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Tuesday, March 21, 2006


in spring a young man’s fancy turns to love
but a young woman’s fancy just might be…

YARN! Shocking but true – I spent the weekend fondling various cotton yarns in ye olde stash in hopes of finding some suspects to make some samples.

Above you see a sample Ribby Pulli in progress using Calmer. Now, I’ve been reading about the wonders of this stuff all over the web for a couple of years and even have started a sweater (then stopped and frogged) out of a pretty tomatoey color. The Audrey I was going to make went awry, not because of the yarn, but because I thought the design would look evil on me. (MANY devil projects have made me trust my instincts on these things, believe it.)

The yarn sat on the shelf mocking me, as stash is wont to do, and little by little I picked up a little more. (This is how ye Stash grows. And grows. And GROWS.)

But still no knitting came of it. WHY?

Because I just didn’t trust the ball band gauge.

So I did what any sane knitter would do. I ignored it!

Yes, the Ball Band is a Prime Pet Peeve of mine. It’s a wonderful starting point but can be a real roadblock to progress if you always just take it at face value.

The more I knit the more I discover the *personality* of most yarns allows for a Range of Gauges that can be used with them. And sometimes, the best draping gauge (IMHO) is not that which is recommended on its BBnd.

If you are a Geek Knitter (raise your hands!) you will make a scientific swatch that tries to match the manufacturer, especially when a fabulous project’s start is in the balance. Last year, I made another sweater out of this yarn that made it to the finishing stages while over the Atlantic on a jet. I was so smug – seaming it on board, being cooed over by my seat mate, a lovely lady senior who was giving me all sorts of kudos (in French!) for even knitting at all (something young people just don’t do anymore…) The more I *felt* the thing while working on it, the more it felt like a wooden board and WHOOSH! My smug ass dissolved in a puff of smoke.

Inches from the finish line, even though I had spot on ball band gauge, I had to retire it to the frogpile. (YES! It will live again!)

This time, the Muse goes before me and I will not ignore… She sez: “Swatch & Learn…”

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