Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lies, Is All Lies, the Knitting Is In Great Shape....

Or so I thought! Let's just get this right out in the open, swatches lie. They pretend to be all upright and truthful and play guide to the work that is come, but they lie! I am for the most part a true swatcher. Even though my Baker's Dozen Square group laughs at me because I swatch for squares, there is a method to my madness. I don't do a full on 4x4 swatch for a square, but I do enough to see if I've cast on enough stitches and I do enough to see where I am inch-wise on the vertical so I know how many times to repeat my pattern. I suppose that I should let you know that I do not work from a pattern for a square. I take a stitch pattern that I like and work it into a square. I have a pretty good idea of what to do if I'm working with a size 7US needle as I use those to test knit everything in my design collections. Outside of that size, I work a swatch instead of guess.

So, two days ago I started a lacy square for the BD group - it is an angel assignment for a neighbor to the north up in Canada. I was actually quite happy about this one as all the other members have asked for worsted weight/acrylic yarns with good solid patterns so that they can make lovely little blankets.Now, that is totally cool, no problemo there - they are quick, fun and thus far have been appreciated by all my knitty friends. However, this particular request came from a lady that is making shawls with her squares and requesting sock or DK weight yarn in shades of blue. Don't they sound pretty? Well, as you might guess the muse started jumping around, singing her little lace songs (don't ask me to repeat them she can be a little well, interesting in her musical endeavors. She may secretly have wanted to be a musical muse, but let's say her talent was elsewhere.) Before I knew it, Muse had the stash closet ripped apart and was tossing all the balls of sock yarn into the air, juggling them, petting them, (I think the muse needed a break from all the collection design work she's been doing, it was getting a little stuffy in this studio - poor muse!) Then I stepped in and played bad cop. You see the recipient of the square has an aversion to green - can't imagine, but hey to each our own, so no green. Most of my blue sock yarn has some form of green- light green, seafoam, heathered, it's all right there. So, I kept vetoing the yarn and Muse was getting a little out of sorts. She started tossing the balls at my head (thank goodness they are somewhat soft, but still she has a wicked fast ball.) Anyway, she had tossed one that I happened to grab and it was a solid sapphire blue with a lovely sparkle running through it. It was a Vanna's Glamor yarn in sapphire. Lovely - soft - solid blue!!! Perfect. Time to decide on a stitch and do a swatch.

I chose a basic open work stitch broken up by the garter stitch. Simple, lovely and easy to add into the shawl that it was destined to become. My swatch told me that I would need 60 stitches for the 12" width and 12 repeats vertically to make 12x12 square. Simple right??? Oh you know what's coming, I've told you already, but in case you're arriving late to the party - SWATCHES LIE!!!

Last night I am what looks to be 1/2 way through the project. Good time to do a check measurement - hmmm...hmmm....what????sh** sh**sh**- it's 13.5" across and 9 repeats has only given me 7" in height. Maybe I have pulled it and that's how I got 13.5", let's try again. Calm, calm.... Remeasure - 13.5" x 7" NO....................... So, as I sit there watching Dancing With the Stars and while DH sits quietly next to me reading, I slip the needles from the square and I frog the whole thing!!!! I wrap the yarn, rub my eyes to the point of blindness and start again. Oh I should say I re-measured while still on the needles and found that my stitch count per inch was indeed different than the swatch. I recast the square using 50 stitches, changed up the pattern a little to take out some of the growth factor and began a new. Oh, this is bound to be a better square anyway, right??? (We have to tell ourselves these things or risk the chance of losing our ever loving minds.)

So, today I will knit said square and in order to keep my universe at peace and in harmony, I'm making a lasagna for dinner. I'd like to say that I have been cured of my swatchiness, but I haven't and I now know that they will probably lie to me again, but in this relationship I choose to be co-dependent for the sake all of my future sweater recipients.

Peace and joy to you....
The Green Girl.

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