Monday, January 30, 2006

Crisis Averted

After the last Blanche-Neige swatching incident, I was obsessed with gauge (and thank you again to all of you who made very helpful suggestions and offered tips!). Believe it or not, I actually dreamed about the knitting Thursday night, and by the time Friday rolled around my brain was busy with thoughts of how to fix the problem. I decided that the only thing to do was another swatch in smaller needles. During my lunch break I went on to Knit Picks, thinking that I'd need more yarn (because of course I was panicking that the yarn I'd use on another swatch would cut into my supply enough that I wouldn't have enough yardage to finish the sweater). What do I discover? Take a look for yourself here and see my dilemma with getting more Merino Style in Vanilla -- that's right, if I want more, I'm going to have to wait until St. Paddy's day. Apparently I cleaned them out. So, further panic. I jump over to the pattern to check the yardage needed and calculate how much yarn I'll have left, even if I use up the remainder of the first ball on a second swatch. Phew. Assuming I can get gauge, the size S will only require 1200 yards, and I've got 1353 in the 11 balls of yarn that are untouched. Okay, now all that remained was to knit a successful swatch.

On the way home from dinner Friday night, I convinced J to make a quick stop at JoAnn's, because I just wanted to see if maybe they might have a pair of US 2 circulars. I wasn't too hopeful, and I did have some US 2 dpn's at home in my knitting back, but hey, it was on the way and we were already planning on stopping at Giant Eagle anyway. It must have been my lucky night -- there were actually two pairs of US 2 29" circulars waiting for me! I got one pair, along with the "sock set" of teensy dpn's (in size 000, 00, 0, and 1) that I'd eyed but passed up last time. I immediately started swatching when we got home, much to J's chagrin, because he wanted to lie down in my lap and I kept elbowing him (sorry, J! love you!). I finished the swatch yesterday, blocked last night, and measured this morning. And.... it's Monday morning miracle! I GOT GAUGE! Well, nearly. My stitch gauge is almost perfect -- I got 28 and about a quarter of a stitch over four inches. For a fraction of a fraction of an extra stitch per inch, I'm not sweatin' it. Row gauge was a little less perfect, at 42 rows (rather than 40) over four inches. Again, I'm not terriby concerned, as that can easily be adjusted for in the part where the pattern says "continue even until piece measures...."

Now the only thing to do to get ready for the "knitlympics" is to get myself over to
Knit One and get myself some Addi Turbos in a US 2. The Susan Bates 2's I got on Friday were fine for swatching, but if I had to knit the whole sweater on them I'd go nuts. The needle parts are fine, but that cheap-o plastic cord between them is complete you-know-what. It curls up and refuses to stay straight, which means that the yarn is constantly getting tangled in it, and the time it takes to extricate the yarn cuts into my knitting time. With only 16 days to finish this project (for the gold), that's time I just can't afford. (I feel I should add here that I recently learned that I'll have more knitting time than I expected, as I'm taking a weekend trip to someplace in the Midwest. All that time sitting at the airport, on the plane, and commuting -- perfect for knitting. I even went to the TSA's Web site to make sure that knitting needles are allowed on planes; some very smart person -- probably a knitter -- realized that us knit-o-holics wouldn't want to use our needles for anything other than knitting, especially if we might risk dropping a stitch!)

As to projects that I've actually been allowed to work on, I've made significant progress on my Jaywalker, and successfull turned my first heel-flap heel. I'm now nearly done knitting the foot, le voila:


I'm experiencing a little bit of laddering in the stockinette portion, but since this part will be on the bottom of my foot, no one will ever see it but me. It's still rather frustrating, though. Anyone have good advice on how to prevent this? It's the main reason I started knitting socks on circs rather than dpns, and sometimes it really drives me nuts.

No progress has been made on my shawl in the past week, probably because I've been too taken with knitting Trellis. I finished the back yesterday and am more than halfway done on the left front. I had to frog and restart after that little problem with the border stitches, but it's coming along very quickly now and it's quite simply adorable.

Finally, this hat (made to match the sweater and knit from the leftover yarn) was finished over a week ago, but I didn't get around to blocking it until Thursday night and photographing it until today. So here you see the completed set (modeled by a bear because I didn't have a baby on hand to do the job):

Now, anyone have a quick pattern for booties?

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

Woo hoo, glad you finally got the swatch worked out!! Regarding the bootie request...I don't have pattern for them but Holly had some little teeny socks on her blog in Nov. or Dec. -- hollyboc.blogspot.com. :-) I think the title was Teeny FO or something...