jess said...

Whoopsie! Congratulations on getting gauge, now it's time to work on pattern-reading ;-)

It looks nice, though.