Knitting Confessions

Many of you know that I rarely do gauge swatches, because I’ve confessed that heresy before.

Even Worse
When I do gauge swatches, they are rarely reliable in predicting the final size of a garment.

Take the Aunt Dorothy Jacket. The original pattern I’m using (Nadine Shapiro’s Patchwork Jacket), is done in bulky yarn on US10’s. I needed to convert that to Sport/DK weight yarn on US5’s. Since I’m doing mitered squares in garter stitch, I didn’t have to worry about row gauge, so I guessed approximately how many stitches I would need to get the appropriate sized sqaure (I was looking for an 8 inch square).

Lo and behold, my first guess was accurate, and I knit along in my happy delirium.

After doing the first row of three squares, and then making progress on the second row of squares, I finally decide to measure the width of the garment. It’s over 26 inches wide. A full two inches wider than I had planned.

How does that happen? I measured my first square, and I didn’t notice any gauge change in my latter squares?

Current Knitting
Suffice it to say, I had to rip out all the work I did on Aunt Dorothy’s Jacket, and start again. I made good progress despite the “gauge setback.”

This is now a little under 24 inches, but I’m figuring that the garter stitch will loosen up some, even with light blocking.

Readers’ Comments/Questions
Regarding the Aunt Dorothy Jacket, Elizabeth asks, “I think I can do the math for the knitting for DK/light worsted, but how did you calculate how much yarn you needed?”

First of all, I have to admit I lied when asked how much I spent for the yarn for this jacket. I wrote the other day that I bought 4 hanks of 500 yards, when in fact I only bought 3, for a total of 1,500 yards. As far as calculating yardage, I just assumed that 1,500 yards would be sufficient for a woman’s jacket…even in garter stitch. I could be wrong, and I’d be glad to confirm or deny once I have the back finished (if the back takes more than one hank, I know I won’t have enough).

Also, thanks Barb for the estimating link to Lucia’s site that you provided in comments.

Kit mentioned that there might be a difficulty in accessing a site with the word “queer” if a child’s computer is subject to filtering software.

To me, that is irrelevant for a number of reasons. First, filtering software should be a tool used by adults to help their children stay out of adult areas on the internet, not as a babysitter that has full authority over what the child sees or doesn’t see. Second, as Kathy pointed out, the moderator did not make me change my name for this reason, she made me change it because she thought children should be protected from this word. And finally, I find it offensive that the word “queer” is included in the list of adult words to be filtered out anyway. To moderate a list based on ignorant, poorly designed software is kinda dopey.

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