M and the Gauge Monster

Nihon Kimono JacketM really wants to make herself a sweater. She did a rather basic and boxy jacket/sweater out of kochoran (yeah, I know, that's practical here in Tucson), but she wants to make herself a nice cardigan to wear when it gets chilly here. But the gauge monster hates her.

We find a nice pattern, she dutifully makes a gauge swatch, washes and measures the swatch, sees that her gauge is a little off and so goes down a needle size and repeats. This time the gauge is just right after washing. So, she casts on for the sweater (using the same needle with which she made the gauge swatch). After a couple of inches of knitting it becomes painfully apparent that the sweater she is now knitting would fit, well, both of us at the same time.

This is the second time this has happened to her, on only the second time she's attempted to care about gauge when knitting a sweater. Two different patterns, two different yarns (though both were cotton blends which might have something to do with it). So, I get gauge swatches waived at me and my partner asking, "why, why, when she does what she's supposed to, does she still wind up with issues." I think her problem may be cotton (she's a loose knitter), so now begins the work to convince her that finer wools WILL work here in Tucson.

Nihon Kimono JacketSpeaking of finer wools, as you can see from the above picture the Nihon Kimono is done. And I LOVE it. It fits nicely, and the shadow stripes are perfect. I even found just the right thing to keep it closed.

Back when I had long hair, a friend bought be this very nice sterling silver hair pin with a marble captured in a cage. Now that I have short hair, it has just sat there without a purpose. Well, I have given it a purpose, and it works beautifully (and no, I am not in danger of stabbing myself -- it's rather blunt).

Pattern: Nihon Japanese Kimono from Shadow Knitting
Yarn: Harrisville Designs New England Shetland in Aubergine (MC), Periwinkle and Lilac.
Mods: Well... there were no deliberate modifications, but I realized when I was almost done with side #1 that I was doing an extra row of the lilac every repeat (6 instead of 5), and that made for a squeak-y finish (I had about 2 yards of the lilac left when I finished).

Hemlock Ring BlankieWith the jacket and the unbloggable sample knit done, it was time to move on to other projects, and (as I mentioned in my last post) I chose Jared's Hemlock Ring Blanket -- a project I thought I would enjoy and that would keep me busy for a while.

I was right about the enjoy part, but very mistaken about the keeping me busy part. Oh, but first the yarn. I hit the stash and found a cone of a bulky Shetland wool -- a few years ago, WEBS had this fabulous Shetland called "Brora" as a millend. It came in some great colors, was delightfully greasy (I like greasy wools), and I bought many, many cones of it. From the same mill also came a slightly heavier wool in smaller quantities and a smaller selection of colors. I bought one cone of that in a dark sage color originally to make a jacket I never finished. It goes perfectly with my chair in the family room, so it was just right.

Icky Grease in the WaterBut it didn't last that long. I started the blanket on Friday and finished it on Sunday. It may have been a heavier than usual knitting weekend for me, but still, it was a fast knit. Of course, the blocking then took nearly a week because I actually blocked it in sections since I did not have enough t-pins to pin out all those loops in the edging.

Pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed
Yarn: Brora Chunky, sage
Mods: I went up a needle size since the yarn is a little heavier than Eco Wool, but other than that I followed the pattern and stopped where Jared stopped his
Size: After blocking, it's just over 4' wide -- perfect lap blanket size.

That icky sink picture is just to show how greasy the yarn really was -- and that was the SECOND soak.

Okay, enough for now. Will get to my next circular lace pattern and the lovely pink sock at a later (hopefully not too much later) date.

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