when gauge matters

Basically I’ve always lived on the edge when it comes to my knitting. I don’t do gauge swatches. I don’t worry too much about matching up my yarns. I don’t do a whole lot of counting and calculating. So far there haven’t been too many circumstances where this has come back to bite me in the ass, but last week, it did.

The funny thing is that it was and wasn’t my fault. I knit two fingerless mittens using the same needles and diligently counted the rows. When I was done, one was little and the other was big. I counted and recounted, but I had the same number of stitches. Waaah!? The gauge was off, but it wasn’t simply a tension issue. The yarn had actually increased in size! And here is where it was my fault. I spun that yarn. It was a navajo-plied yarn, so if the single had gotten thicker as I went, the ply would have gotten thicker and thicker too. Looking at the two mitts, I knew I couldn’t block them to match, so I knit another mitt. With barely enough yarn, I managed to complete a third mitt. It was just slightly larger than the second. Aarrrrg! Thankfully, the difference is minimal and I should be able to block them to match.

Here they are: my Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear mitts!

gauge issues

still bored at work.

I know what I have to do. I need to go for it. Just jump in and knit! I also need to work harder on getting the correct gauge, especially if I want to do larger things that require a more specific fit.

How does one go about adjusting the gauge to fit the yarn you have? I imagine it requires gauge swatches and mathematical calculations, doesn’t it?

Last night I attempted to do some photography using unnatural light (lightbulbs). They ended up mediocre at best, although I might be able to salvage a few. The primary problem – to my uneducated eye – is that I did not have enough light. So, what type of bulbs should I use when I don’t have natural sunlight to work with? And why does everyone else excel at photography and I do not?