Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gauge Gauge Gauge

I've been doing a lot of swatching over the last couple weeks preparing for three projects.

1. The plarn trench coat which, you may recall, was one of this year's goals. I pulled out the pattern to try out the stitch pattern. Not even close to gauge, and not very pretty.
The mushy looking part at the bottom is in the stitch design from the pattern. Yuck!

So then I started mixing it up with crochet hook sizes and other stitch combinations. I still wasn't getting close enough to gauge. I've requested a pattern book from the library that contains another trench coat pattern. It's written for bulky yarn so I'm hoping I can get it to work.

2. I got going on the plan to knit the Bella's Mittens out of the wool from the J Crew sweater. Since I had no real information about the weight of the wool from the sweater, I thought it was especially important to check the gauge. I started with the needle size recommended by the pattern and got gauge with the first try! That's how I'm used to it working out!
So I merrily knitted away on the mittens. And despite getting gauge right on, they were a little small! That means either the pattern didn't list the right gauge or I have bigger hands than most. In any case, I did two things to compensate: first, I added some length to the top of the mitten and to the thumb. Secondly, I stretched them a bit when blocking. They're still drying, but I think they'll be good. I'll give you a look at them after I've gotten some good pics.

3. And, finally I got some new needles in the mail and could try some more on my Whistler swatch. It hasn't been straight forward. Here's my swatch piece of eight sections trying out different needles in plain and colourwork:
I'm aiming for 24 sts to 4". Starting at the bottom, I have gotten
1. 26 sts on aluminum US #3s
2. 24 sts on aluminum US #3s in continental style. Right gauge but very uneven in tension. It wasn't pretty!
3. 23 sts on metal 3.75mms
4. 23 sts on aluminum US #4s
5. 24 sts on bamboo US #3/3.25mms

Yeah! I finally got gauge on the plain stocking stitch section. (And with one of the new needles thus justifying the purchase!)

Now the colourwork section requires a different gauge and the pattern recommends moving up a size to get it. The pattern didn't specify the stitch gauge but wants 28 rows to 4".
6. 24 rows on bamboo US #4 (22.5 sts/4")
7. 24 rows on bamboo US #3 (24 sts/4")
8. 28 rows on bamboo US #2 (26 sts/4")

Ok, so the final size gives the right row gauge, but I don't like that the stitch gauge doesn't match the stocking stitch section. :sigh: Plus it means that I actually had to go down a size, instead of up like the pattern calls for. Doesn't feel right.

I've put it aside for now and posted the question on the Dale of Norway group on Ravelry. Hopefully the peeps there will be able to help.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait for the Whistler project to be finished! :)

    I'm also very excited about your trench coat. It will be awesome, and you'll find the right stitch.

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