Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A big brown reason to check your gauge

This. I made this. With my own two little hands. My head won’t fit through the neck opening, and the arms hang down to my knees. I don’t know why this pasty tan color appealed to me, or why I thought fuzzy trim would help. I did not know a lot of things about knitting (and I still don’t), but that one must not spend dear cash on Ooh Really Nice Yarn for a first big project was common sense.

For non knitters, “checking gauge” means knitting a small swatch with your chosen yarn and the size needles directed in the pattern. When you’re done, so many stitches should equal so many inches. If stitches-to-inches equals the pattern specs, your piece should turn out to be the size and shape promised. “Blocking” your finished knitting applies moisture to help shape and smooth out a piece. I read enough about these things to repeat them for you here, but I skimmed over the part that established them as important knitting knowledge.

I was uncharacteristically dogged about this sweater. I remember casting off the last stitch in a haze of irritated accomplishment. Before sewing up the seams, I slipped it over my head. Ut-oh. I had not swatched or checked gauge. No amount of blocking was going to save me from myself.

Of course the big brown message here is that I should read directions and more importantly, do what they say. I should. My husband will tell you that I read cookbooks as suggestions rather than actually using a recipe as printed. Sometimes life is too short to fiddle with directions. This sweater is not a good example of one of those times.
I do have enough common sense that my husband happily eats my dinner experiments, and it does rescue me from my own impatience in other craft projects. It just didn’t save me here.

Heather’s posts are a reminder that life happens to be messy, aggravating and highly entertaining. I thought this sweater was a fine example of that.

P.S. It’s time to repurpose this… thing. Suggestions?


Alex said...

Sew the sleaves to the sides of the sweater. It would make a nice bath matt.

Sew the sleaves to the back of the sweater, wad it up and bring it to my house.
It would make a nice cat bed liner.

Sew the sleaves together in the front, and jam it down over somebody's head. It would make a nice straightjacket.

Or, just find a very tiny child with huge hairy arms and let them use it as a sweater.

Heather said...

Ooohh...love the fuzzies! You could take a deep breath and cut down the front, and make it into a cardigan!

Kate said...

i did think about taking it apart and using the yarn to tie alex's front door to a front door across the street from him. but getting up early enough to see the outcome wasn't something i was prepared to do.

Kate said...

my better half pointed out that
this picture makes the sweater look better than it does in person. i couldn't even get mad because he was right. it's sitting in my living room now and its pasty tan complexion and the fuzz make it look a bit like an unshaven, unwashed undergraduate. i feel like i should name it.

Alex said...

Oh for god sake, don't name it. If you give it a name it will always be asking you to send it money, wasting that money on beer and peeing in the corner....

....I hate college students.