Monday, May 12, 2008

Filthy Little Liars!!!!!

You know what? I really hate checking gauge. Do you hate it? I have a new knitting class that started last week. I was explaining what gauge means in knitting patterns and how I hate it. It just slows things down. One of my students, Michelle, said, "It is kinda like when you color your hair and they tell you to do a test patch. Who wants to do that?" Amen, sister, preach it!!!!!!

I mean, even the Yarn Harlot hates gauge swatches. She says they can't be trusted. In fact, she calls them filthy little liars. Why do you want to "check" on something that can't even be trusted, right? I HATE GAUGE SWATCHES!!!!! HATE 'EM!!!!!

Now before you get your panties in a knot, or should I say your yarn in a knot, I do check gauge for most projects. Not because I want to but I can't stand the ridicule your receive when you don't and something doesn't turn out right. We've all been there right? You put all this time and money into making a gorgeous pair of socks but when half way through you realize these babies are going to be decking your fireplace this Christmas looking to be filled with train sets or a whole set of golf clubs. Or, if you are like me you just keep on knitting thinking that you are sure that somehow the largeness works itself out somehow or another. After all, this is the needle size recommended by the designer. How is it that we all knit the same stupid stitches so differently?
I don't get it.

Anyways, everyone at your knitting group can't wait to see that gorgeous yarn knitted up in that stupendous sock pattern. You pull this lovely creation out of your bulging knitting bag to reveal the monstrosity you still think is somehow magically going to turn into those lovely little women's size 7 socks. As you pull, and pull, and pull the project out of the bag, placing it on the table for all to see and all your knitting buddies straighten and flatten it out as it covers everything in sight, you look around the table at your many mentors faces expecting to see smiles of joy and pride at what you've accomplished. But, all you see are looks of fear that can only be found on the faces of the actors in a Japanese movie rendition of "Godzilla Eats Tokyo." When one of these "friends" asks, "Did you check your gauge?" When you say no, you really think gauge swatches are over rated, the silence is only broken by the many clicking of tongues around the table as the traitors who have embraced this whole swatch gauge heresy thing respond with "tisk, tisk." I really hate gauge.

All that being said. I recently began knitting the cutest little scarf for a friend's birthday. It is the Little Leaf Scarf found in the book "Make it Modern." Cute, cute, cute. Y'all know I'm a loose knitter, right? Well I jumped right in and got this baby knitted up so I could go ahead and gift it. Did I check gauge? NO!!!!! I hate gauge AND it is not to be trusted!!!!! Inside this stupid little book when giving the gauge on every pattern it says "Take time to save time, check your gauge." Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever!!!!

It is supposed to be a small little neck hugging scarf 27" long. Mine turned out beautiful, it is really quite lovely. I knitted it out of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK and I used the "suggested" needles, US size 6. My lovely rendition of this scarf is more like a scarf necklace measuring 36" long.

It is lovely knitting, don't you think? And you know, really, who wants to wear a scarf right around your neck.

i really hate gauge.


Joanne said...

Oh now, I see it differently. All that emotion about a little bit of knitting? See, we like KNITTING, right? And a gauge swatch is just a chance to knit more and more stitches, right!? And if the amount of yarn will affect the project, we can always rip it out and KNIT MORE! OR--if we can't cope with ripping it out, what about a patchwork afghan...of gauge swatches? There's always a bright side. At least, I hope so!

Roseann said...

I think you have started a line of knitted jewelry, your scarf is very pretty! I hate gauge checking as well as often I eventually get the stitch gauge yet rarely the row gauge. I know I am an uptight knitter and I fantasize about having more needle sizes like 4.25 mm & 4.75 mm.

Traci said...

I haven't yet knit anything requiring me to check gauge but I could tell before I read this post that I was NOT going to like checking gauge. You had me rolling! I knew I wouldn't like it!

Anonymous said...

I hate gauge myself - especially when it requires washing and blocking the swatch. Not my cup of tea.

The scarf came out lovely regardless.

GailR said...

You must have hidden a camera in my knitting bag to know about that sock... I thought no one knew. I was sure no one had seen it and it was hidden well. O the shame of it all.

Sonya said...

I hate @~*%$ gauge too. And yes it has come back to bite me in the butt.

CraftyGryphon said...

I don't gauge swatch. Fortunately, I'm also OK about ripping half a sweater out if I didn't guess right. (I also don't tend to believe patterns, either, since I knit more loosely than normal people - or something like that.)