Saturday, November 15, 2008


Knitting along on the sleeve of Paul's Retrofit sweater, I thought it felt a bit "sleezy".

Measured the gauge - OH NO!

I've got 18 stitches/4 inches. It should be 20 stitches/4 inches. I'm off 1/2 stitch per inch.

When I started the sweater, I thought that 5 stitches/inch on size 8 needles seemed a bit strange. After I knitted a few inches, I measured. Yup, 5 stitches an inch. Great!

Now, bear in mind that I started this sweater the day my dad was in the hospital having surgery. Think the situation might lead to tighter knitting? Apparently so! Part way up the body, my knitting became relaxed, and the gauge loosened.

Really, 1/2 stitch per inch shouldn't make much of a difference, should it?

Well, let's do the math: I want a 42" chest. At my gauge as knitted, I'll get almost 47". WAY too loose.

Rather than immediately ravel and re-knit, I did what I should have done in the beginning. I SWATCHED on the size 8 needles. Then I abused the heck out of the swatch - hot water bath, cold water rinse. No change in size. Hot water bath, cold water rinse, then into the dryer. No change in gauge. AAAARGH! j

I could try again, with even more abuse. But I know that while that would result in greater stitches per inch, it would also increase the rows per inch. I'd have a narrower sweater, but it would also be a shorter sweater. Not good.

Now I need to convince myself that I'm a process knitter. That product is nice, but it's the knitting I most enjoy. While this is primarily true, I have all kinds of projects lined up and was really looking forward to being done with this easy little sweater.

So, it sits in the basket, patiently awaiting a decision...

In spinning progress, I navajo plied the wool on the wheel.

I couldn't fit all the yarn from the one bobbin, back onto one bobbin when I plied it. I had this last bit of fiber to make a small skein with.

It had been on the bobbin for awhile, so when I plied it, it kinked up and looked hopeless. However, I was pretty confident it was a balanced yarn - it just needed a warm bath to relax.

(Sometimes, I need a warm bath to relax!)

It came out quite nice.

Six ounces, 190 yards. I like the way the color changes are maintained with the navajo plying.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Sorry to hear about the sweater. I completely understand. I just picked up a sweater after needing processing time. Found 2 HOLES in it. It's resting again...

Love the navajo ply. I am almost done 2 plying the purple stuff I've had on my wheel forever.

My next batch I'm going to try my hand at navajo plying. Any tips? I would love a demo as yours looks lovely!