Thursday, January 26, 2006

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  • Tales of Derring Do . . . and Row Gauge

    Miscellaneous is always the largest category.
    -Joel Rosenberg

    Three Things for Your Entertainment and Delight:

    Pattern Recognition
    Mi and I were recently discussing how easily we recognize certain projects, particularly on blogs, but also walking down the street. You think, "Wow, what a lovely Charlotte's Web, or a hideous use of fun fur, or whatever the occasion merits."

    Today we took it one step further when a Klaralund sat next to me in a 9am course on Medieval Spain. When she pulled out her Interweave Knits and realized that her notebook for the course must be in her knitting bag, well, a lovely discussion ensued on the merits of Noro yarns, the adaptations she made to the cuffs (a drop-stitch rib, lovely), and the clever intarsia method she used to control the width of the stripes. Good times.

    In Other News, I Knit

    After finishing my Rogue sleeves, you'd think (heck, I'd think) I'd be raring to cast on the body and go. I was. It was the first thing on my knitting to-do list last night. Do you see it to the left? (If you do, let me know. It would be as magical as the newspapers in Harry Potter.)

    So let me introduce you to some new projects:
    top left: Checks and Charms Hat from KnitPicks. Recall the plan to revise The Early Works? This may be a contender. It's in KnitPicks Merino Style, which is soft soft soft, it's colorwork and I needed some color, but the colors are subtle and elegant, and probably pretty good for a grown-up teacher like Kate D. Kate? What do you think?
    bottom right: Plain Jane mittens. You've seen the progress on the sidebar, but I don't want to put you to sleep by showing too many pictures of plain black mittens. They're not that exciting, but they were a special request from my sister, so I do what I can.
    bottom left: Flora, for the Knit The Classics January project. About time.

    The Meaning and Nature of Row Gauge
    In several of my current projects, I see a regrettable trend towards the importance of row gauge. A fellow knitter at a knitting group last weekend commented - in an off-hand way - that "no one ever really gets row gauge" - so I know it's not just me.

    Why, then, does the Rogue pattern not include interval sleeve measurements on the schematic? I knit the requisite however-many rows, and knew in my heart of hearts (plus I held it up to my arm) that it was clearly not long enough. I measured row gauge. Yup, different. I pulled out Ann Budd's yar and trusty book and knit an extra inch and a half before beginning sleeve cap shaping. Because I think I'm clever, I then tried to add extra rows above the sleeve cap shaping. But it turns out that I'm not a linebacker (go figure), so Kristen isn't the only one who had to rip. (But she is the only one who took pictures.)

    And the idea that chaning needle sizes can change your row gauge but not stitch gauge? I don't buy it. Doesn't work for me. No, sirreee. Is anyone else feeling oppressed by row gauge? Want to foment a revolution? I see the seeds for rebellion right here.


    Blogger Stariel said...

    Cool blog. :)

    Nice to meet you last weekend at Knitsmiths. Hope you come back the Boston way sometime!

    1/26/2006 10:48 AM  
    Anonymous colleen said...

    Row gauge pretty much sucks, except when you get it and then it makes knitting a pattern so much easier.

    Have you asked another Rogue knitter if she had problems?

    1/26/2006 12:34 PM  
    Blogger Chris said...

    Argh. Row gauge. Argh. What the heck do designers use to get all these row gauges that we can't achieve?! That's a trick as miraculous as the portraits in Harry Potter...

    *frothing and seething*

    Sorry, that's one of my knitting "buttons"...

    1/26/2006 12:35 PM  
    Blogger kate said...

    Ugh. Row gauge is the enemy.

    1/26/2006 1:42 PM  
    Anonymous JayJay said...

    Hmmm, row guage. I will get back to you when I finish my first ever guage swatch this evening. :) After a couple attempts at "no swatches: knitting for guage psychics" I've determined that my psychic abilities for determining guage are rather poor. Madame Trelawney would be so disappointed.

    1/26/2006 2:08 PM  
    Blogger Jenn said...

    I have sinned - I *never* check row gauge. Now, let's keep in mind that I'm only now knitting my first sweater. Does that still make me a loser?
    What yarn are you using for Flora?

    1/26/2006 9:30 PM  

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