Friday, September 28, 2007

Give Me Gauge (or give me death...)

Desired gauge: 4.25 st per inch, 6 rows per inch

I started swatching for the Central Park Hoodie during spring break of this year. As we drove around the Oregon coast I dutifully cranked out four swatches... one to try out combination ribbing technique/cable chart reading, one on size 8's (too big), one on size 9's (oops, brain malfunction), and one on size 7's. Although I washed and dried the last one, I never got around to taking its final official measurements.

So now autumn rolls around and I am back in the mood for a sweater. I measure my size 7 swatch and discover that I have stitch gauge, and am not too far from having row gauge. Good.

Since I didn't take notes (doh!) I decide to redo my ribbing swatch, just to be safe. The technique works, but the ribbing looks looser. Hmmm... then I remember that during that trip I experienced some hand pain (just from swatching, mind you), because way back 6 months ago I was using my patented "pinkie death grip" to tension my yarn. Since then I have switched to looping the working yarn around the third finger of my right hand.

So yesterday I reswatched on size 7's and waited 24 hours for the swatch to dry. I was getting 4.5 st per inch and 6.25 rows per inch before washing. After washing, 4 st per inch and 6.5 rows per inch.

I'm sure I could solve this using *shudder* math. Or I could finish that size 6 swatch and hope for the best...
Let's think about something happier shall we?

How about this yummy hand-dyed, BFL roving from Flawful Fibers: (Sorry for the poor color here. The top is bright orange, bright green, yellow, and purple/grey-ish)

It's turning out something like this:

This just goes to show that I have no idea what a top will do when I spin it. I would not have guessed that it would get almost pastel in places, or that the grey would look so lavender. Maybe I'll call it "Underwater Sunset." Besides keeping me at the wheel with its ever shifting colors, it also captivates me with its softness. It keeps telling that it wants to be knit into something right away :) I'm not sure what I'm going to do about plying. With these colors I will be treading that fine line between "spunky" and "clown barf."

1 comment:

Octopus Knits said...

Tee, hee! When I first learned to knit, I knit super tightly. Obviously my technique has changed -- at this point I'm usually knitting 3 or more needle sizes smaller than suggested. I'm sure it's still changing...

Wow, I really love the way that roving is spinning up!