Gauge Offender (self-confessed)

By the time you see this, this piece of lace will have been re- knitted for the 3rd time… I am suffering from serious ptt (pre-travel tension) and am casting on new projects willy nilly. This is the Dahlia Cardigan, knitted in Bendigo wool, shade Bark (forgot the yarn type). It is for Rebecca in New York (third take, Rebecca! First cardigan was too small, second (the wrap) not quiet right…).

Here is a word or two about gauge – it is another reason why I just don’t like knitting with ‘ a real’ pattern – it is so hard to get the gauge right… and if you don’t, the whole projects stuffs up. So here, my yarn docket recommends a 4mm needle, the pattern has an entirely different yarn, but they recommend a 3.75mm needle, which made me figure that my yarn must be [sort of] compatible with this project, IF I MAKE SURE MY GAUGE FITS AND I MAY JUST TWEAK THE PATTERN A BIT. But guess what??? I have used a 2.75mm for the lace and my gauge sample (I have prepared 2 or 3 swatches!!!) has experimented even with a 2.5mm needle, and after all that – my gauge is still larger than the pattern. I give up. I am now settling for a 3mm needle and the cardigan is just going to be a bit bigger…

I read the chapter about gauge in The Principles of Knitting – the most important chapter ever written about knitting technique. June recommends to measure the gauge twice – once before the swatch is dressed (washed, pulled, mangled) and once after. So one gets the Raw Gauge and the Dressed Gauge. The former is useful to keep you on track as you knit, the latter is essential to work out the final size of the garment. Clever, eh?

Do you make extra stress for yourself when you are stressed and overloaded anyway??? I do, but it makes me laugh now. Not only have I bought all the dog food, chicken food, loo paper and vitamin supplements my family may need during my absence, I am also writing itineraries, washing mould off the bedroom blinds (got to be done now!) writing phone lists and organizing skiing trips for those left behind… including finding dog homes for their time away (which makes me think I ought to find someone to feed the chickies and the duckie…) – actually, I better fly…

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