The Importance of Gauge

So much for the Oscar Wilde allusion. Imagine my excitement when I discovered a sideways garter stitch glove pattern in an old Spin-Off (using short row shaping). Ok, so many you can't imagine my excitement if you don't know my tenuous history with thumb gussets on mittens - but needless to say, I was excited! The pattern called for size 4 needles, the pattern fitting a "women's medium" hand. I have pretty small hands and thought if the glove fit, I'd wear it - if not, surely some lucky gal in my life had daintier hands and would love some gloves. I used size 6 needles, and a thicker yarn, to make for a larger gauge. Just finished mitten #1 - it's a beaut - and it was easy as pie - but ARGH! Not only did it not fit me, it didn't fit any women living in a three mile radius of me. I think I may felt it for a keychain.

I have long overlooked discussion of gauge, figuring I'd cross that bridge when I came to it. Truly - discussions about gauge make my eyes blur - and all I hear when people talk gauge is "wah wah wah wah" - like the adults sound on the Charlie Brown cartoons. Well, I'm at that bridge now - gauge matters. Damn. Why wasn't I paying attention in class?

On a related note, a knitter friend and I were talking about "bad knitting months" - you know, those months where nothing fits, or you run out of a specific dyelot depsite your best planning - or you rip and rip and rip. I am having bad knitting mojo these days - I think I need to cleanse my pallete. Maybe smudge my basket with sage, and knit a nice relaxing scarf.


Knipper's picture

We all have those projects that do not quite come out as we expected or planned.  Last year I knitted a hat planning to felt it.  Finished the knitting, threw it in the washer and kept my fingers crossed.  It is now a coaster holding a bowl of Anne yarn.  Did not make it big enough; did not use a good washing machine.  Learned my lesson.

I am one of the those "blah blah blah" about gauge.  It is important for many many projects.  I have even reached the point where I save my swatches on yarn I really like.  Even though that is no guarantee as my tension can change over time.

Keep at it; it will all fall into place.



Crafty Andy's picture

Hey you Guy in Vermont , saying hello from California.  In my experience I rarely check gauge, but I do count, I have made many projects that counting have been my mistake, or using a yarn that it's too thick or too thin.  I remember a scarf.  The scarf was about a foot  in width to start with and by the time I realize it was about  1 and half feet.  I decided to finish it that way and it came out clever, I will use the different sides  on diferent kinds of weather, but I did get a laugh.  I would have ended up with a bed sheet by the time I checked the amount of stitches.  I like to experiment with yarns.  One of the things that comes handy is crochetting, you can crochet a sample and see how it will look.  You can  actually follow the instructions and do a sample of the knitting, I rarely do LOL.. I tend to have a very strong tension.  Peldor Joi and definitely have fun...........


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