"Born under a bad sign/ been down since I learned how to crawl/if it wasn't for bad luck/then I wouldn't have no luck at all"
Homer Simpson from The Simpsons Sing the Blues.
Normally, I'd scoff at Homer Simpson's fatalistic caterwauling, but that was before last week (after my vacation in the Land of the Navel), and my gauge swatching. I've been swatching samples all week. I have yet to start my thermal because my John Lewis didn't have the amount of yarn I needed. So I've sent off for some. Meanwhile, I'm swatching and singing the blues.
Normally, the reason why it takes me so long to start a project is substitution and gauge. Most times, I tend sub the yarn used for varying reasons, but all have to do with the fact that I live in the UK, and I have to work with what I've got. Also, I tend to obsess over gauge and make sure that it's perfect, including calculations and everything, so once I start to knit, I never look back.
With my swatching of these squares, I've come to some inalienable truths:
- My gauge/tension is tighter on metallic needles.
- My stitches are much neater on wooden/bamboo needles.
- I spend a lot of time swatching.
My swatch is on point for this yarn.
In the middle with that plum yarn: a Vogue top- raglan sleeves, with bobbles on the sleeves and a cable and bobble front. I love the bobble detail on the sleeves, but not in love with the bobbles on the neckline. I'm using Bergere de France magic. The 'magic' is supposedly for 5-5.5mm needles, but it's really chunky, and handled the 6mm nicely to form a good fabric. However, on my Aldi turbos (6mm), the tension is too snug, and on my 6.6mm bamboos, it might be a tad too big. I should have some 6.5mm circulars about, so we will see.
That teal yarn there? That's Cascade superwash 220 in Spruce. On my monitor, the spruce was a darker green blue. The tone was rather mysterious, like shadows in the snow in a coniferous forest. In real life, it's a TEAL yarn. I've nothing against teal, but dang. Anyways, it seems that the superwash is a bit thinner than its non superwash comrade. Crap. So, instead of me getting 18 sts to 4 inches on 5mm needles, I'm getting 20 sts. I don't want to go up a needle size (5.5mm), because it will look like lace.
Not many people make bamboo circulars, and once you go metallic circular with fine cords, you never go back. Good thing I don't mind knitting with straight needles.
Hopefully, I'll get something sorted, because I do want to wear more knitted stuff. Once you start wearing home made knit garments, its hard to pay scads of money for acrylic based clothing, really.