Unknitting

Well, I’ve been knitting! Sorta. First of all it’s secret knitting so I can’t show it here just yet and second of all, there is nothing to show anyway. After knitting a ton this past weekend, I have nothing to show for it. Nada. Zip. Nothing. My saga…

I had picked out the greatest pattern and went ALL over creation finding a yarn that would work and found something that was a teeny bit heavier than what the pattern called for but got it anyway and decided to swatch. Good knitter! Swatches can be soooooo helpful and can save you so much frustration and prevent you from having to rip out an entire project 75% of the way through it. Swatching. Worth the effort. When done CORRECTLY. When I knit a stockinette swatch, I (like many of you) check to see how many stitches and rows should make a 4″ square and cast on 6 more stitches than it calls for. I then knit three rows of garter stitch and keep the first and last 3 stitches of every row in garter stitch to help the swatch lay flat. After the required number of stockinette rows I finish with another three rows of garter stitch! Voila! Pretty swatch! Then I measure the stockinette portion of the swatch to see how close to the 4″ square I’ve come.

So I started swatching at Stitch ‘n Bitch last week (I’m going to blame all mistakes on them… and the alcohol) and the gauge on the pattern was 22 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches. So I went down a couple of needle sizes since my yarn was a teeny bit thicker and started swatching. Good knitter! Before I left that evening I had bound off my swatch and my gauge wasn’t too far off! The stitch gauge was spot-on and the row gauge was a wee bit off but in a way that would make the project a wee bit shorter which would be a-ok for this project. Success! I am such a good knitter!

So the next day (Friday) I cast on and by Sunday afternoon I was kickin’ ass. At least 75% finished! Wonderful! Then I held it up… measured some things… looked at the schematic… held it up again… measured again… hmmmmm… instead of coming out shorter, it was coming out remarkably longer which was really screwing up the look and layout of it.

How could this be?! I followed the rules of good knitting! I had swatched! So I pulled out my trusty swatch to re-measure and re-count. 22 stitches – check. 22 rows – check. Wait! 22 rows? 22 rows?! It was supposed to be 30 rows! That would explain it! So to the frog pond it went. All that work. And all I have to show for it is a ball of yarn.

So I’ve given up on using that yarn for the project because going down more needle sizes would make it a really dense fabric and reworking the pattern to accomodate the different gauge is a bit tricky because it includes lace repeats (and that’s all I’m sayin’ about it! All will be revealed in a couple of weeks!).

So I got on the computer Sunday evening and put in an order for some yarn from Knit Picks. This is my first time ordering from them and they just shipped my order yesterday. I hope it doesn’t take too long to get here! I only have a couple of weeks to complete this project! But the fact that I was 75% finished with it in about 2 days makes me think that I’m going to be ok. I’m going to be ok, right?! I’ll get it all finished, right?! I hate depending on our (crappy) postal service for yarn. It stresses me out.

Anyway, after that aggravating Sunday I was happy to see a new issue of Knitty out on Monday! But only one pattern really caught my attention. This:

It’s the Lizard Ridge afghan. Isn’t it gorgeous?! It requires like 21 balls of Noro Kureyon so it’s not a cheap project. But what I love about it is that you don’t have to invest a lot of money all at once. It’s a perfect long-term project! Buy a ball of Kureyon, make a square! You don’t have to think about dye lots and all that garbage. I think I may try and make this! Not right now but who knows? Like I said, it would be a long-term project (and yes I know that all of my projects lately seem to be long-term so shut it!). Stacey over at Sheep in the City is going to start a Lizard Ridge knit-a-long and while I probably won’t join it, I will look forward to seeing other people make it and hear what they think about the pattern.

Geez, sorry for the long post! That’s what happens when I don’t post as often as I should!

Pray to the postal gods that my yarn comes lickety-split!

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4 thoughts on “Unknitting

  1. I love that pattern too – but I have to spend the years it will take to finish the mitered square afghan first. Sigh. What did you order from Knitpicks? And didn’t you think that the double-knitted 2-socks-at-once pattern in Fall Knitty was pretty cool?
    I miss SnB – I’ve been out of town, or working or not at home every time so far.

  2. I hear your frustration: all of my projects seem to turn out bigger than the swatch calculations indicate. So I have a good excuse NOT to swatch, but check progress after I have enough of finished fabric to see if it will work out or not. Usually this is just a few hours of work, which sometimes is about how long it takes to swatch. heh! Thanks for the knitalong links, it is indeed a wonderful project, and I like your idea of buy as you go!

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