Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gauge? What's That?

I hate gauge. I don't like figuring gauge. I don't do swatches. Yeah, I know. But today I have been "trying" to get the correct gauge for a shawl. It should not be that hard but I have one skein of Misti Alpaca Handpaint Sock Yarn and I want to make sure that there will be enough for the shawl. The yardage on the ball band tells me if I have gauge I will have enough, well, just enough with no room to spare. Did I mention I hate doing swatches? They seem such a waste of good knitting time to say nothing of that I am going to "tire out" that first little bit of precious alpaca yarn. My new mantra is going to be "check the rules for gauge in Yarn Harlot's book Knitting Rules". This is one of my most favorite books because in following her instructions for knitting socks I was able to accomplish knitting socks that fit. When Yarn Harlot was in Dallas at a book signing last year I asked to to autograph my book. She was gracious enough to let me take a picture of her holding the sock I was working on. She was my encouragement that I could actually make socks that fit. So today after trying to get just the right gauge, for the um-teenth time I got out the book and read the rules for gauge. If you don't have enough stitches per inch then go down a needle size. Well, I tried that. I laughed because it should be so simple to figure out. But have you ever been in the position of having tried everything and are ready to throw the knitting across the room and someone says hey do this. That is when you say oh, yeah, that's right. Yarn Harlot called it being "frayed at the edges". Yeah I was there. I only have one hank of this yarn. It is a small shawl. But I do not want to get to the last couple of rows and not have enough yarn. Hmmm. I cannot say what pattern it is because if I do not get this gauge thing worked out then I won't have to face the disappointment of explaining why I would be ripping out the shawl. So now that I have unloaded my thoughts, and miraculously without any cussing, I am off to see if I now can get the right gauge.

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