Monday, November 4, 2019


Straight up! All this playing around with socks! Maybe you noticed I never said anything about getting that yarn I ordered for manfriend’s pullover. I was kind of shocked when I got it and rather than deal with the situation, I put it on ignore. What happened is when searching for the yarn, I punched in DK weight and when he liked it, I just plain old ordered it without thinking too much. In all honesty, I thought it was 100g balls with 175m, but it really is 50g balls with 175m – that’s more like sock yarn than a DK weight that one would use on the LK150! And there was only 8 balls left so that’s what I went with, figuring it would be enough for a plain stockinette pullover in a mid gauge weight. Yikes! what to do? procrastinate, of course!
The gauge on the label says 20-23 sts and 26-32 rows to 10 cm which should be a mid gauge weight. It’s 65% merino wool, 20% baby alpaca and 15% silk. This is going to need to be gauged and washed for sure – the fulling process could really throw me off and I don’t have much room for experimenting – I should have at least ordered another ball of a different colour to play with. It's not like it really shrinks – well, it will if mistreated in the laundry – but what I mean is the initial washing fluffs out the fibres, releases the strands and fills in the fabric, making it thicker and denser that it looked when first off the machine.
I’m not sure I’ve ever said this out loud to you, but on any machine, I like to use the mid to high range of the stitch size, like on the LK150, the dial goes from 1 to 9, but my favourite stitch size is 5. I might use T3 to T7 or 8 but not very often. On the standard gauge, it numbers from 0 to 10 and I use mostly T6 to 9. Each machine performs best in this range with increasing, decreasing and shaping working well. If dealing with tight tension and small stitch size, it becomes more difficult to use the tools so the whole project becomes fraught with anxiety! I guess that’s why there are different gauge machines!
The point is trying to use a mid gauge yarn on the standard gauge or using a fingering weight on the mid gauge just becomes an exercise in patience and determination. There I go again, prolonging the agony! I finally jump in and make my preliminary swatch to see what stitch size to use, starting off at T5, 10 rows, a loose row to divide, 10 rows at T4.5, etc. to get the stitch size I want. After looking and feeling, decide that T3.5 may be optimal. Make my swatch at T3.5, another on top at T4 just to be sure and knit the whole ball. This way I can use it to measure against an actual garment of the final size to determine is there will be enough yarn - the swatch has been washed and dried at this point and can be re-used for the hems/bands in the final garment. I can tell already there is a need for a plan B - maybe insert a wide band of contrast colour at the chest...oh yeah, I should admit I found another tweedy DK yarn that was on sale (49 bucks for 10 balls, 74% acrylic, 26% cotton, 100g/260 m) so I ordered it along with some more sock stuff - he'll never know the difference!