Sunday 7/29…and the beat goes on

The 2012 Ravellenics, Day 3

I let yesterday be yesterday, a lazy, warm, summer Sunday. Which is a nice way of saying I didn’t do as much knitting on Sandrilene as I had planned. Leaderboard (most recent scores at top):

Sun 7/29 —— 6 rows —- 1392 sts ——– 27 rows to date ——- 6380 sts to date

Sat 7/28 —– 14 rows —- 3308 sts ——– 21 rows to date ——- 4984 sts to date

Fri 7/27 ——- 7 rows —- 1680 sts ——— 7 rows to date ——- 1680 sts to date

In my own defense, I’d like to point out that I also sorted and weighed and divvied up all the remaining BFL/silk to be carded for the second half of my TdF spinning, and I carded three batts. I live in an alternate universe where the TdF is still going on. Humour me.

Zoe contemplates her response to my work:

Once again, I would like to hand out unsolicited knitting advice, to whit:

      • Doing a gauge swatch is a critical step in ensuring that your final garment is the proper size.
      • Gauge swatches lie.

I try to follow my own teachings, really I do. As proof, I offer this photo of some–some–of the swatches I did as preparation for this sweater.

Clockwise from upper left: The eventual star of our show, Indigodragonfly’s MCN worsted; Cascade 220 base in a hideous colour (sorry, Cascade folks; can’t please all the folks all the time) overdyed by Indigodragonfly Kim to a beee-u-tiful shade of plumberry; Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool, purchased on my first-ever trip to Romni Wools. (I’ll have more to say about that fabulous LYS in a minute.)

Granted, I cheated. My swatches are not 8″ square. However, they are all blocked. (So I get half-credit.)

The pattern calls for 5 sts per inch. On size 6 (4.0mm) I was getting 4.5 sts per inch; on size 5 (3.75 mm) I was getting 4.75 sts per inch, with a fairly firm fabric. I didn’t want to go down to a size 4 for fear the fabric would be cardboard-stiff, so I stuck with the size 5s and figured I could adjust the stitch counts as I went along.

By mid-morning Saturday, I had a sense that something wasn’t right. My stitches looked too small to be 5-to-the-inch. I measured (yes, on the needles, c’mon, we ALL do it), and sure enough, I was making 5.5 sts per inch.

Gauge swatch, my foot.

Soooo. I didn’t want to rip back. I didn’t want to just switch over to the size 6s right away, for fear that the bottom of the sweater would look distorted. So, I compromised. I alternated needle sizes on alternate rows for Sunday’s rows and a few of Saturday’s.

Remeasured this morning, and good golly, Ms. Molly. Five sts per inch, spot on.

You can’t see the difference unless you look realllllly closely; my hope is that (1) the decrease rows I’ve been working per the pattern will balance out the change in stitch count, and (2) no one will have their eyes that close to my hips.

AAaaaanddd puppypoop. Just as I wrote that, I looked at the fabric in good lighting, and puppypooop-times-two, I can see the row where I switched to alternating rows. And I can feel it on the backside as a little ridge.

I have 14 days to knit a sweater, I’m not sure I have enough yarn, my gauge swatches lied without blinking an eyelash, and I really, really, really ought to rip back two days’ worth of work.

I want to go back to Romni Wools, sequester myself in a corner with hanks of silk and wool all around me, and just huff yarn fumes for a while.

After all, I never even made it to the second room upstairs, let alone the basement…

I’m usually pretty good at talking myself out of ripping stuff back. Trouble is, I’m showing off not only my own work here, but also the work of a rockin’ dyer and an awesomesauce designer, and I don’t want anyone to look at a blip in the sweater and imagine even for a second that it is due to the yarn or the pattern.

This is what separates the challengers from the champions, I guess.

If you can’t find me, look in the corners of the LYS, near the silks.

And if you happen to be in the Toronto area, RUN, do not walk, to Romni Wools today or tomorrow, because Monday and Tuesday are the last 2 days of their 20% off, the-boss-is-out-of-town, sale. Tell Barbara that Sandi sent you, it will make her laugh. 


Remember the Tour de Fleece? Here’s what I think ought to be the official photo for our little fibre event.

Ah, heck. As long as you’re on that site, start at the beginning and click the arrows to see all kinds of adorable critters. Baby elephants, otters, monkeys, wombats, and I don’t know what-all. There’s a lot of photos, so you can bookmark it and come back for a fix of cute whenever you need it.

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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7 Responses to Sunday 7/29…and the beat goes on

  1. Seanna Lea says:

    Can you try a partial block on the needles to see if that evens things out enough that you don’t find it obvious where you made that change? That might save you from ripping and won’t add that much time to the process, especially if you can start something like the sleeves while you wait.

  2. Gauge swatches lie.
    I agree with Seanna Lea, can you see if blocking will help, before you rip the whole thing? But you’re probably already at Romni, huffing silk fumes.

  3. molly says:

    i also think that the blocking will help….otherwise, grit your teeth and rip…..
    good luck!

  4. Mardi says:

    OMB, I love that photo with the sheep in the TdF colors!! Can we get it put on a t-shirt or something?

  5. Shearersgirl says:

    It’s horrible when you have to undo your work. I love the sheep photo!

  6. Natalie says:

    Swatches, hmph. I hope you overcome this hurdle.
    One of these days I’m going to leave enough time in a Toronto trip for a visit to Romni.

  7. Elaine says:

    No worries! I am in that same alternate universe! It’s just that your spinning is so nice – I am just a struggling newbie with my spindles. Someday! Practice! Practice! Practice! Oh Sandi, thanks… So many times over… for your tutorials! Use them often. They saved me at 1am, as I was finishing up one of those wips! Hope all is well! Sending Colorado sunshine your way!

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