Sunday, August 12, 2007


Somebody needs to go back to gauge school, and I'm not saying who, but Annie and I are doing our own little knitalong of the Jemima pattern from Anna Bell, and I got a great deal on the yarn at Elann, and finally sat down to swatch it tonight.

Of course the gauge is given over four inches, and y'all, I am here to tell you that it took me three needle sizes, two hours of swatching and a whole lot of patience to figure out that 18/2 does not equal 8.

I was trying SO SO HARD to get 4 to the inch. And finally I was sitting there talking to Grady about it and I told him about how I had to go up to a SIZE TEN needle to get my gauge and even still I wasn't sure I was getting 8 stitches per inch and he didn't say anything and then all the sudden...18. 8. Noooooeeeewwwww. 9. Half of 18 is 9. I needed FOUR AND A HALF stitches per inch, mathematically demonstrated by:

18/2=9, 9/2=4.5 or 18/4=4.5.

This is not hard, but I checked my work with the calculator on my phone just to be sure. Because after you've been swatching for two hours to get a mythical number that only exists inside your blonde head, anything is possible.

Luckily I did not cut the yarn after I bound off my swatch, just pulled the loop out and so I was able to rip back the totally useless bit I did on 10s and re-bind it off after the 9s section, where my gauge is 9 stitches over two inches. Or, pedantically, 18 stitches over four inches.

Y'all, i joke all the time about being number dyslexic...this is an example. Funny when it's knitting, but less funny when it's the checking account. Luckily I figured out my ineptitude years before I had a name for what ails me, so I have a system of trickery in place to make it all work out - the ferocious tag-team of Online Banking and Microsoft Excel. With a healthy dose of Don't You Dare Change Anything Because You Know What Happens, I can usually get my bills paid all right.

The swatch is having a soak at the moment. I'm going to go wring it out and go to sleep. Because, frankly, after all this math I am positively EXHAUSTED.


Blogger bellamoden said...

Eeeee! Gauge is a harsh mistress... I'm glad you got it even if um... your route was a bit meandering. I've really liked that pattern a lot! And have thought about making it. What yarn are you using?

5:40 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Rowan Cashsoft DK in Savannah Sand. :)

8:47 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

Crap. You're scaring me! You think YOU'RE math dyslexic! I don't even understand what the hell you did to make it work. Am starting my swatch now. Hold me.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

I have made the exact same mistake before. For some reason dividing by 4 in the presence of yarn seems to be impossible. Proof of this is that my error was made at a yarn store with my friend the statistician by my side and she didn't even pick up the problem and she corrals numbers for a living!

6:19 PM  

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