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Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Difference Gauge Makes

I've started another WIP.

I'm pretending I don't have anything else to do.

Although I think I have figured out why I can't force myself to do those other things. They don't fit. I don't mean they don't fit my body they do or will (except the Taos bi-directional the jury is still out on that one) What I mean is they don't fit into my routine. Which frankly is a hilarious thing say cuz if you lived here at the Hermitage you'd know that routine is not the norm. I don't have kids underfoot that have wants/needs/demands like school, soccer, food and such things. I don't have a job thus no weekly schedule to adhere to, and Joe's job is no help in establishing a routine. It is a 12 hour swing shift that repeats itself on a monthly rotation, throw in overtime and vacation and the cycle is never the same. After all these years we've been together I still can only guess what he'll be working the following week....sigh

The are no constants here save one, my bedtime knitting. If I'm able, I knit every night before I go to sleep. It is my one and only routine. Starting at 10PM I watch a couple of shows and then usually a movie. Some nights I start earlier, some I knit longer, but I am knitting every night between 10PM and 1AM. Sewing seams, blocking, weaving ends, and the many finishing chores every project/garment has don't fit into my routine. Those activities aren't as stress free as plain old knitting and some can't even be done in bed. I can see it now, 'no honey you have to sleep in the fetal position tonight I have a sweater blocking at the foot of the bed' or 'stop ruffling the blankets you knocked over the steam iron again.' or 'Oh sorry I just singed your butt.' lol Thus the need for a new WIP. A girl has to have something routine, something she can depend on, in her life. Right?

So yesterday afternoon after basking in the glow of the still buttonless/zipless Petal Cardi II I panicked. I didn't have any bedtime worthy knitting on the needles! O.M.G. I went through my Ravelry queue about a 1014 times, through my document files of scarffed patterns from the web a 1006 times, dove into stash coming up with some keepers, and now have three bedtime worthy projects at the ready. Life is good. Life is routine. Last night I started Drops 95-9 You know I loves my Drops patterns!

Now the gauge thing for which this post was titled. We had some storms roll through yesterday so my head wasn't in the best of shape. It's never a good idea to start something when I feel that way, but I really needed some bedtime knitting to get through it. I chose the simplest of the three patterns I had found, the 95-9. The clincher was the fact that it is worked at the same/similar/close enough gauge as the Petal Cardi II, and I have gobs of that yarn leftover. I didn't swatch. Ooops.

I knew that a person's gauge changes when working in the round as opposed the working in rows. It's one of the first things E.Z. ever taught me, but I didn't know it. I had never experienced it so blatantly before, behold:



Just look at that mamby, pamby, loosey, goosey, limp dishrag, of a fabric!! OK maybe it doesn't look that bad, but believe me it feels yucky and behaves poorly. And check out those sloppy double decreases!!! ICK!!


Now look at two needle sizes smaller. Ahhhhhhhh that's more like it! And don't those double decreases look spiffy?

I have to admit, I didn't use the same double decrease though. The pattern calls for a slip, k2tog, psso double decrease, a nice stitch when paired with a slip, ssk, psso on either side of a diagonal but to use it as the center mid-line decrease???? Both of those stitches will lean in one direction or the other to some degree when stacked on top of each other and I wanted mine to look nice and straight. the thing was though, they were the only double decreases I was familiar with. I suppose I could have gotten my big butt out of bed and looked up double decreases in one of the few 100 stitch dictionaries or how-to books I have, or I could have gotten on line and did some research, but I didn't do either of those. I just faked it morphing the good points of both of those together balancing the lean. I began the double decrease by transposing the first and middle stitches so the slipped stitched is actually the center stitch of the three. Then on subsequent rounds I alternated either a k2tog or a ssk with the other two stitches (the original 1st and 3rd stitches) and then psso (which was the original center stitch) Does that make sense?? Anyway I think it looks good, and it told me something.....I need to learn more about double decreases!