Gauge Wars…

Or, The Revenge of the Knitting Goddess

I spoke too soon. I believe I’ve used the word hubris in this blog before. After knitting a few inches of Rogue, I measured. My gauge was not the required 4.5 inches per inch, but more like 4, or even a bit less. Even accounting for the difference after washing, this was going to be way off. The only thing I can figure is that I was very excited about starting this sweater, and that I knitted my first swatch very tightly in my excitement. This has happened to me before. Most notably, when I went to Wintergrass, which is Tacoma’s annual bluegrass festival (which is coming up, by the way!!), I found that I knit very tightly while listening to wild bluegrass fiddle music. Who knew?

I stared at this, and stared at it. I briefly considered making a live animal offering to the Knitting Goddess if she would change what I was measuring. The cats were starting to get nervous.

“Take Lucy”, Willie said, “she’s older and prettier. The Knitting Goddess will like her better.”


That’s Willie. He doesn’t make many blog appearances, but I tricked him into the photo shoot by telling him it was suppertime.

I considered finishing the sweater as is, and hope it would fit someone. With my new measurements, it would have to be Bigfoot, and I don’t think he would appreciate a pink hooded sweater.

I did a new swatch; it works perfectly, this time on size 6 needles, instead of size 7. You have no idea of the variety of ways the “f” word can be used to apply to knitting.

So I ripped the whole flipping thing out. If you have made Rogue, and if you have followed the pattern suggestion to do a twisted stockinette stitch hem, you know how much fun starting this over is, especially on a size smaller needle than the main pattern needle size. I am already getting my money’s worth out of this yarn.

I’m not saying nothin’ else about gauge until I’m at least six inches into this sweater, and maybe not then.

As consolation, this is what the Pacific Northwest looked like this morning. We’ve been getting snow and storm warnings this week. They were wrong, I guess.


Posted in Knitting, Pets permalink

About Lorette

My name is Lorette. I learned to knit in 1999, and took up spinning in 2009. I'm a physician specializing in internal medicine, and live in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy my blog!


Gauge Wars… — 10 Comments

  1. Oh, poor Lorette! You did the right thing, doll. Though there’s a reason that ‘frog’ has four letters and starts with F. I learn so much when I have the courage to rip my work and do it over. (Currently mumbling through the last stages of the pockets I’ve invented – and done three times! – for the Ribby Cardi.) And it does help to do this mumbling in the early morning hours when I can snarl at the cats, and I don’t get any quasi-sympathetic-but-not-really-interested-or-helpful suggestions from the non-knitting half of the marriage!
    I don’t know a ‘twisted stockinette stitch hem’ yet, I’ll have to look it up for possible addition to the Notebook of Time-Consuming But Really Rewarding Ways To Do Things. Thanks!

  2. OH, man…that stinks! I do admire you for ripping and beginning again! You will be so much happier with the result. It’s the process, right. 🙂 Love the picture – BEAUTIFUL!!

  3. I SO sympathize. Seems like all I do these days is rip out and restart. And then I still won’t necessarily get the same gauge on sleeves that I do on the body. But I soldier on.
    Good luck with the size 6’s. Just hold off on the bluegrass listening if you’re getting gauge on them now. 🙂

  4. You knit tight and went to SMALLER needles?
    At least with those of you who knit tihgt, you can always use larger needles to get the right gauge. Those of us who are loose, there’s a limit for how small needles come…

  5. No no no, Timothy. You misunderstand. I knit the first gauge swatch on the larger needles, it came out to the required gauge for the pattern. By the time I got into the actual sweater, my gauge had RELAXED so I was knitting too loose on the bigger needles, and my stitch count was now off. So when I moved to the smaller needles, my gauge was perfect. I apparently knit tight when I

  6. You have THE. MOST. STUNNING. VIEW.
    I never get over it. Amazing.
    My gauge was off too, on my SWATCH. I made it last winter, but I think that I was getting the 4.5, but hte ROW gauge was off, which I think throws the whole thing off. I’m going to make a new swatch before starting though.

  7. Oh man oh man oh man… I wandered over to your blog to read about knitting, but was stopped in my tracks by the picture of your Willie. I had a black cat, with just a little patch of white on his chest, for 18 years and his name was Willie, too. Actually, his formal name was Wilver (because he was named for Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player, whose real name was Wilver… long story.) Anyway, he was my absolute treasure… my first baby. I miss him, even though we have another cat now and a wonderful dog named Jake. He was mean to everyone in the world, but he adored me. Anyway, your lavender sweater is very, very pretty!