This weekend I'm getting spanked by the knitting gods for ignoring gauge thus far in my knitting life. It started last night, when I decided I wanted to put down the Sisyphean struggle that is Henry Rollins and do something that could be done in a night. Enter the Dulaan Project, and the bag Esther sent over with a sweater's worth of Icelandic lopi. I've had plans this week to Koolaid-dye the white yarn into something hat-worthy, and eventually send a rainbow of stuff to Mongolia. Last night I realized that I didn't have a gauge recommendation for any of this yarn. Enter the swatch.
I hate the swatch. I never swatch. I don't commit to long-term big-scale projects, so I feel I can skip gauge with impunity. I don't mind ripping & reknitting when I've fucked something up, but I feel like gauge wastes time I could use to progress to an actual finished object.
With this much hubris, my spanking was inevitable.
I did my swatch for the hat, and got a smaller gauge than any hat pattern out there. I don't have bigger needles (the 1 cm's I *do* have are monsters!) so I decided to adapt the 48 stitch Ken's Dulaan Hat to a 56 stitch version. Big mistake - after an hour, I had a hat band big enough to be a scarf for the Boy. After some more math, I ripped back and started the 48 stitch version, gauge or not. And I ended up with a beautiful hat that I finished this morning. Still, for a hat that's supposed to take an hour, taking 4 (without finishing) was a little humiliating.
My second punishment was at the opposite end of the spectrum. For some reason, I'd never thought to measure the circumference of my Pumpkin Soup sockapaloooza sock. I was heartsick at the result: an extra 1/2 inch, just enough to bunch and rub. I asked my sister Jean to rip the whole sock, because I didn't trust myself to do it at home. After trying to find a solution that didn't destroy two weeks of work, she was more than happy to oblige. That's how a whole foot's worth of kinky yarn ended up on the table at a Hamilton all-you-can-eat sushi place. It's back to the drawing board on Sockapaloooza, and my month-long search for 2.5 mm needles has been completely invalidated.
I'm working on my second swatch for Dirk's elegant skull socks. The first one? Same problem as the Pumpkin Sock.
I guess I'm just too loose to be trusted.
rocketbride's 1st gauge swatch
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Don't make me send out the attack toddler.