Saturday, May 3, 2008

Swatching and crochet - who'd thunk it?

Madge aka Knit Devil has discovered a new knitting deity. Swatchii, has 8 arms, blue skin and around her waist she wears a belt of 1,000 ill-fitting knit garments. Swatchii has been smiling on Madge as she casts on new projects with complete abandon. It is sensational to see!

Alas I have not been properly observant in my duties to Swatchii, and the Stern One has not smiled on me in relation to the large twelve row squares in Babette. In a fit of enthusiasm, these were the very first squares I made for the blanket, and didnt even think of swatching. Its crochet, right? It just slips perfectly off the hook, right?

Of course, now its come to seam up the sections, I'm realising that gauge applies just as much to crochet as to knitting, and for reasons of shapeliness a twelve row square really should be pretty much the same length and breadth as two six row squares, or six two row squares. This simple mathematical discovery has lead to this:

I've now almost redone the 12 row square. Heres a comparison of the old and the new, my gauge has changed considerably, and for the better I think. Its now much tighter, the stitches are more even, and even more importantly 2 x 6 = 12 no matter how I arrange the squares!

Post script - after blocking the new 12 row square, it appears I've still not pleased Swatchhi as its now that bit too small. I cant be arsed doing it again, so I'm just going to do another round in the same colour as the current last round. That should plump things out to about the right size.

And just so things dont get too claustrophobic and granny-square oriented, I noticed this nice reflection of the new rice paper light shade on the swallow.


Rose Red said...

I have never paid attention to gauge on my crochet...but then again, I've never made things where it matters.

But at least with crochet I find you can fudge it a bit to fix (at least, when it's a bit small!)

Bells said...

Same as RoseRed - although I can think of some projects where I damn well should have.

it's looking great though and the swallow! Lovely!

Madge said...

Your Babette is looking great!

And Swatchii = bitch*. (I go to light a candle to intercede on your behalf. Okay, I'm back now.) Even with her being a PITA, I'm glad you were able to fix your squares so they all fit together. Because seriously? Eleventy billion little squares are enough to make one time, let alone having to redo some.

And this is funny, but I had the same exact experience when I tried to knit a vintage bedspread pattern. Out of size 10 crochet cotton. (insanity - I never finished the project) The pattern called for something like 400 squares, and I made it to 30-something before realizing half my squares were tiny and half were huge. It was right before my wedding, and I might have been a *little* uptight about it.

*2 years ago I tried to knit 6 different sweaters. She smacked me down on each, and I didn't get gauge on any of them. Meanie.