Saturday, August 07, 2010

A few steps back to make progress

I was going great guns on Paper Crane.

You know how you have a voice in your head that tells you things and you don't listen. You know the one. The one that is right on, the one that saves you heartache and grief? The one that you don't listen to?

As I stated earlier, I was was cruising along on my Paper Crane, oblivious to potential issues. (Ok, this is not entirely true because I just said in the sentence above that there was a voice I was ignoring!)

I finally started to listen to that wise voice that was saying "this sweater is looking very big". I talk myself out of it because I have already knit miles of fine linen...and on size 2.5mm needles.

I know I tend to overestimate my bust size(wishful thinking?). I also believe I am a bigger size than I truly am.

I finally took the knitting off the needles and you know what? This sweater was approximately 5 inches too large. 5 inches!!!! You heard me. Wayyyyy too big.

So I re-read the instructions. Yes, I know. There is a washed gauge and an unwashed guage. Ok, no problem. I read that over and over numerous times. Well, there is another sentence underneath those gauge numbers. This sentence says what the gauge is that was used in calculating the sweater size instructions. How many gauges are required and which one does a knitter use? To me it has been a guessing game, almost.

Here is my pattern with all my notes.

Here is about 7 inches knit of the sweater. Beanie is there to provide moral support because I know what I have to do.

Ok, here goes. I have a lot of frogging to do. Beanie looks suspicious. He's probably wondering why I am doing this!

There you go. All frogged. I immediately cast-on for a size that was two smaller than the one I originally started. The reason? I measured my favorite lightweight sweater and used that measurement as one factor. The other consideration was the gauge. Since the pattern lists 3 gauges, I took that into account on what size I was finally going to go ahead with.

I went back to basics. I figured my gauge(washed) and did some math. I am not sure I understand why the designer gives all the various gauges. Actually I do know why. She was getting varying gauge numbers and probably wanted to cover all her bases. As someone knitting the design I would like things more definitive. That is why I buy a pattern rather than creating my own.

I am starting to appreciate designing and calculating my own numbers. I am looking forward to Nihon Vogue starting up at the end of next month!

On to something more helpful.

While I was in Italy this past spring, I was knitting Trevi by Anne Hanson. I had a great 100% silk lace weight yarn from Sundara, a perfect color for this pattern. I wanted to knit something inspired by my trip. (I did take pictures of me with my in-progress Trevi at the Trevi fountain in Rome)

On the plane ride over I realized that I did not have any stitch markers. What was I going to do to keep track of the pattern repeats?

I had dental floss(mint, by the way) in my purse. I made my own stitch markers out of dental floss and they worked great. They were light weight and easily visible against the yarn! If you are ever traveling and you don't have stitch markers turn to your dental floss!