Wednesday, November 23, 2005

And the saga begins...


Freedom Wool
Originally uploaded by Disentangled.
After quite a few great comments (thank you all for your suggestions), I decided to make Glampyre's Bulky Cabled Cardigan with my Freedom Wool. My yarn came in last weekend and I started playing around with the gauge. First, I just want to say that this yarn is as good as it looks. Not only that, when you knit with it, it is even softer than when it is just hanging around!

So here's the problem: I have discovered that although the gauge virtually matches the pattern. When I knit it, my row gauge is way off. And I mean WAY off! Try 20 sts per 4 inches instead of 13! Even working loosely, I can't seem to get down past 18/4 inches. What the heck? This is the first time I've had this problem with yarn (or probably more accurately - the first time I have been aware of this problem with yarn).

I know what comes next: math. Fortunately, I like math and I'm not that bad at it - although I am slightly out of practice. I've also never had to re-guage an entire pattern before. So, this should be a good learning experience. When I realized that this was possible in knitting, the world openned up. The problem is I'm still a little freaked out about it. I'm still a beginner so, although I am starting to "see" what is going on, it's still a skill I am developing. And I am afraid I am going to make a monkey sweater or some other equally out of proportion monster - let alone the fact that this is the first time I am working with cables!

Given that, I've made half a dozen swatches but have yet to cast on. I know that I need to sit down with the pattern to do the calculations properly (not in front of the tv), but it seems like such an undertaking. I haven't been able to get up the energy to do it. I do keep petting the yarn though and it has taken up residence in the middle of my coffee table. The thing is, I am itching to work with that yarn again. In fact, I don't think I have ever worked with a yarn that I literally crave to knit with. Usually, it's the process that drives me and the yarn is a bonus. But this yarn! I want to feel it in my fingers! I've already decided that I will be buying more. In fact, that creamy loopy jacket is calling my name. Only now I know that I will knit it with the Freedom Wool and not substitute it for something in my stash. Good thing the holidays are coming...

3 comments:

Nonnahs said...

Unfortunately, I don't have any words of wisdom on this, as we've discussed. Your gauge issues with this sounds like mine with my Kyoto. That thing...I couldn't even get NEAR where I was supposed to be, remember? I'll get you the copies soon, maybe that will shed some light. Until then, all I can say is: YOUCANDOIT!! :)

Julia said...

Hmmm. It seems strange that your row guage is that far off. One or two sts is typical, but 7? It doesn't make sense. Is there something that you're doing differently than the pattern - like perhaps taking your guage over Stst when it should be taken over the pattern? How big is your swatch? A lot of times guage changes considerably over a large swath of fabric. Although she's in the midst of a move, I'm sure Stefanie will be helpful if she can. Maybe guage is taken stretched horizontally? Anyway, something is up, for sure. Don't do any complex math until you figure out what it is, because it's too much of a discrepancy - I was able to get 14 rows per 4" in Stst on size 13's, which is closer to what you want to hit. you just have to figure out what factor is off. (Alright, I know this is elementary, but did you try a bigger needle?!)

BTW, I like your yarn choice. :)

Julia said...

P.S. When you are ready to re-guage (which you may end up doing anyway), take a look at Stitch and Bitch Nation - the text in Stoller's new book is all about tailoring a pattern to your needs. I rambled like crazy above - just thinking out loud - but if you haven't gone up a needle size (or perhaps several?) try that first. Since I got 14 rows per 4" over Stst on US 13's, a size US15 needle might be a good size to start with.