Friday, January 8, 2010

Gauge Wars...

So I first knit the design I am reworking now over a year ago, in a yarn other than the one I am using now, in a very dense gauge. I am finding it extraordinarily difficult to get this density of fabric again with the new wool choice, and it has led me to the realization that it hardly matters what size needles I use. Tthe fabric qualities of my knitting are almost exclusively reliant upon the wool I use. I had no idea this was the case until last night. I always thought I was just a bit of a loose knitter (harhar) because I prefer somewhat smaller needles to knit worsted weight than most people to get a similar gauge, but as I swatched last night I found that the actual measurement of stitches over inches was the same (exactly 18 sts over 4 inches) using over 4 sizes of needles! Now, the larger size (9's) did have a "fluffier" feel than the others, but only slightly, perhaps the gauge would grow very slightly after washing and blocking. Even so I feel that the situation is a bit ridiculous. I am going to go down to size 3's & 4's to try and achieve the density I require for this project.

Another issue I am dealing with is that the original article of clothing is, shall we say, well loved by my kids. Not ratty or pilly at all actually (probably due to the tightly plied wool as well as the very dense gauge) it looks fairly new, but just getting it away from them for a few minutes to check how I constructed it, or what  the original gauge was in that other yarn for example, is proving quite challenging. As soon as M (21 months) sees me holding it she begins shrieking "MINE MINE MINE" (of course, she also mumbles this in her sleep, along with "nope" and "toot" so maybe she isn't really as attached to the garment as it seems...) and requires me to give it up immediately. I am beginning to realize that the only way this whole "being a designer" is going to work is by sleeping less and working at night. This is not encouraging.

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