Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bother ...

and other such words ..

I knit it wrong .. and an optimist would say - well I'll worked out how to knit it for the next time :-)
A pessimist would say - lots of really rude words
I'm not sure which I am but I know I'm a knitter, so I'll frog and say bother and mutter under my breath about row gauge.
You see I don't do row gauge ... I have some fundamental stumbling block with it... Oh I know row gauge is just stitch gauge turned around and I've well and truly mastered stitch gauge. I'm forever re gauging patterns to work with the yarns and needles I like to use not those the designer specified. But row gauge ... now that one trips me up repeatedly.
so today there is a frog forecast ... imminent frogging will commence right after this post.

Bear and I went away for the weekend, sans cubs. That wasn't the plan .. we planned to all stay in a cute as a button cottage in Clyde with the cubs, a whole house for us for the weekend .. some family time away. But my dad, their Granddad whisked the cubs off for a week of farm sales and visiting my brother (Uncle Andy) - so Bear and I were on our own. We went, I took knitting Bayerische and TJB's Gansey .. and some sock yarn just in case. We stayed here Dunstan Cottage a cute as a button restored old Bungalow in the New Zealand tradition. Old furniture, soft comfy beds, warm log burner and a cute well outfitted vintage kitchen ... all we could wish for. Just before we went the gansey looked like this, I had frogged back the gusset, re-charted the gusset with increases every 3rd round .. and begun to knit the gusset again.

While we were away I knitted in the 'sunroom' bedroom, a cute little warm snug light room kitted out with a polished floor, a sofa and a single bed, french doors onto a slightly snow coated deck. It was delightful, lovely, we had steaming hot mulled wine in the local, and went for brisk frosty walks all warm in our knitted scarves, hats, mitts and socks. We heard the roar of motor bikes and watched a score or more of leather clad bikers arrive in town, and heard them roar away out of town the next morning (Ngaire were you one of them? I looked for beautiful long blonde hair under one of those dark helmets but didn't see you). Plus I knit a lot, I knit to the top of the gusset, I brought along my BBR book, and my calculator, and did all the maths to work out the yoke shaping. I checked the maths, twice, I saw that row gauge was required so one could accurately plan where to knit the back and front to and keep the pattern repeats intact and attractive. I did the measuring and the maths. I worked out that after the gusset I needed to knit to the 58th row on the front and the 68th row on the back to make it longer, before dividing the front and back into shoulder and neck line stitches and adding the shaped gussetted shoulder strap. The gusset shaping ended on row 41 ... I even worked out so that my set up gansey change pattern rows would all be on the right side where I could see what I was doing ... I was feeling pride .. a sense of planning and accomplishment ... you all know pride goeth before a fall don't you?

Well I fell, the front yoke looked short, so I checked my maths, work to row 58 .. yup its short but there is the extra length of the strap. I worked the back, yes it still looked short, so I checked my maths, work until row 68 .. and the strap will add some length. So take out the BBR book and follow the gusseted neckline strap instructions .. adding a few stitches because my gauge is finer than her sample ... work all the rows to shape the gusset, converting Beths instructions to allow for my extra stitches, then work the left shoulder strap. Gosh that looks tiny, a teeny tiny armhole .. check the maths again .. light dawned ...slowely it for it was not a sudden light bulb moment, it was more of a dawning awareness of my error.
I needed to work 58 rows after the gusset ... not 58 rows including the 41 gusset shaping rows!
Yes ... I could have trusted my tape measure .. it should have measured 14 or so cm ... and I didn't even think to check by measuring the yoke ... I just kept checking the maths.

And that is crystalline snow .. some did get on the gansey ... but its made of wool and it will survive .. so will my pride. And now I know how to work the shoulder strap with the neckline gussets to shape the unshaped neckline ... I've got the maths all done (but I'll be checking it)

So on the way home I bought me some fiber ... hand dyed merino by Lindy Chinnery who weaves beautiful things at the Textile Emporium and Weaving studio in Lawrence. I think I needed it :-)

na Stella


Knitting Linguist said...

You definitely needed it! Eek... I can imagine that feeling of dawning realization -- and dawning sick feeling. I hate that feeling. And all of those beautiful maths, too! Hang in there, and enjoy spinning your consolation fiber, I can't wait to see what it turns into.

Sarah said...

Well, here's to a productive frogging sessions and a bit of pride soothing. Knit a sock. That usually helps me feel good about myself again after lace or sweater gauge has gone awry :)

KathyR said...

You did indeed need that gorgeous looking fibre! Quite apart from the, shall we say, gusset practise, it sounds like you had a marvellous weekend.

Suzanne said...

What is it about row gauge and denial? I knit the whole Owls steeked cardigan with the actual row gauge in flagrant confict with the assumed row gauge and then had the nerve to wonder why the cardigan was so long. Part of the problem must be that the act of knitting puts one in a 'zone' in total opposition to the logical, number crunching part of the brain. We would probably all be better off if we stuck to giant blankets made of garter stitch. Unfortunately, there is that deep seated desire to make an impressive and eye-catching garment... We're in trouble from the first stitches cast on!

Libby said...

love it! stash enhancement due to frustration - been there!!