Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Sadly, I have to rip out my six - yes, weep, weep - six inches of Waterloo Fairisle. It is gauge. Or rather not gauge.

Last night, I made the mistake (or maybe saved my completed but ill-fitting sweater bacon) of ripping back two rounds.

The sweater has one round or bright orange in every 32 row motif. With only that one round, the orange stands out quite dramatically. In my stash, I had three different shades of orange yarn to choose from. After completing the orange round and then another round so I could see the orange round better, I wasn't pleased with my orange selection.

So I picked back those two rounds, carefully, stitch by stitch, and chose a different orange. All went well until I got to the last 28 stitch repeat. There were only 27 stitches. I counted again and again. Then I searched and searched for a dropped stitch. One too few stitches and not a dropped stitch anywhere.

Well, nothing to do but to rip again. This time, impatience and the late hour made the decision to take the sweater off the needle and rip back quickly. Once off the needles, I thought, "Holy Giant Sweater, Batman!" It was huge! A quick measure showed it to be 44 inches around. Much bigger than I want.

Well. Well. Well. Another look at gauge, this time on the 6 by 44 inch sweater swatch, and gauge is nowhere near my 'swatch cap' gauge.

But, at least, it makes sense now. The yarn is Briggs & Little Heritage - 17 sts/4". The pattern states gauge at 20 sts/4". It did make me wonder how that could be possible. But I thought - and this is after 35 or so years of knitting - maybe the fairisle tightens things up. (New knitters, don't let this bit of slow learning discourage you. It's just me)

Guess what my new and FINAL! I TELL YOU, FINAL!! gauge is? 17 sts/4".

By the time I had all this figured out last night, it was bed time. Well, that is, I took to my bed in deep, knitterly despair.

The good news is, it is only six inches. Weep Weep.


Deb said...

I feel for you. I was groaning with you because it is an oh so familiar sensation. Hopefully this is what makes us knitters better people, going to bed in despair and waking up to tackle it all over again with renewed vigour? I know you can rise to the occasion and your sweater will be even more beautiful in it's new gauge.

Sandra said...

what is it they say? What doesn't kill us makes us stronger? Tell that to a knitter that just ripped out 6 inches of fair isle...

Zieknits said...

This is serious process knitting, now. /sigh I feel your pain.

But still, good for you, biting the bullet and frogging, instead of looking for a 44"-around person to receive the sweater. :)

Dare I ask how row gauge is coming along? I don't think I've ever been spot-on with row gauge.

LaurieM said...

Oh yeah. I've been there. I'm actually there right now.

Ripping is part of the process and your sweater will be that much better for it. Just think, it won't have the wrong orange, or a dropped stitch, or be too big all because you have the strength of mind to rip back.

And why not? It means more knitting and you like to knit!! It's all good. :)

Nicki said...

Too bad Brenda. The silver lining: more knitting fun (good dollar value) and more knitterly knowledge!

Sel and Poivre said...

I'm with Laurie - the ripping is definitely part of the process and just think - you fixed three things with one rip - I generally require a rip per issue so weep though you may, you're still way ahead of me!