Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gauge, again

I never used to pay much attention to gauge. I know that every single knitting book you can find stresses the importance of gauge, but for the longest time, the projects I worked on really didn't require an exact gauge. I learned to crochet as a child by making doilies (scary, right?), which don't particularly require gauge, and when I took it back up as an adult, I was making baby blankets and other various projects that didn't really require anything more than an approximate size. Even when I started making garments for my kids, I was pretty much making projects with the recommended yarn, so even then, I just plowed straight ahead and things fit well enough.

It was when I started making things for myself that things started turning out really wonky. Particularly since I haphazardly made yarn substitutions that utterly disregarded any concept of gauge.

That's how I ended up with this:

Rejected crochet

This a piece from SNB Happy Hooker. I must have started it a couple of years ago. I didn't model it because it's just embarrassing. While I could put it on, the sizing was truly and pitifully off.

So it became this:

My "swift"

Do you like the ghetto yarn swift? I do. It works really well.

And that pink yarn on the right? It's bamboo yarn (6 skeins of Classic Elite Yarns Bam Boo, to be precise) that was another unfinished crochet top. That one was pretty, but I couldn't get my arms through the armholes.

The thing is, bringing me back to my previous musings on denial, I *knew* in both cases that the sizing was off, but I persisted. The Lacy Leaf Cocoon crochet top was almost finished, except for the arms. I kept looking at it, thinking it might end up too small, but persisted anyways. Same thing with the Happy Hooker lace baroque cardigan (which is was the orange thing was supposed to be). So, in true form, I packed both projects away in boxes and ignored them for probably two years. I pulled them out last week because I knew that they used nice yarn and I decided, now that I'm a much more proficient knitter (and I've pretty much dropped crochet), I would re-use the yarn for something else.

I do, however, think I've learned my lesson. See this?

Hempton before washing

I swatched. And then:

Hempton post-wash

I washed it. What a concept. See the difference? I think I have the right gauge for this particular project (although it uses a completely different yarn than I showcased earlier....). But first I should finish the Lacy Tee, which is going well for the moment.

Lacy little tee 5/5

1 comment:

FaithEllen said...

I swatch every time -- but I never wash them. Mostly because I'm terrified that I'll run out of yarn for my project, I just unravel and start in and hope for the best.

You may have given me the gentle nudge I was needing... :)