Gauge Wizard

I have finally started a new knitting project! For my next trick, I will knit Rogue. I bought the yarn for this several months ago, and it has been aging like fine wine in my stash until now. It is from Beaverslide Dry Goods, a small ranch in Montana that raises and shears Rambouillet sheep. The colors are every bit as lovely as portrayed on their web site, and the yarn is lofty, sheepy, wonderful stuff.

I got gauge on the first try, a feat that excites me to no end. Those of you who have knit this sweater know that it is knit partly in the round, and partly back and forth, making for some interesting gauge problems. I have finally come to the conclusion (after a long period of obstinance) that knitting a gauge swatch really does eliminate at least some of the fitting headaches that go along with knitting sweaters.

Just for the record, I am using Denise circular needles, and I got gauge with a size 7, both in the round and flat. I would not have believed that my gauge was the same for both styles if I hadn’t tried. It was a tiny bit off just off the needles, but settled into the perfect stitch and row gauge once dunked in water…this yarn blooms like crazy. At first I thought the fabric would be a little board-like at the necessary gauge, but again, after a bath it is just perfect.

I’m using the fisherman weight, in the color Snowberry. Here are some photos. I didn’t want to knit two separate swatches, so first did several inches flat, then switched to in-the-round on the same needles. Instead of turning the work at the end of the row, I just pushed the whole thing back, like doing I-cord, and started the next row as if to knit in the round. I think this is an Elizabeth Zimmerman technique, though I don’t have any of her books so am not 100% sure of that one.

The finished swatch:


Mess o’ yarn in the back:


Yarn ends cut so the thing stays flat to measure:


And swished in water and suds for wet blocking:


I am a bit intimidated by this project, as it is easily the most difficult thing that I have tackled so far, but determined to forge ahead.

For those of you keeping track, I haven’t actually finished the purple thing. The knitting and sewing are all done except for the buttons. It is washed and drying, with more pins in that lace border than I can count. Once it is dry I’ll sew the buttons on and get a modeling photo. A couple of people asked about the buttons in the comments from yesterday. Yes, they are from Black Water Abbey, another place with divine yarn (yes, I have some of that stewing in the stash also). I know exactly what it’s going to be, too, but I’m not telling just yet.

There are a couple of new buttons on the sidebar to the left. First is a link to the Knit One Read Too member ring, for those of us who have joined that project. This is the brainchild of Cara from January One. If you are interested check out her post here.

The second is a button I grabbed from the Yarn Harlot’s blog, to celebrate the unbelievable $22,843 donated to Doctors Without Borders so far, inspired by her January 3rd post. Here’s the button:


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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 Wizard — 12 Comments

  1. I will be watching with a great deal of interest! My mom sent me a gift certificate to a yarn shop in Kirkland (near my sister’s house) and I plan on buying the yarn for Rogue. I’m going to try to discipline myself to finish another sweater first, so it may be a while before I start. I’m going to do a cardigan like Eilene at Ei Knits, so I’ll be watching her too!

  2. Right ON! Lucky gauge or you must be a good knitter. That you are, too. I’ve not knit Rogue, but it looks very appealing.

  3. I love that Snowberry color! It’s beautiful. I’ve been keeping my eyes out for suitable Rogue yarns… thanks for the Beaverslide tip. Is the yarn soft, or does it still feel a little rustic after a bath?

  4. I saw your mention of Denise. Do you like the interchangeables?? Any problems? I am thinking or using some Christmas money to purchase a set.

  5. I just recently found your blog- I like it, it is one of my regular reads. I made Rogue last year. The charts and directions are so clear, it was almost a breeze. I always do a sleeve for a swatch, I find my gauge changes as I “get into it.” A sleeve is not so huge that I feel bad knitting another one. Your pink yarn will make a gorgeous Rogue

  6. oooooooooo! You pulled out the Snowberry!!!! Now I have to hurry up and finish my GGSE and pull out *my* Snowberry so I can do Rogue too!!!!

  7. Thank you for the fuzzy mabel suggestion. I just found the site yesterday. I will definately be dropping by there from time to time! I decided to wait for the yarn order I have in. I will make me use some stash in the meantime.

  8. Lorette, you must be kidding! I’ve worked on Audrey, as you will recall (hee) and I’ve done Rogue. You’ve DONE Audrey. Believe me, therefore, ergo, ipso facto, Rogue is NOT easily the MOST DIFFICULT THING you have done. Not even close. 😉