February 11, 2006
Knit Olympics: Day Two: 10 Point Deduction for GAUGE
See, bragging gets you nowhere. It was pointed out to me a when I posted my training knitting for the KO2006 that you can't measure gauge for circular knitting with a flat swatch. I, in all my bravado, replied back that I wasn't really swatching for gauge, I was trying out my fair isle skills, of which I have none. That gauge really didn't matter because they were mittens and if they were a bit big or a bit small it would be all good. Gauge is the FRENCH JUDGE OF KNITTING!! Gauge will BITE YOU IN THE ASS EVERY TIME!!! Every FREAKING time. (By the way, my sister informed me I'm not allowed to say freaking in front of my nephew anymore, because he's taken to using it himself. Of course, the only reason I was saying freaking in the first place was because I'm not allowed to say FUCKING. Thank god for the baby. He's still small enough you can say whatever you want in front of him and he just smiles and laughs!)
I cast on at 2PM yesterday, on the US size 3s the pattern calls for. I knit along happily for about an hour until the baby woke up, and then I left it. Right off the bat I had concerns. This sucker is TIGHT. Like cut off your circulation tight. I can get it over my hand, and it is ribbing (all be it not very stretchy ribbing) but still. It just didn't seem right to me. Especially since the picture in the pattern has the whole mitten sort of straight on the sides until the decreases. Like it wasn't going to all of a sudden stretch out to accomodate my hand when I started the stockinette knitting.
So today, right after G picked me up at the train, I headed to the closest LYS and picked up a pair of US size 4 Addis. G dropped me off and headed back to work (where he's been all week) and I came home and immediately ate an entire box of Junior Caramels. (Thanks M!) Fortification for them here games. I then cast on and knit away. (See picture above for Day 2 knitting.) It's going well and I relaxed myself a bit - I think I was double pulling on the stitches on the Day 1 knitting - you know - when you throw, you pull the stitch tight, then pull it again when you knit the next stitch? Really, you only need to knit the next stitch to pull it tight. Anyway, after knitting the ribbing and starting into the stockinette it's still pretty damn tight. I can't imagine how this mitten will fit over my hand - I'll have to keep my fingers extremely close together. Or maybe not. When you add the thumb it makes things wider, right? I've only made one mitten and that had a lot of increases for the thumb gusset. This mitten doesn't seem to have a gusset.
All you people cheering on from the sidelines - what do I do? Do I go to US 5s? (I'm not sure I have two pairs of 5s in my arsenal which means another trip to the LYS. And there's a freaking blizzard this weekend so the earliest I do that is Monday.) Do I keep knitting and hope for the best? Do I start over on 4s and try to knit really loose? (This is weird for me - this tight knitting thing. I generally knit in the middle - not too tight, not too loose - just right.) I mean, I've gotten pretty far in a couple of hours, I'm not too worried that if I had to start over again from the beginning I would lose too much time. I'm guessing I could knit one of these suckers in a weekend if I worked really hard. What would you do if you were me?
If that weren't bad enough, I ate a whole bag of gummy bears too. Note to Olympic Village food suppliers - are you trying to KILL me!?! Stop with the goodies! (I was just reminded of the humongous bag of mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the fridge. Where's the Team OD ON CANDY button?)
Posted by Cara at February 11, 2006 07:25 PM
Topics: Knitting Olympics 2006
1. I LOVE the colors.
2. I'd go for the bigger needles.
Posted by: Melanie at February 11, 2006 07:38 PM
Ah, the Waterloo of many an anthlete - the self-psychout. You're stressing and overthinking. Grab the 4s, take a few swigs of wine and visualize. See the perfect fitting mitten, be the perfect fitting mitten...
Posted by: rock chick at February 11, 2006 07:45 PM
Doh...I don't know...are the 4's that far off? Cast on looser maybe?
Posted by: Kathleen at February 11, 2006 08:04 PM
Go for bigger needles. Looks like corrugated ribbing there - that stuff tends to be tight and non-stretchy.
I must stop reading now. I fear a diabetic coma coming on from the 2nd hand sugar - and I'm not diabetic!
Posted by: Chris at February 11, 2006 08:10 PM
Good thing I only sent one box of JC. Next time I'll send something more healthy. I think RC has it right...breath, relax and drink (that ought to really help your sugar high) and knit more losely.
Posted by: margene at February 11, 2006 08:43 PM
It's good to see I am not the only one with KO2006 issues. I think you just need to not stress about it. You'll finish these babies in no time.
Posted by: Amy at February 11, 2006 08:49 PM
How about trying to knit loosely until Monday, and then going for 5's if you still think it's too tight?
Posted by: naomi at February 11, 2006 09:28 PM
Yikes, that's a tough one. I'd say keep on knitting with what you have there, especially since it's going so quickly. When you're done increasing for the thumb gussett reevaluate and see if it will work.
Posted by: Cheryl at February 11, 2006 09:54 PM
Sounds like others left you some good options. I haven't been knitting long enough to feel qualified in giving you Olympic advice. :-(
But I do like the breathe, see the perfect fitting mitten, be the perfect fitting mitten thing. Relax. You know what you're doing. I just wanted to let you know I'm rooting for ya. :-)
Love the colors, by the way.
Posted by: Angelia at February 11, 2006 10:12 PM
I like Rock Chick's advice. And I do love those colors!
Posted by: Norma at February 11, 2006 10:52 PM
It is kind of hard to tell on my monitor because the two things are side by side instead of on top of each other but they look the same size to me. I often swatch flat for socks and it works for me but the floats are probably going to pull inward on you, I'm guessing. Do you still have the original flat swatch? If you do, make another one on size 5 needles and see what the percentage difference is. It won't be exact but is should be enough to tell you whether you need to use the (even) larger needles. Good luck.
Come by to visit Sock Team USA when you have a chance.
Posted by: trek at February 11, 2006 11:20 PM
I agree that perhaps you have to relax your knitting a bit and/or go bigger - new technique; you may be pulling your stitches tight (unconsciously). How about washing and blocking to see how much stretch you might get when the yarn is wet? It is possible that they may be better when you have washed and blocked - or maybe not. It's possible that you may have to enter some kind of candy rehabilitation center after this is all over! LOL
Posted by: Cynthia at February 11, 2006 11:51 PM
Go up a needle size. Two colour rib is always tight to the point of barely stretching at all. Plus Fair Isle doesn`t work as well on circs or dpns because the floats don`t stretch out..they cut the corners.
Also you could try flipping it inside out to knit so the floats are on the outside.
I was off on gauge too and had to rip out 25 rows of my Jaywalkers, btw. (Too big.) You`re not the only one having problems!
Posted by: Spinningfishwife at February 12, 2006 04:10 AM
Gauge is the French judge of knitting. That's priceless!
I'm about to start some mittens involving stranded colorwork (not really fair isle, b/c some rows have 3 colors). When I did my swatches, I cast on half the sts and worked around. (My pattern called for US2s!) Even when casting on all the sts, it would be the tiniest mitten ever. Are all mitten designers secretly cats? Or do they just have teeny, tiny hands? I don't get it.
Posted by: Laura at February 12, 2006 05:43 AM
Also meant to say, I ate a whole bag of Hershey's Nuggets over the course of a day and a half, and I'm not even technically an Olympic knitter. Right there with ya on the sugar crash.
Posted by: Laura at February 12, 2006 05:45 AM
Damn that French judge.
Posted by: jessie at February 12, 2006 06:02 AM
Ummmm. What everybody else says. Bigger needles. You could just knit Jaywalkers during the snowstorm. ;-)
Posted by: Carole at February 12, 2006 07:10 AM
Wool stretches. It might be tight now, but I think that you'll be okay in the long term. How far off is your gauge.
Might I just add that these mittens are way fabby! Pink and black: v. cool.
Posted by: Colleen at February 12, 2006 08:33 AM
Dude, the pink-and-black combo is the HAWTNESS!
Posted by: Jasmin at February 12, 2006 08:59 AM
I don't think the problem is your gauge ...... I think it's your GINORMOUS hands.
ps. have you been disqualified yet for your opening picture featuring your pinch hit knitter??
Posted by: ann at February 12, 2006 09:47 AM
I thought it was the Russian judge?
Posted by: margaret at February 12, 2006 09:47 AM
I'd go for bigger needles.....do you have size 5 double points? Sorry about that blizzard; hope it's not headed to the MidWest.....
Posted by: christine at February 12, 2006 10:38 AM
oooo, I forgot a quote from one of my all time favorite movies .... Dumb and Dumber ..... The French are assholes.
Posted by: ann at February 12, 2006 11:35 AM
Funny, my project is my first shot at fair isle while I usually knit tightly my first few rows were actually too loose. Ahh, gauge issues are always fun!
Posted by: Vicki at February 12, 2006 12:36 PM
You freaking crack me up. "The French judge of knitting..."
Gauge, she does not care, she is French ;-)
Posted by: Lee Ann at February 12, 2006 03:27 PM