It lies

I’m talking about gauge. It’s giving me issues, right now.

I finished up S’s cowl and my lingering fingerless mitts on the weekend. They were both good autopilot knitting – not brainless, they both involved complicated stitches. Besides, knitting brainlessly is garter stitch is just asking for trouble. But I didn’t have to make any adjustments or decisions, and I needed something to sit down with in front of the fire in between frantically moving all of my crap from the damp, mouldering lean to into the surprisingly not as damp garage. Along with the accumulated crap of two other people (my sister and a friend, for whom I am storing a car’s space worth of stuff).

This is because the lean to is finally, FINALLY getting torn down and put back up again. Amongst much upping of quotes (it’s asbestos. Seriously, you would think they would WANT me to get rid of toxic materials. Not really incentivising me, here). The electrician is coming tomorrow to cut off the power to the lean to, which means that everything had to be out by tonight because there will be no lights in the backyard by which to haul crap around. And then Thursday the asbestos people are coming (grumble grumble grumble) and Friday the builders are starting. After that it really shouldn’t take too long. Hooray! Finally! A house that does not leak! And which is cold but maybe less chilly and clammy! And which I can vacuum all parts of without them immediately becoming gross again! And which I can put stuff against the walls of without water pooling underneath it!

However. That is not the actual point of this post. The point of this post is that lying liar. I’m talking, as I said, about gauge.

So I finished those two things. The active projects on my needles now are both colourwork. Which is great, I am loving it, but it’s not exactly bus knitting. Also, I think I’m going to rip out the colourwork bit of the blanket and try a different tactic because the floats are showing and it’s messy (f#*&ing crepe plied yarn). I looked at all my hibernating projects – all cotton or boring, hence the hibernating. I thought about casting something new on – I even bought a pattern! Then I realised that I had started Jaali. That I was excited about it. That I had put it down for some inexplicable reason.

That reason was gauge. Not getting gauge. I took that as my bus knitting yesterday and realised what I had realised before – that it seemed tight and awkward to knit on. Sure enough, three stitches extra over 4 inches. That’s quite a lot over a whole jumper. So I ripped it. I’ve cast the yarn back on as something different, which I think might actually be better for the yarn, and I was only a couple of inches (and a complicated cable border, but I enjoyed knitting that so it doesn’t count) in. The thing is, I swatched like the blazes for this one. I know I had gauge.

I got gauge this morning, too. I swatched for another fox, this time for my sister. It’s different yarn, a bit bulkier I think, so I knit up a quick swatch before casting on. Even though it’s a scarf and it doesn’t really matter. I am virtuous. I used the recommended needle, the needle I used with the smaller yarn last time. Too big. Way too big, three stitches off and the fabric was way too loose.

Went down a size. Still a stitch and a half too big.

Went down ANOTHER size. Still a weeny bit big, but the fabric was nice which is really the most important thing for this project. Good enough.

Cast on on the bus, got a couple of inches in… the fabric seems awfully tight. Folks, it’s two stitches over 4 inches short of gauge.

I SWATCHED. Three times. The knitting gods are testing me.

I’m going to keep knitting on the way home, which will give me a few more inches to judge if the fabric is too stiff. Otherwise, good enough. But I am worried about my colourwork projects. If I knit a whole colourwork mitten in sockweight yarn, and then it won’t go over an adult hand…

I wonder if it’s time to learn how to wrap the yarn over my finger. I’m a thrower, and I’ve never relearnt because I am fast and I always get gauge. But I tell you, it’s a pain doing colourwork like that.

Maybe this is an opportunity?



WIP roundup

Just updating my ravelry page and I thought it would be nice (for me) to have everything in one place. Here’s what I have on the needles at the moment.

I cast on for Jaali, as mentioned earlier.

You cast on and knit a long row of cables, then pick up stitches from the side and knit up. Very neat. The body of the jumper is in reverse stocking stitch, so when I get to that part I’m going to see if I can work out how to do the cables backwards, so I can knit all the way instead of purling.

I have another fox on the go.

Body is done, head is halfway. The yarn is Moda Vera Mousse again, and the tail is Moda Vera Cardinal, which is 40% acrylic and feels exactly like knitting polyfill. Yuck. But it is the right colour and fuzziness, and I only need to knit a bit of it.

I have a glove and a half of Genmaicha for me

Well, sort of, I’m a bit worried I’ll run out of yarn so no thumb on the first one, yet. That way I can knit the thumbs in something different, if need be.

I’ve knit these before, for my sister.

And at the time I thought I’d knit another pair for me. It’s only taken three years. The yarn is undyed camel that I got at my first bendigo… hmm, sensing a pattern? I really like these, the cable pattern is lovely and the pattern is well written, as you can expect from Kristen Kapur. Really clever, clear pattern.

I have a back and almost a front of a Phyllo yoked pullover

Which is really boring to photograph, and I probably won’t knit on that until winter is over since it’s a cotton blend and I’m all about the wool right now.

And I have a secret thing I’m trying to work out from scratch

I’ll let you know how it goes. But it did necessitate learning double knitting, and holy CRAP that’s a cool technique. Plotting a double knitted tea cosy, once this is done.

And here is an FO from ages ago that I’ve only now managed to get photographed properly. It’s my Damson, and it’s a bit disappointing, really.

I ran out of yarn on the bind off row. The yarn was from my first Bendigo trip, and I’d bought Emma a skein of laceweight in the same colourway, so I asked if I could have as much of that as it took to bind off, and she very kindly said yes. However, it is a bit lighter – more pink than red – and the bind off is still a bit tight, so the thing curls like crazy and won’t sit flat. I’ve got a couple of things to steam block, so I might give that a go, but I don’t hold out much hope. I probably should unpick it and bind off again. When I first fished it I sort of shoved it in a srwaer to forget about it, but it’s been getting a bit of use this autumn with jackets and the like, as a scarf. And I certainly seem happy about it here.

Hmm, only five things on the needles. That’s not many! Better go cast on something else…

Riding to Avalon

I finished my jumper!

The pattern is Riding to Avalon by Connie Chang Chinchio from a 2008 Knitscene. The yarn is Shiloh wool alapca wool blend, from the last Bendigo Sheep and Wool Festival that I ever attended. Both pattern and yarn are lovely, even if I did realise halfway through that it’s exactly the same colour as my high school jumper. Although this one does have a hood.

Hmm, not sure THAT will be getting much use.

Ravelry tells me that I started this at the end of last December. At the last craft camp I finished the body and I think the sleeves?  Steam blocked it etc. Then it took me ages to seam it up, and the hood took FOREVER, with it’s twisted purl stitch. The placket took me a few goes to work out the (perfectly clear) instructions, and of course sewing the buttons on took another week or two, as is traditional. It’s like the lying in period for jumpers. They’re just boring ones from spotlight.

I did a few mods on the jumper – knit it an inch longer at the hem before the shaping, and another inch at the waist between the increasing and decreasing. It is the perfect length. I also did bust darts, and unfortunately I knit them too high up. But since they are under that hood I am NOT unpicking them! They still serve their purpose in giving me enough room in the front, but they do lead to some unfortunate pooching under the arms. You can see it here.

Which I’ve realised is what’s wrong with cinnabar, too. However, in both of those, I’d rather have the pooch than stretching and pulling, and I’m damn well not unpicking it. Not with those fiddly texture stitch plackets on both of the. But, now I know for next time. It’s made worse in this one because the jumper seems to slide backwards a bit. Not sure why, but the shoulder seams always sit a bit back from my shoulders. Hood dragging it back? Sewed in the arms a bit twisted? Well, nevermind.

Overall, I am extremely happy with this one. The alpaca content in the yarn makes it lovely and warm. But because the yarn is really a bit thinner than an 8ply, and it’s knit in an 8ply gauge, it’s not too warm. And I really cannot overemphasise the snuggly softness And I really like the way it looks in the twisted purl.

Well, there you have it! (rav link) Very pleased, all up.

And the thing you can see me knitting up there is Jaali. I lasted a week or so with only small projects on the needles before I got antsy and cast on late last night. It’s coming along nicely.


I’m going great guns on Rogue.  I’m up to Chart b, which is the neck bit.  That’s not freaking bad for a week and a half of knitting!  I reckon tonight I’ll get at least a good way towards having the front done, which means that it’s only the hood and the sleeves left.

Which of course means I’m starting to itch to knit other things.  What’s that?  The Juno that hasn’t been touched for almost three weeks, and is the only thing I’m knitting with a deadline?  Nope.  Not interested.  Well, what about Emily, which needs only to have the neckband finished – maybe three hours of knitting, if I’m dawdling – and then it can be seamed?  And that you want to finish before Bendigo too so that you know how much yarn you’ve got left over from that?  Nope.  Boooooring. 

I sort of want to finish Sahara.  And I feel like I should while the urge takes me, in case it languishes for another three months.  I’m up (down) to the waist, so it’s so close to being done!  But that’s not what’s occupying my brain at the moment.

No, I want to knit the red bendigo rustic yarn that I bought for NaNoSweMo, two years ago.  Actually, I don’t want to knit it that bad.  But I want another 8ply jumper, and I want that yarn not in my stash.

See, I’m really really dying to knit Jaali.  As in, I already bought the pattern.  I was thinking about using the bendigo for this but…

It’s boring.  It’s normal.  It’s ordinary.  I want yarn that SINGS.  yarn that has depth.  Yarn that I can wear with snobbish pride.  This is why I want to finish Emily – because I want to buy more of the same yarn and dye it to make Jaali.  I mean, doesn’t this pattern deserve a beautiful yarn?

front cables jaalicable details jaali

Mmmmmmmm…. cabley goodness….

So.  I’ve been cleaning out my Ravelry queue.  Now I only have 15 pages!  That’s only about 500 things… totally reasonable, right?  Ahem.

Anyway.  I cleared out a bunch of patterns that were perfectly fine, but nothing fantastic.  because there are enough things that I am burning, burning to knit that are breathtaking and challenging.   And I want to knit them.  And I want to knit them with beautiful yarn, yarn with a story.

But I also want a red jumper, and I have this yarn.  So…. my current contenders:

Cinnibar pullover.  (rav) (non rav) This is what the yarn was originally intended for.  I suspect that if I don’t knit it with this yarn, I won’t knit it at all.  And I would like to own it.  It’s simple enough for the yarn, and that I’d get a lot of wear out of it, but also interesting enough that I would be excited to wear it.

Sidelines.  (rav) (non rav)  I also really want this top.  But…. I already have plenty of stockingette stuff on the go.  I am not sure I would finish it.  And I suspect that it would benefit from a slightly semi-solid, like in the picture.  Some of the ones on the rav are a bit… well… boring.

Desiknitter’s photo

Ogee tunic.  (rav) I really really really want this top.  But maybe not in red?  I’m thinking more in a cool colour, or a nuetral colour.

The same goes for other contenders in my queue.  Riding to Avalon wants to be a dark neutral or even a black.  Baby cables wants to be a blue or a green.  Mirage does too.  Rambling Rose requests a blue gray or a white, please!  Tangled yoke… dunno.  Nuetrals again, probably.  Certainly not red.

I think I’ve decided on Cinnabar.  Whic means that I will change my mind four or five times before I get around to knitting that yarn… if I ever do.

What do all y’all think?