Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hand-winding, and further lessons in gauge


I've been knitting socks, here and there, loving--again--the plain, orderliness of the simple rounds of stockinette. I made these last week, and then, when they were finished, I laid them together, in a pair, as I always do. That moment of satisfaction, ahhh, a pair of socks...and then I noticed something. Do you notice it, too?

They are not the same size as each other. At all. This is Gauge In Action, people. These two socks were knit from identical balls of yarn (Patons Kroy, colorway "Cadet") on the same pair of needles, using the same number of stitches, and the same number of rows, within the span of a few days. Still, the second sock is smaller, in all directions. Just when I think I have a thing pretty well figured out, whammo. A pair of socks will still do this to me. Part of me wants to blame the news--like everyone, the terrible events of last week left me feeling anxious and sad, something that can certainly affect your gauge. Like many who love handwork, I knit for solace in times of distress, and sometimes, you can see it in the result.

Things to know about me: I do not like to wind yarn. I have been known, and I'm not even exaggerating, to choose a project fully based on which yarn is already wound. I love it when yarn comes in a ball, and while skeins of yarn are pretty, I always dread them a little bit. All the winding, ugh. My swift and ball-winder, gifted to me years ago by my lovely Doc, are wonderful tools and are in great working order, but I hate getting them out of the cupboard, strapping them to the one table where they will fit, hunkering over them and getting a backache (the table is short) and making all that racket--I'd rather be knitting! Thus, mostly inspired by YouTube videos of people doing this, (here's one, oooh, her accent is so lovely) I have been attempting to hand-wind center-pull balls, with--since I as yet have no nostepinne--my thumb. [Side note to Doc: Please make me a nostepinne?] I keep getting that bit of blurf at the top, and it looks pretty raggedy, but ha! The yarn pulls from the center, and it can be done while sitting on the porch, which right now is my criteria for whether I will do anything. Can I do it while sitting on the porch? Yes? Then I will do it. Otherwise, it'll have to wait until fall.

Malabrigo Worsted, in colorway "Grinch"--er, I mean, "Lettuce". Believe it or not, I'm making this into a sweater.