Sunday, 9 March 2008

Stupid gauge

I give up. The first big knit post steeked jacket was supposed to be simple. It's not.

I've spent the last week wrestling with the gauge for Sitcom Chic - a delightful cotton cardigan for which I'm using some 8ply cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills. It looks like this.

Nice huh? It was a gift from Shazmina Bendi and I love it. It seemed like the perfect project to cast on at the start of autumn.

Do you think I can get gauge? The swatch was ok. It appeared to achieve the gauge of 18 stitches across 4 inches, but it was done on 5mm (size 8) needles and I'm not one for large gauge. After the tiny gauge of the jacket, you might be forgiven for thinking I'd race headlong into an affair with some big, open, easy gauge but no, I'm not much of a fan. I like my stitches small and tight.

I got about 5 inches into the back of the cardigan and was telling myself that really, this 5mm needle deal with a good change and I should just keep going. Out of curiosity, I checked the gauge of the work. I was getting around 22 stitches to 4 inches. No matter how I looked at it. I sat the work as naturally as I could get it, considering it was on needles. Tried to make it relaxed and natural looking.

But it was no good.

Two subsequent attempts have failed to make the situation any better. I'm down to 4mm (size 6) needles now, which is the territory I'm happier with, and it's just rubbish. I can't get it. So I'm giving up. What precious spare time I had this week has been wasted on this project that's just pissed me off. I've been fighting headaches for days and really, being pissed off does not help that feeling at all.

The cotton will need to find something else to be when it grows up. I've been looking around at other projects that have a more sensible gauge. More like the 22 stitches I seem to so easily be able to get.

Life's too short.

Speaking of which, I've been so busy I've barely read a blog in days. Just a few. I have a lot of catching up to do. And the photos of me in the steeked jacket are still not taken. Today, I hope. Or tomorrow. It's a long weekend.