Monday, May 18, 2009

Let's make something! Part 2--The pesky issue of gauge

So, after I blabbed on about color choice for the featherweight cardigan, I went to the LYS and got some gorgeous blue yarn.

That's Malabrigo Merino Lace in Taureg, and goodness, it's gorgeous! And I think it will look good with my skin tone (as compared to a bright green). I finished up my Knitter's Mission with these simple wrist warmers

Simple wrist warmers

and set about starting this cardigan. And that's when I started butting my head against the wall we call gauge.

Oh, gauge. The bane of this knitter's existence. The pattern author got a gauge of 6 stitches and 9 rows per inch, on size 6 needles. Since I'm a loose knitter, I started my gauge swatch using a size 5 needle. And my gauge? 7 stitches and 10 rows per inch.

Gauge swatch

Grrrr! Since my 6 and 7 needles were in the other room, I went up size 8s and continued my gauge swatch. And with this needle, I got gauge. But the fabric looked awful--the top half of the gauge swatch.

Gauge swatch

So I went back to the 5s and swatched a bit more. Measured my gauge again and again, still 7 and 10 per inch. And decided that I would adapt the pattern to fit my gauge. So I did the math to change the numbers from a gauge of 6st/in to 7st/in. And I cast on.

Cast on

I chose to use a cable cast on, my cast on method of choice. I like this cast on because it's quick and easy to work, doesn't involve 2 tails and is more sturdy than a simple knitted cast on. Worked back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Sigh. And measured my gauge. 6st/in. Sigh.

darn gauge

Ugh. At this point, I could have continued knitting with my changed numbers of stitches--the beauty of top down reglan is that you can try it on as you go and stop increasing when it fits right. But instead, I chose to frog it, and start over, using size 5 needles and the numbers called for in the pattern.

Next time I'll talk a little bit about the increases used where it says M1 in this pattern. But for now, a pic of my new cat Butters when he discovered yarn.

Butters discovers yarn

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