Sunday, November 23, 2008

A refresher lesson in gauge

I have been knitting like a fiend lately.  Partly because it's cold.  Partly because I am stressed (WaMu: they suck).  Partly because Christmas is coming and knitting presents from stash doesn't cost any money.  Although I have only knitted two things as Christmas presents, so I guess the last reason is more an excuse than a reason. 

Anyway, here's a pic of the Hemlock Ring Blanket, which was a really fun and very quick (just two weeks) knit:

I knitted this out of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool, which I really like.  It's surprisingly soft, and comes in 465-yard skeins for $9 at Jo-Anns (which means if you're more patient than I you can wait for a sale or a coupon and get it for less).  Knitting this blanket took only a little over one skein, which probably should have been my warning, since I knit two pattern repeats more than brooklyntweed calls for and yet used less yarn. Oh well.

Yes, I was a bad girl, I didn't check my gauge.  Two years of knitting experience, and I still have a love/hate relationship with gauge.  I figured since this wasn't a garment, gauge was not critical.  (For what it's worth, by the way, Lion Fisherman's Wool is really 5 stitches per inch, not 4 as it claims on the band :-)  Alas, I forgot, as always, about row gauge, so my blanket is much smaller than I wanted.  I wanted something over 4 feet in diameter, and I had to really push it in the blocking to get it to be even 40 inches.

If you look closely, you'll see through the holes that the fabric isn't even touching the blocking board: this baby is stretched taut.

I still think the blanket is pretty.  

But alas, it's not a baby blanket.  I actually knitted this for a coworker who is battling cancer.  Before, she was famous in the office for always being hot.  Now, she is always cold: not a good sign.  Unfortunately I think this blanket will be of very little use to her, since it will cover her lap and not much else.  I'm bummed.  I will probably still give it to her, but I really wanted it to be more useful.  I should have checked my gauge.  Feh.

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