Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


I found your "combination purl" interesting. I am having trouble with my gauge...I am now trying to knit with a larger needle on the purl rows to get the gauge. My stitches on the needle are ok gauge-wise but the rows that make up the length are 1/2" too short. Any suggestions for me? I would love to start a sweater instead of another dishcloth or scarf.

By Blogger Maggie Ann, at 1:26 PM  

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Wednesday, September 29, 2004  

Well. I am writing the travel log but it's so darn wordy I'm a bit reluctant to post it here. Besides, I've been typing for an hour and I'm only just now getting out of Pennsylvania. Best do a little editing before I post.

We took the rental car back yesterday - BD driving, with me following in our own car, and just outside the airport my car got a flat. What a stupid thing, but goodness, how glad I am we had decided to take the trip in someone else's vehicle. Best of all, strong and manly BD was there to take care of the nasty details for me. I know I could change a flat - I actually did so once - tragically destroying my hopes of living my entire life without ever having to change a tire. Mind now, it's not that it's so difficult - it's that I had hoped to fulfill the vows of the Little Sisters of the Dainty Hands. I will re-thread your overlock sewing machine and change the blades on it too, but don't ask me to fiddle about with things that have axle grease on them. Alas, it was not to be, but I still try to live by their maxim: “That is why God made Men.”

Anyway, back home, with photos developed and groceries bought, I could settle down to knit away on the BRCA swatch hat and boy am I glad I did! The gauge is nowhere near what the pattern calls for, even though I'm using a technically accurate, medium weight #3 worsted yarn and size 7 needles. The row gauge is worse than the stitch gauge. The pattern calls for 22 stitches over pattern C to be 4 inches. Only if I flatten out the swatch can I almost get that. But flattening out swatches is a no-no. Of course, cable patterns are always going to pull in some and stretch out somewhat when worn. Maybe.

So. For the first time ever, I'm going to knit and block my swatch. I'll finish up the pattern repeats and knit a little more, just to give me measuring room, and then dunk the whole thing in the sink. Once blocked I'll make my final decisions about this sweater, but I think the plan will involve using the cables in the pattern and adding filler stitches and pattern repeats, where needed, to give me a sweater that fits. I don't mind doing the math - I'd do it anyway, to put in bust darts and to be sure I was knitting something that fit everywhere else. The hardest thing about this whole project has been choosing the cables, there are so many gorgeous ones. I like all the ones in this particular pattern. I could, of course, go through Barbara Walker and pick out different cables, but then I'd have to do another swatch hat, and really, I'd rather knit a sweater than another hat.

Once the swatch hat is blocked I'll get the ruler and calculator and figure out just exactly how many stitches to cast on. While it’s drying I may just sit down and finish the angora/mohair beauty. It’s very close to being finished, guaranteeing I have to battle the Finishitis Fiend. I just think that this time I’ll win.

posted by Bess | 7:50 AM