30 November 2007

OMG did she just swatch?

Yes I did. And I even washed & blocked it too. I'm like a grown up knitter. Or something.

Pattern: Sweater no. 4 from Lopi no. 20
Modifications: Lots of adaptations for gauge (Létt Lopi instead of double stranding Alfoss Lopi)
Materials: Istex Létt-Lopi
Start Date: November 30, 2007

I usually don't swatch. It's like a crime against knitting to use yarn for something that isn't going to become something. For me, swatching is like condemning yarn to purgatory, a nebulous limbo that isn't the trash and isn't really going to be used. Ever.

Instead, I usually grab the yarn and my needles, cast on the necessary number of stitches and after a while (a few inches or so) determine my gauge/see if the thing is turning out the right size. If not, figure out my gauge & adapt the pattern/start over again (and again and again).

For most of my knitting career this has been quite sufficient. Mittens that are too big allow for more fabric to scrunch around and keep hands warm. Scarves really don't care if they're slightly wider or longer. And I mostly make those up as I go along. Cast on until I'm bored of it and away I knit with the chosen stitch pattern. Socks? Well, they're socks. So like, um, if they're too big, then they're house socks. Really I make socks for other people so they tend not to complain if they don't fit. Plus socks will relax as you wear them. It's true! All the pairs I've made for myself have become kind of loosey goosey (ie. house socks).

But now I'm into sweater land. And gauge? It's like a thing now. Especially crazy me who likes to take a pattern and yarn and make them fit together (that whole square peg, round hole idea). So knowing gauge is like a big deal. Or something. And with this sweater I already tried my psuedo half hearted math-to-be-able-to-cast-on, made the whole thing and found it was like a little cropped sweater with 3/4 sleeves (I'm not about showing the midriff).

So now I'm going to do things properly. I started with 5.0 mm, and when down by 0.5 mm until I got to my dream fabric on 3.5 mm needles. The swatch was washed and then blocked overnight with pins just to straighten things out a bit. And I've got POUNDS of bright pink Létt-Lopi around the place so damning some to yarn purgatory doesn't seem so harsh.

I know. I keep starting things these days. Things that aren't even on the list (Ravelry or the sidebar). What gives? Well, sometimes things pop into my head and I just keep keep keep thinking about them until I have to do something about it. Hence the beginnings of the Ginormo Granny Square Blanket and now a Pink Lopi Raglan.

But coming up is a week of Knit Nites™ and I need something portable and suitably mindless to bring along. Other projects are still in the works and possibly running low on the yarns. And somethings are done and some are in a time out.

Ooooo! And completely unrelated but also exciting! I have a Charlie Brown Christmas ringtone on my cell phone. How festive am I?

Speaking of festive, Sharon made me burst out laughing by bringing in scraps of suitably Christmas-y yarns so I can make another pair of festive Teeny Tiny Sock Earrings. I just have to figure out where to get some of those earring things.

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

Besides the usual craft and bead stores (Chaton Bead, Bead Emporium, etc) you can also get the jewelry findings at Wal-Mart.

Snarsh said...

I have lots of those earring thingys if you'd like me to bring a pair along for you on wednesday. Are you the sensitive type? or does it matter. I am so I do have the good stuff too (Surgical steel).

Knitting Mama said...

Dollarama sells them too - in a kit with other "findings", if you're feeling on the budget side! You get a bunch of earring pieces along with other clasps and stuff for 1$. Other than that - Walmart or Chaton Bead or Omer DeSerres, etc... or from Angela's stash. She's got quite the "bead" stash. LOL.

AliP said...

Oh man...I wish i had the pattern but that would be all copyright infringey etc. Waaaaah. And I second what everyonelse said about earring findings. They are dirt cheap but if you have sensitive ears that react to dirt cheap some bead shops carry better ones...like Angela's Stash. HEE HEE
The teetiny sock earrings are so cuuuuuuute. Oooh and a matching pin or CHARM BRACELET!!!! (hyperventilating now from the overbearing cuteness...)

jane said...

Hrm. Thanks for all the brilliant suggestions, but if Angela has earring things coming out of well her ears, then I'll gladly take some off her hands.

As for the pattern, I'm sure an obliging Robyn could help you lay your hands on a copy, being the one who gave me the pattern/kit in the first place. She's got all the fun things.