Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gauge works in mysterious ways

In her comment on my last post, Joan expressed her concern over the problem of gauge in the Great American Aran Afghan project. Well, you have a good reason for that concern, Joan. The 24 squares were designed by 24 different knitters, plus the different stitch structures ... so you can imagine how the gauges of each would vary, and the needle sizes range from US5 to US8.

I started this project back in 2005 ... when I was not a knitter with a tolerance for re-starting. So, working on this was very frustrating. However, patience and tolerance can be acquired ... which I did gradually. I usually start with the needle size recommended in the book. I would be able to tell if my stitch gauge is correct when I am one-fourth through the square. When I am half way done, my row gauge would be established too. I just treat this as swatching for projects like sweaters. Just yesterday, I frogged half a square because the row gauge was too way off.

Half an inch to an inch is my margin of tolerance. I would prefer my square to be smaller rather than larger because I think blocking would help to get better results with smaller squares. Here is an uncropped picture of one of the squares:
The June Tailor Quilter's Board (found in Joann's) and the blocking wires are my best friends in blocking the squares. With the board, getting the exact measurements is a breeze. Though there is a downside to this board ... it is padded, so the wet squares (they are still wet no matter how hard you squeeze dry them, otherwise, there is no need for drying, right?) drying on it would leave water stains. I would leave the squares on like this for several days so that the size would be more stablized.

I haven't worked on the Sashiko Jacket these days ... still 15 rows away from finishing the first sleeve. But I am half way through the Victorian Ruby. One ball of Feza Kid Mohair gives me a 42" x 11" scarf. But I kept falling asleep when knitting the dropped stitch section ... I mean I literally fell asleep holding the project in front of the TV! :D I hope to get this section done as soon as possible.

Then, new sock on needles:
This is going to be a plain stocking stitch sock. I tried Roza's Socks pattern from the latest IK but didn't like how it felt. The colourway is really beautiful as is in stocking stitch ... so why not? Oh yes, see the dpn holder? I don't want to lose another needle again.


Your Sockapalooza pal said...

Hello there! I have tons of ideas for your socks, and I hope you will like them, when you get them. I'm no Cookie A. but will try to design them on my own :)

I really love your blog, such pretty things you've knit :)

Opal said...

I love the colours of your new sock. It really is beautiful.

Joan said...

Thank you for your input on the size of the squares in the GAAA. I think when I do this, there will be a lot of ripping back on some to get the correct gauge. I hear that the cabled border takes forever but it sure is a pretty project.

Charles said...

Socks~~~~ Greta color!!!
Does knitted blocks are great!!
House tree and sun!!!

Visit my blog also!!


Ashley said...

I'm so impressed that you're knitting this afghan--I've wanted to, but I'm not sure I have the stick-with-it-ness required. BUT--I have the solution to the wet blocking board: Saran wrap! Put it between the square and the board--you can still see the markings and the board won't absorb the dampness from the square.