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Oh, Test Knitting...

I've completed you!

KnittedEdge1230.jpg

I can't say much about the specifics of this pattern, but I'll let you know as soon as its released. It was a wonderful, relaxing, satisfying knit using a lovely yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light. I now have an extremely cute knitted object to wear.

So, the edge photo up there? At the end of my knitting, I realized that I needed to tink back about a half and inch of a long ribbed band. Usually I would just undo the bind-off edge and remove it from there. Not so fast. Unfortunately, I needed to take the half inch from the cast on edge. It's not impossible to do, it's just a lot more time consuming and tedious. It took me a couple of subway rides and lunch breaks to get it all done. But once I did, I bound off and was done.

I'm sorry to be so cagey about the project, but stay tuned, you will love it--trust me!

Dear US5 DPNs,

Where in the heck are you?

Sincerely,

Subway Knitter

Needles1217.jpg

I'm getting to the point in this project where I'll need to switch to DPNs, and my US5s are nowhere to be found. Let me correct that a bit. ONE DPN is in my needle case. The remaining four? Keine Ahnung, as my German in-laws might say. A thorough search of the usual (and not-so-usual) locations yielded nothing.

Blast! And did it dawn on me to take my slightly extended lunch hour yesterday and go get new ones? Nooooo! So now I need to zip out to Seaport today. I go to Seaport because it's close to my office, not because the store is a particular favorite. In fact, their needle supplies are so spotty I think that I should call ahead before trekking outside in this cold air. The office-cum-yarnstore environment makes me feel like I'm intruding. There is a completely lovely woman who works there, but she can only do so much.

This of course, guarantees that those four needles will make their reappearance this evening, after I've bought their replacements. Grrr.

On The Edge

Brrr! It's a cold and windy morning in New York City. While I really wanted to stay home with my tea and my knitting, I compromised with some subway knitting.

KnittingEdge1211.jpg

I'm especially happy with this edge. The pattern directs me to use a slip-stitch edging, and for the first time I've achieved matching edges with both a slipped purl and slipped knit stitches. Maybe this was obvious to all of you, but I like my edges much better if I relocate the yarn for the following stitch after I slip the first stitch. Normally, I would have done this only for the knits. Thus: uneven looking edges stitches.

I've been knitting for ten years, and I'm still finding little ways to make my projects better.

Socks? Socks? What Socks?

Ah, poor Sven. As soon as I reach a good point with his socks, I volunteer myself to do some test knitting.

TestKnitting1210.jpg

I'm swatching for gauge. I consider test knitting to be a public service to the knitting community, and since I've emerged from a fog, I think that I finally have the focus to be able to pull off something like this in a timely manner.

I'm using some really lovely Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light. ThIs reminds me how much I like Berroco yarns, and how seldom I use them. Oh dear, yet something else to add to the knitting to-do list!

Swatch This!

After the Classic Elite Provence arrived in my mailbox, I didn't waste any time winding it up and casting on for a gauge swatch. The label says I can get anywhere from 5.25 to six stitches per inch using US5s to 6s.

And that's exactly what I got. I tend to knit on the loose side, so I knew that if I wanted to get Thea's gauge of 5 stitches per inch, I needed to swatch with a US5.

Swatchtastic0414.jpg

Upon measuring my (pre-washed) swatch, I got 5.25 stitches per inch. And I was happy. Why? Because I can easily achieve the pattern's five stitches per inch when I block the pieces. Or I can just leave it as is and know that gravity and wear will eventually give me the gauge that I want. As a beginning knitter, one who was still learning about how fiber works, I completely discounted a fiber's ability to stretch. And then I wondered why things never fit right after the first few wearings.

Now, if I had six or seven stitches per inch, I wouldn't be so nonchalant about it--I would reswatch with a bigger needle. You can't compensate for that much difference with blocking. [Conversely, if I had 4.75 stitches per inch, I would reknit a swatch with a smaller needle. You can't block something smaller.] But a quarter of a stitch? That's easily addressed, either by you or by gravity.


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