Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Three R's Redux

Um. Yeah. About those gauge issues I mentioned last time. Once I measured the gauge for the sleeves, I took a good look at the body of the sweater. I've been dogged by a vague unease while knitting this project, a sense as I'm knitting of the general looseness of the fabric, a growing suspicion that the loops I'm knitting into feel awfully not-so-tight as they should. I've been ignoring this, because I planned the whole sweater to adjust for the change in my gauge, for going from a flat swatch to an in the round garment. As long as I had the tape measure out, I decided to check.

Everybody knows that knitters purl looser than they knit. This is like the given in a geometric proof, right? Like all triangles have three sides or the sum of the angles in a parallelogram will equal 360 degrees or that Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter. It's the fixed star in the night sky of knitting. Therefore, if one is going to knit in the round, one's gauge will be tighter.

Not this one's. The body of the sweater measured 46 inches instead of 44.

The Oldest Nephew is not stocky. The Oldest Nephew is not scrawny, either, but he is lean. The decision to knit a sweater with 4 inches of ease was made, in part, to accommodate the incontrovertible fact that the actual sweater would knit up at a tighter gauge. The expectation was that the sweater would eventually measure closer to 42 or 43 inches, not a whopping 46.

In a last ditch attempt to cling to my delusion, I decided to block what I had. Rumor had it that Rowan yarn initially stretches out and then pulls in. Rumor didn't prepare me for the sweater stretching out to 50 inches. It didn't lie, either, because once dry the sweater measured less, just not enough less - 46.5 inches to be precise, which is still Way Too Big.

Apologies to the Oldest Nephew. He'll have to go off to Grad School gray sweater-less. This time the Three R's stand for Rip, Reclaim, Re-knit. Or maybe Rail (as at the heavens), Rend, beRate.