Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Tragedy of the Loose Knitter

I feel like knitting books are full of the stories of knitters who hold their yarn too tightly, who get cramped fingers and have to go up several needle sizes to "get gauge", who have to use two needles to bind on and just can't get the bind off right.

But what about the loose knitter?

I am a loose knitter, and it means that when I bother to knit a test swatch, I start out with a needle smaller than called for by the pattern. That much is a given.

But today, I finally freed up my 2.5 mm circular needle to cast on for a test swatch for a project calling for a 3.0 mm needle. The result? A swatch that's a good one-two inches larger than it should be. FANTASTIC.*

So, I'll probably cast on with my zeros and knit this pair of socks for the rest of the year. Good news is that I think the pattern will be easy to knit on the go, but geez, ZEROS.

So, what about you guys? Tight knitters? Don't knit patterns where it matters? Are there any magically accurate gauge producers out there? And the million dollar question, does this issue come up in crochet??? (Or the sewing arts?)



HEB said...

I too am a loose knitter, which causes me no end in frustration. I'm currently working on a sweater that is supposed to be on 8s, but I had to go down to 6s to make gauge.

And I've got a swatch going for a pattern that is supposed to be knit on 0s. I've been too terrified to measure it, because what will I do when my gauge is too big on 0s? 00s? 000s? It hurts my head just to think about it.

I too wonder if the same problem applies in crochet and would love to hear others voice in on their gauge-getting issues.

PS: All of this "working on a sweater" and "got a swatch going" means: about a month and a half ago, I was working on a sweater and had a swatch going, since that's about how long it's been since I've had decent knitting time. (Whine, whine, whine, whine, whine.)

Elizabeth said...

I would hope for your sake that you could alter the pattern, so you don't have to go down needle sizes? I hate having to do it, but the idea of 000s is too terrible to contemplate.