Tag: swatching

Gingersnap 19

This little cardi has almost undone me. The cute is unreal.

I’m a sucker for cardigans, stripes, and close-but-not-quite-matching color palettes anyway, but add in the minuscule scale of Gingersnap, and I’m a goner.

The pattern is free on Ravelry, and it’s a breeze to knit. The instructions are clear, and the knitting itself is absolutely straightforward. The most complicated thing you have to do is pick up stitches for the collar.

I knit the back of mine in dark brown just for fun.

All the baby knits are precious, but there’s something about the color blocking and boxy little shape of this one that I just adore. It’s going to Texas with me tomorrow to be delivered to its teeny recipient. I’ll try to get pictures.

So the travel knitting . . . I cast on for a Free Your Fade shawl last night. I’ve also got plenty of cotton yarn to work on Christmas dishcloths for my dad and practice my log cabin technique in anticipation of the Fringe and Friends Logalong. And the Caradon Hill Jumper. . . I’m in the deep middle of a gauge conundrum with this one, so I brought yarn, pattern, and multiple needle sizes for swatching just in case that’s the way things need to go. Have I mentioned that holiday travel stresses me out?

Anyhoo . . .

Clearly, I’ve packed much more kitting for this five-day trip than I’ll ever get done, but at least I don’t have to worry about running out. I’ve been back and forth on adding yarn for a pair of socks for my dad to the pile, but so far, I’ve held back on that one. I’m trying not to let the fact that he wore a pair of handknit socks I knit for him six years ago to lunch today add undue weight to the “for” column. There’s still nearly twelve hours before I leave, though, so anything could happen.

I hope you are all well, my friends. Wishing you peace and happiness during this holiday season!


Gauge 2

Gauge is the most important principle in knitting.

So sayeth Elizabeth Zimmermann. These words are from the chapter on gauge in Knitting Without Tears. It’s one of the first books on knitting I ever read. It’s right here next to me. I can reach out and touch it. It’s spent so much time by my side that the corners are fuzzy, a bunch of the pages are stained with coffee, and one whole end is purple from the wine that Augie knocked over onto it when he was a kitten. It seems like I’ve learned a lot from EZ.


Apparently, I am a hardheaded person who ignores the sage advice of her heroes and scoffs at the lessons offered by her own experience. I am someone who, while staring across the room at the giganto-cardigan recently knit without benefit of a swatch, casts on for another cardigan and knits for a skein and a half before checking her gauge. Yep. I’m that person.

My gauge on Gramps is completely off.

Despite Calligraphy and the things I said right on this very blog earlier this month about the need for swatching, I dove into Gramps without one single teeny tiny thought about checking my gauge. Actually, there may have been one, but it didn’t last long. So it turns out that instead of getting 20 stitches and 28 rows in 4”, I’ve been getting 16 stitches and 24 rows. I know that now because I did finally check my gauge. I’ve been wrestling with what to do about the situation since last night, and here’s where I am. Because I’d really like to have a sweater that fits and because I’m hoping that every stitch I knit for the second time will help drive home the importance of swatching, I’ve ripped back to the beginning.

Here’s an action shot:

Ripping gramps

Back, back, back to . . .

Square one, meet the hardheaded knitter. Hardheaded knitter, meet square one.

Swatching for gramps

I swatched.

I went down from size 7 to size 6 needles, and this gave me 19 (rather than 20) stitches and 27 (rather than 28) rows in 4”. I’m still off by one in each direction, but I think that’s okay. Knitting Gramps on size 6s should produce a finished sweater that bears a little closer resemblance to the measurements provided by the pattern than I was going to get with the 7s.

Hopefully, the time I spend reknitting the entire top half of the sweater will give me ample opportunity to reflect on the importance of checking my gauge.

Labor Day 1

Calligraphy è finito!

Calligraphy Blocking

It’s not a well-knit sweater because I’m a goof and didn’t swatch. I could try to defend the not swatching by explaining how I got gauge to the millimeter with the last swatch I did, and the sweater ended up way too big. I think that in that case the problem was that I was doing a stockinette swatch for a lace pattern; however, knowing that didn’t make me feel any less grudging toward the idea of swatching for this sweater. Even when I got to the sleeves and had the huge-ness issue, for some reason I felt inclined to attribute this to the position of the sun relative to the marigolds in my herb garden rather than consider the not swatching and the fact that my gauge might be miles off.

I should have swatched. The sweater is huge in the body, and it’s because I didn’t swatch. Swatching is important. There, I said it. I know it. Knitting friends, please hold me to it.

Moving on . . . . I think I’m going to love this sweater even with its exceptionally roomy body. I wore it nonstop until I had to put it in the water to soak before blocking. I’ve been petting it every few hours. I ordered these buttons for it. They should be here this week. I can’t wait.


And instead of casting on for Gramps right away, I cast on for the Storm Cloud Shawlette with my handspun! This will be the first wearable thing I’ve made with my handspun yarn, and I’m loving knitting with it. Work is kind of insane this week, so I’ve had to knit in the in-between times, including when we took a break for a festive Labor Day lunch today.

Storm Cloud 1

As you might guess from the photo, lunch was followed by a nap.

But after the nap and the next set of papers, I snuck in a few minutes of knitting on the porch.

Storm Cloud 2

I love knitting. Thank goodness for knitting.

Capacitor Socks

Over the weekend I moved on to sock number two of the current pair of stripey socks. I love knitting.

Getting Organized 2

Isn’t there a saying about organization being the key to a happy life? If there isn’t, there should be. I’m definitely happier when I’m organized. I’ve been keeping a notebook of my knitting projects for a number of years, but I’d gotten behind. Like no updates since last fall behind. But yesterday I caught up. Yay!!!

IMG 0085

There was also swatching for CeCe:

IMG 0088

The madelinetosh Pashmina makes me want to melt into a puddle of bliss every time I touch it. I’m not entirely sure what “hand” is in knitting, but I think this has it.

So my gauge swatch for CeCe was right on target, and that meant that today I cast on for . . . the Cromwell Court Afghan. I know. But it’s my knitting, right? And I need a special wedding present for a special couple.

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Lola is wondering if I’m being entirely honest with myself. Maybe I did just need to start something squishy and mindless. She knows me well.

All Over The Place 0

Here are some of the things I love:


  • Knitting
  • Crazy Color Combinations
  • Superheroes
  • Villains
  • Cool Graphics
  • Smart Writing
  • Nerds
You know what? There’s a blog for that!!!

This week I found Lattes and Llamas. The very first blog post I read was titled, “2015 Geek-A-Long: Dr. Doom” and started off with a photo of an awesome double-knit square featuring, you guessed it . . . Dr. Doom! It just gets better from there. There are LOTS of cool squares, a slew of geeky quotes, backstory on featured characters . . . And the writing made me smile. I might have actually chuckled a time or two on the inside.

From what I can tell, the Geek-A-Long is a year-long knit along. The Lattes and Llamas creators make a new square pattern available each week for 48 weeks—for free! At the end they guide you through putting 24 of the squares together to make a fabulously geeky blanket. They have a Ravelry group you can join to share Geek-A-Long war stories, and it all just strikes me as a ton of fun. I doubt I’ll join in for the full Geek-A-Long, but I’m pretty sure that when it comes to knitting at least a few of these awesome squares, resistance is futile.

In addition to discovering Lattes and Llamas, I did some knitting, finished a book, and had a full-out, avert-your-eyes, gnarly, nasty, skid-marks-on-the-pavement work meltdown.

So . . . the knitting. Here’s my pillow cover blocking. This is the most aggressive blocking I’ve ever done. I’m hoping to use a standard-size pillow core, and my cover is not quite big enough for that. Hopefully, the blocking will give me the extra couple of inches I need.


When I started out, Lola wanted to help:


So did Augie. His specialty is “adjusting” blocking wires.


But then there had to be crazy chasing.


It’s all about priorities in this house.

Have I mentioned the swatching? I think I have. I’m trying to decide which yarn to use for the TKGA Basics course. I might have decided on Lion Brand Fishermen’s wool. It’s the top swatch here:

TKGA Yarn Swatch 2

It seems to have the best balance of stitch definition and sproing. I’m vacillating, though, and wondering if I should do another swatch with the Cascade 220 using size 6 needles instead of the size 7s I used for these. The original Cascade swatch felt a little “loose,” but maybe if I went down a needle size . . .  Hmmm. . .

And since we haven’t had one in awhile, here’s an action shot. I was on the way to an appointment and was running a little early, so I stopped by the river to knit for a bit. That was good.


Hopefully, I’ll have 28thirty pics soon. And I’m planning to cast on for CeCe any second now, so there should be pics of that to share soon as well. Be well, and happy knitting!