Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Knitting Tension Lesson (for me)

It has warmed up some here with no frost last night. It is suppose to get warmer with 9C on Saturday. Nice to have this weather if the cement gets poured on Friday.

A bit ago, I knit a dolls outfit (sweater, bonnet, and leggings)


The pattern is very nice to knit; lacy and flowery. Easy to memorize also.


I took all that knitting and turfed it into the garbage can. I could not ravel it out without tearing my hair out. The problem was my tension; it was way too loose. I used the size of yarn and needles recommended in the book and got a monster. When I gave one piece a shot of steam, it grew by almost an inch. That got me researching.

I borrowed two of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s books from the library and started to read. The Opinionated Knitter is a book filled with her newsletters and leaflets. A good quick read looking at her patterns and making some decisions on what I could knit.

The second book, Knitting Without Tears, was an excellent read. It took me several days to read and reread the chapters. The second chapter was read three times and referenced back to several more times. It was about gauge (tension). A light bulb went off in my mind; it actually was an explosion. I knit a swatch for the Surprise Baby Bonnet and the size of the needle was 3.25 mm vs. the 4 mm needle I had used for her Baby Surprise Jacket using the same yarn. I was hooked on gauge for my next two projects. My objective was matching needle and yarn to get the correct gauge. I knit the bonnet and booties and am happy with the results.

Back to the doll set. I bought more baby weight yarn and hauled out my 2.25 mm circular needle and did a gauge swatch. I got 9 sts to the inch vs. the 8 called for in the pattern. I need to buy 2.5 mm needles for the project, or at least that is what I think I need to do. The swatch was more dense than the previous knitting.

Strangely enough, I had done a gauge swatch for the socks I am knitting. I was using a wool yarn I wasn’t use to knitting socks with. I got a great match on needle and yarn. I did the same with the sock yarn I want to knit up. Why didn’t I think about doing this with the doll set? Who knows.

Today I have to have blood work done for my thyroid, buy BCAA and finish up the pink top I am working on. Tonight is knitting group and I will be able to work on the socks. I think I have another inch to knit before I start the heel.

Until tomorrow…………….

1 comment:

  1. Ouch! Knitting gauges can even change according to stress levels, so I'm not surprised. Hope you get a better result, and pronto.