Thursday, March 23, 2006

Gauge and Getting Things Done (or not)

I'm terrible at doing gauge swatches. I hate them, they seem like a waste of time, waste of yarn and mostly, when I want to knit something I want to get with it. Well, I have never made anything that fits, actually, lately, seems like I don't make anything, but more of that later. So, I decide to do a gauge swatch for the vest in Folk Vests. I started out using some Elann Peruvian Wool, which is aran weight with the suggested needles. Gauge isn't right, so I go up a needle size. Gauge still isn't right. So, I go up another needle size, which is now a size 9, and it still isn't right. I tried putting 2 strands together, just to see, and it comes out to gauge, but I hate the stiffness of the fabric, so I rip it out. I decide to order the yarn the pattern cals for, K1C2 , start with the needle size called for, not right. Go up another needle size, still not right. By the time it's pretty close, but still not right, the fabric is so loose and sloppy I hate the stuff. I gave up. Maybe this is why I never make stuff to fit; sweaters, vests, etc. What is the secret about getting gauge? Why is it so hard for me to knit something to the gauge called for? Is there some big, deep dark secret no-one's telling?

About getting things done. I think I've decided I waste too much time climbing thru blogland looking for new posts (I do love reading blogs!). I can sit here all day and just go from one to the next, and if they're old posts, I usually click on a link and then find something there, then go to the get the idea. Before I know it a 1/2 day has gone by, no knitting has gotten done and I'm mad cause all these wonderful bloggers get SO much done. So, today I'm going to sign up for bloglines, or one of them, so they can tell ME when someone has posted something new. I really need to start finishing things and knitting instead of reading (can't do both at the same time unless it's just st. st.) cause I have all this yarn I keep buying and just can't seem to knit it all up fast enough.

I started the Embossed Leaves Socks from Interweave Knits Winter 2006 yesterday and am still on the cuff, so don't have pictures. I had started several socks, but ripped them all out for one reason or another, one of which was that I used the wrong size needle. I did finish the left front of my Latigo Vest in Knitters Magazine, Summer 05. The back is done, so starting the right front today. I'm just hoping my gauge hasn't changed, but I evidently can't figure gauge worth a crap.

Bought some Berrocco Denim Silk at my favorite not so LYS last week when the Baby Girl and I went shopping on the island. Wow, it was on the mark down table and I bought all she had, which was only 6 skeins. Any ideas on what to make? I also bought some really pretty, soft pink yarn that was made in Germany but I can't remember the name, but, believe me, it's pretty and has a little silver thread running down thru the pink. All marked down - less than $4.00 a skein! Got 8 of that one, so will start looking around for patterns, and a gauge swatch!!!!

Tonights my "virtual" knitting SnB at 7:30, I'm looking forward to that. When you're as far out in the boonies as I am, it's nice to have a group to sit and talk with, even if it is only a "virtual" group. It's at Yarnpaths blog, so see you there!

I'd like to thank all the folks that have stopped by and left me comments! Wow!!!! You guys sure rock! I had never had comments before (except maybe one here and there) and last week I got bunches. I'll be posting about that soon, when I get my head together and their names and blogs. But, just know (and you know who you are) is was VERY MUCH appreciated!

Knit On


Janice in GA said...

You know, another alternative is to find a yarn and a gauge you like and use something like Ann Budd's book ("The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns" that has good basic sweaters with patterns calculated for a ton of different gauges.
I often have trouble knitting to gauge myself.

Mom (a.k.a. Mary Ann) said...

I find I knit more loosely than most, so I generally start out making my swatch with a needle one size smaller than the one called for. Sometimes I have to go 2 sizes down. For years, all I knit were baby blankets and sweaters, things that don't have to fit. But I am getting braver in my old age.
And bloglines is a terrific time saver. I too am out in the boonies and am on dial-up. My daughter Amy showed me about bloglines. It is a real help.

Bron said...

Woohoo! Another person to leave a comment. ;) I'm going to try to make it to Robbyn's tonight - hopefully I won't have a knitting disaster to keep me away like last Thursday!

Rob said...

Hi, Fun talking to you tonight on Robbyn's blog. The suggestion above is a good one -- get a gauge you like, with a yarn you like, and then look for patterns at that gauge. My gauge also changed dramatically when I switched to continental style knitting -- I used to go down 3 and 4 needle sizes and still have problems!

Shelley said...

Have you tried There is a forum there and you can post your questions and get answers. Maybe you could find out some other options to the ones mentioned here...if none of those work for you.

I had posted there about the problem of gauge (the yarn I chose was smaller than what was called for) and one lady gave me a link to a program to download (free) where you type in the gauge you get and the gauge needed and it tells you what you need to get the correct gauge (or something to that effect).

I have downloaded the program but haven't had a chance to play with it yet. The lady (and some others) had posted saying they found that it worked well.

Anonymous said...

Ok Mom, can't help you with any of this guaging stuff. I say, follow these womens advice. Hahaha.
I can tell you how to make a mean tomale' pie though. Made it last night and gosh was it good. Only enough left for my lunch today. :0)
Love your blog.... still reading!
(the oldest daughter)

Robbyn said...

All I can do is echo Bron and Rob. Find a yarn and gauge that work for you and work it out from there. I'm a loose knitter too and I can never match pattern gauge (almost never!) - except for socks - then I tighten up so much the needles practically bleed.

Trying to match someone else's gauge is, for me, a one-way ticket to frog-ville. Using my own preferred needles and yarn and working to someone else's ideas - that usually works better :)