Friday, March 24, 2006

It’s best to learn lessons early

I should know better by now.

I am a tight knitter. For example, the instructions that accompanied the GarnStudio pattern that I knit for the Knitting Olympics state that most American knitters need to increase their needle size. Apparently Scandinavian knitters have a loose gauge due to the way they perform their purl stitch. The instructions recommend going up a size or two to get the correct gauge. I went up three sizes.

When knitting the Birch finished in early February, I had a tragic fiber breakage. I was well into the second ball of Kidsilk Haze when I had difficulty bringing the final stitches in a row back up off the filament of my circular needs and onto the needle. I was kicking myself when I realized that I had cranked so much on the yarn when I originally knit those stitches that they were now too small to fit back up on the needle. I tried for quite some time to very gently coax the stitches into obeying, but no to avail. The stitch broke and I had to graft a small length of KSH to repair the break.

I should have remembered the lesson.

So I had knit the first two rows of the Wedding Ring Shawl and was working on the third when disaster struck again. Yes, I had cranked the gossamer silk when knitting the first couple of stitches of row 2 and couldn’t get them over the join and back up onto the needle. The silk is far more fragile than the KSH and broke much sooner, even though I had been handling it with an exceptionally light touch. It’s a good thing I learned this lesson right away at the beginning of the project than having to kludge together a repair somewhere in the middle.

After ripping out the rows of silk back to the provisional cast on, I picked up the stitches of my waste wool and started again, this time being mindful to keep those stitches loose! I’m pleased to have (re)finished the first three rows since the disaster yesterday evening.


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