Gauge, you cruel mistress

Chickami is not working out.  The yarn I got specifically for this project, Elann Coto Canapone, is not knitting up at the advertised gauge for me, 19-20 sts/4 inches on US 5.  Instead I am getting 23 sts/4 inches on US 5 – and it is a good fabric that is not too firm or too loose so I don’t want to mess with that.  I thought I had taken into account my smaller gauge but, noooo… I apparently lied to myself about what 23/4*40=.

I’m spinning my wheels on what to do.  I might be able to scrounge up replacement yarn from my stash but… probably not.  I have a top’s worth of Dalegarn Svale to rip and reuse but that gauge is also probably too small.  The gauge of Classic Elite Flash is a bit too large but I also don’t think I have enough of that (and it’s discontinued).  And around and around my unhappy brain goes!

I’ve also spent an unreasonable amount of time searching for a tank pattern to replace this one and no go.  It’s just not a very popular gauge for patterns despite how nice and lightweight sport/DK yarns are.

Really, what I need to do is take the lovely simplicity of Chickami and rewrite it to fit this yarn.  But I am too mad at my failed project to take this step right now.  So I am going back to work on the Equinox Yoke Pullover and Chickami will have a time out.

Sadly, this means that there will be no new green cotton/hemp tank top for my birthday without a Christmas-in-July miracle.  I’ll survive somehow.  It will probably involve Woodchuck 802 and Season 3 of the Tudors.

Looking on the brighter side, omg, I love the Ultra Alpaca I’m using in the Equinox Pullover.  The color!  The softness!  The strength!  Berroco, you are genius.

Has anyone else been bitch slapped by the technical details lately?

Watch where you stick that needle

Upon finishing (and yet not finishing) E.B.’s Owlet, I meant to move on to Z’s fall sweater, a simple rollneck pullover from Knitting Pure and Simple (#9730) using a multicolor stash of Mission Falls 1824 Wool that I scored at a Threadbear summer sale a few years ago.

Yet, even this gorgeousness could not hold my attention. For starters, I was stalled in my attempts to acquire the pattern.  But even more damaging perhaps was the failure in correctly sizing E.B.’s sweater.  I believe I started thinking that I should wait a month or two (or four) to be more sure of the size.  Even if it does put me dangerously close to the siren call of holiday knits.

I spent an evening trying to get started on my Spiral Yoke Pullover (famously immortalized in by Jared Flood; see link) but got stuck on tubular v. hem and never made it past the cast on.  I will do that sweater–oh yes, my stash of Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed is promised–but apparently I will not right now.

As I prepared to not knit the Spiral Yoke Pullover, I dug out some old projects to reclaim the needles and was thus reacquainted with my beleaguered Equinox Yoke Pullover.

Now that some YEARS have passed since the beginning and the stalling of this project, I may have gained some knowledge and experience to see my way out of this dark forest.  All fired up with visions of myself swathed in fig-colored wool/alpaca, I sat down to solve the problem.  I had to do considerable pattern revision (comparative to what I usually do) because I am knitting the body and sleeves (especially the sleeves, with all that colorwork!) in the round.  Largely, I have used Elizabeth Zimmermann’s percentage system (EPS) to help me with the math and proportions.  I also consulted my Lopi Aftur pullover, which uses the same in the round, bottom up construction.  The answer to whether or not my revisions are going to work are not far from being answered since the sleeves and the body are all half-knit.  Nonetheless, a fickle desire has briefly turned my eye.

See, my birthday is coming up in a few weeks.  Three years ago, I took to the idea of buying myself yarn for a birthday project.  Whatever the yarn and project, it tends to be an impulsive decision and it’s something I try to cast on for right away–indulgent indeed.  Last week, I casually looked at Elann’s sale flyer and noticed they had a cotton/hemp yarn for sale, by the bag.  Hemp fabric is sooooo nice.  One thing led to another and I realized the gauge would work for a Chickami, which I got the pattern for last year.  Lo, the yarn arrived Saturday (so fast!) and now I’ve knit a gauge swatch!  And washed it!  And altered the pattern a bit to account for my slightly smaller gauge!  And started to cast on!

I hope I can wip this up in the next ten days.  No pun intended.  (Wip?  Get it?)