25 October 2006

A little late

So you want to see some swatches? You know you do. C'mon, who doesn't want to see swatches?

OK, seriously, I usually get gauge with the recommended yarn weight and needles. Why has this not happened this time, I have no idea.

Here's an overall look at my swatches using (from left to right) a size 4, 5, 6, and 7 needles:

Hmm, not real helpful that photo...

a close-up of the swatch using the size 4 needle

a close-up of the swatch using the size 7 needle

Sorry for the poor picture quality, it was overcast when I took these pictures. Trust me, there is a difference between them.

The pattern calls for 20 stitches/24 rows per 4'' which translates into 5 stitches/ 6 rows per inch. Now what did I get? Not gauge, that's for sure.

size 7 needle = 4.32 stitches/ 5.5 rows per inch
size 6 needle = 4.4 stitches/ 5.7 rows per inch
size 5 needle = 4.7 stitches/ 6.2 rows per inch
size 4 needle = 4.8 stitches/6.25 rows per inch

I definitely like the tighter fabric that I get with the smaller needle. Since the gauge is not too different I should be able to get by with minimal changes. What worries me? At some point in the pattern, I'm supposed to switch to smaller needles (size 4 in the instructions) and get a gauge of 28 stitches/32 rows per 4" using the same yarn. (The yarn I'm using as a sub does not come with sequins or beads so I'm sticking with the plain silk. I know, I could string the beads or sequins myself, but I'm not ready for that.) Now if I was supposed to get the smaller gauge with a size 4 but am getting close to the larger gauge with the size 4, does this mean that I will need to switch to a size 1 needle to even come close?! Apparently the swatching adventures will continue because I'll need to figure that out next before I can even start.

23 October 2006

Do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?*
*Lyrics to Weird Al's 2006 release "White and Nerdy".

OK, I didn't mean to leave the blog unattended for so long. Apparently I got the summer slow down bug late. Seriously, I have not knit a single stitch in about 2 (maybe 3) weeks. I haven't even bought yarn in well over a month. Crazy, I know. I've just been obsessed with...um...not doing anything. This whole "not having a steady job" thing is a real drag. I've been networking and doing some random work at the doggie daycare but all that has been a drain on what energy I do have. People, I have been working at least part-time since I was 16. Making the transition to housewife was just supposed to be temporary so I'm feeling a little lost. I know I should enjoy this time to myself and spend some time reflecting but being a housewife involves lots of busy work. I mean, with the two dogs, there is always a need to vacuum, and there is always laundry. It wouldn't hurt to clean up the kitchen regularly and then there is dusting, grocery shopping and paying the bills. It doesn't sound like much but somehow it eats up my days. I cannot believe that it is almost November. I'm leaving for Stitches East next Tues. Yikes. I better work on getting my knitting groove back.

So here I am, re-committing myself to the blog and my knittting. Before I fell off the wagon, I did work on some swatches for the Simple Knitted Bodice with the Estelle 100% silk from Busy Hands. All I can say is that it is a good thing I bought an extra skein because I made 4 swatches and even using a size 4 needle I couldn't get gauge. Normally, I am not a loose knitter so I don't know what is going on there. Since its dark out and the swatches are still drying, I'll share pics tomorrow.

In the meanwhile, feel free to enjoy Weird Al's video. It cracks me up every time. :-)