Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

First, the good!! Recognize that amazing gal in the middle?

We went to the Maker Faire on Saturday. We went last year and LOVED it and we had always planned to attend this year as well. Come to find out that the Yarn Harlot was appearing there in the morning! It seems to have been a last-minute addition because the Harlot did not mention that she was attending in her blog until a few scant days before the event. And traffic getting into the event was AWFUL. Since she spoke at 11AM and the event opened at 10AM, her talk was pretty poorly attended, IMO, for a Harlot Event. We planned to get there in plenty of time and I ended up missing 1/2 of her talk. But what I heard was great!!

She came back to the craft area to knit with people and talk, so I got her to sign my book. And I got to ask her a question that resulted in her giving a detailed explanation of how she knits, which was fascinating. Someone got behind her with a camera, so I'll be checking YouTube for that footage.

The bad: I bought yarn. It's so much more breathtaking than this photograph. Colinette Jitterbug. I'm in love. Move over, Socks that Rock.

The ugly: I've been knitting furiously on a Kim Hargreaves pattern, "Shaker", from an old Rowan magazine (Number 25.) I had stitch gauge perfectly. Well, I knit the largest size 'cause I am a 38" bust. Turns out, it's much bigger than I wanted. I wanted a loose fit, but not a baggy fit and that's what was designed, apparently (though that's NOT how it looks in the photo. Grf. And besides that, my row gauge is off. AGAIN.

This seems to be my curse. My row gauge is always off. By a LOT. It is not possible for me to get remotely near row gauge. I always have far too few rows per inch. For example, the gauge for this sweater is 25 sts x 38 rows in 10cm. I am getting 25 sts and 32 rows. There's no way I can go down enough needle sizes to fix that without killing stitch gauge. It's not a problem in the body or sleeve length 'cause I can always measure that, but it destroys armhole shaping.

This problem nearly made me crazy while knitting my Elizabeth I but I took out some rows whenever I could and hoped for the best. It turned out okay, but the armscythe is still larger than I would like.

I see why people turn to designing, I really do. What joy to just use the gauge you HAVE and make a pattern to fit YOU. Sadly, I am terrified of the math and not confident enough.

But faced with the knowledge that I have knit the entire back and 2 sleeves of this cardigan and now have to rip it all out... I am going to have to get there. I do want this cardigan. I do. But I'm beginning to think it's too much heartbreak to follow patterns that really need to FIT.

I'm going to have to Find The Way.

And frog. *sob*


Casey said...

I see why people turn to designing, I really do. What joy to just use the gauge you HAVE and make a pattern to fit YOU.

I'm just about there myself. Apparently no one designs anything to fit my freakish self, and the heartbreak of frogging entire tops is almost too much to handle.

Good luck with getting it to fit the way you want it to.

judityE said...

I am interested in designing because I see what I want in my head and can't find a pattern for it. But I'm scared. I just splurged on the big Vogue Knitting book because of the design section. I hope it works.

Carrie said...

Do you have the same problem if you try knitting in a different style (i.e. english, continental, combined)? I keep meaning to learn another style to see if it would fix my loose purling.

Devon said...

I have the same problem with row gauge!! I started making Reid from Knitty and it came out all funky. I think I'm going to have to remove some rows or something.

How cool that you met the Yarn Harlot!!! That's so awesome.