Greetings Unravelers and Welcome February!

January was such a good month for me! I knit one gnome… and have a healthy start on another. I have his arms to finish… and you will note that Vera is my Gnome Whisperer! Dear Gnorton has a beard and braids! Now I need to collect some materials from my backyard and see if I can’t do a bit of weaving…basket weaving, that is! Ha! What better for a delightfully soft Gnorton to be contrasted with twigs! Anyways, I have a small basket in my minds eye, now if I can just get it from there to Gnorton’s arms, I will be all set! Haha!

There was also some yardage calculation of all the “sweater skeins” once they were dry and I am happy to report that they topped 1400 yds of yarn! More than enough for a sweater and so I began my swatching… and I felt a bit like Goldi-Knits as I did it. The first swatch (with US5 needles) was too stiff! The second swatch (with the orange locking marker, knit on US6’s) appeared to be just right but what would a bit of a bath do to it? One more swatch was needed so I ripped out the first swatch and knit that yarn into a new swatch bu I feared that just might be a bit too loose on US7’s.

But things often change in the wash… not dramatically, but each swatch changed a bit once they were dry. Either swatch could work, IMO…but which one would work best?

  • US6: Pre and Post washing – 20sts/28 rows = 4″ no gauge difference, but the fabric feels denser post wash, as the stitches have snuggled tightly up together (which I think you can see because the stitches don’t lay flat)
  • US7: Pre and Post washing – 18sts/26 rows = 4″ again, no gauge difference… but the “gaps” between the stitches are no longer visible… with no change to the drape, feel, or wear of the fabric!

Now for the important part… are there any patterns that match my gauge? I am happy to report that I did have several choices for each swatch! In the end I chose the US7 swatch gauge for a top down sweater with some new techniques by a new-to-me designer. She actually had a couple of patterns in the running… but in the end I selected one (Ravelry link) that has a bit of a hybrid sleeve (a saddle/raglan cross!) My gauge matches in stitches (but I am over a bit on row gauge, but Ms. McLochlainn has some great tips in the pattern for mismatching gauges.)

Even better… you knit the neckband/collar last! So I can try on and see what works best for me! I have started and am loving the attention to details. (Also, a huge thank you to Sarah for her help on a “firm cast on” cry I put out on Twitter on Monday! Cable Cast On is a winner!)

But in case all that excitement was NOT ENOUGH! I cast on one more project for good measure! Hahaha! Yes, I finished my Base12 Spin and immediately cast on for another Hitchhiker! (I am sorry you can’t see the color changes … but there are some very dramatic ones coming.) I spun the yarn in order (no mixing things up this year) and I spun them incredibly fine… it is a very light fingering weight/heavy lace weight yarn. And in my attempt to use up stash, I am knitting it with a strand of KSH… in a deep navy. I am also doing yarn overs on my “tooth rows” to make it a bit different. There is more than enough handspun for this Hitchhiker (there will likely be leftovers of it) so I am knitting it until I am happy with the size. This is my Truly Mindless Knit (yes, even with the YO bits!) and it is perfect for nighttime television watching with Steve!

(and yes, I am still plodding along with my Pressed Flowers Wrap… never fear!)

It has been a good week for reading as well. I am still listening to A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. I have about an hour to go and will likely finish it this morning. Waiting in the wings is The Colony. This will be my second attempt with it, so I have my fingers crossed!

At night I am trying to get into The Sea, the Sea. But I am not loving it… and was easily distracted from it to read Women Talking (which I had very mixed feelings about… no review written yet.)

Whew! That’s quite the update for you all! LOL What about you? What is exciting you this week?

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