Sunday, December 11, 2022

Organized or Obsessed?


I recently purchased a couple circular needles for a project and upon receipt, employed them immediately. Not too far into that project I discovered that I needed to change needles due to a gauge issue. When I checked my needle stock, I found I was going to have to purchase needles again to fill that need. I found this really frustrating and decided it was time to update my inventory list on Ravelry, and, if I was going to have to place another order, should really use my inventory list to ascertain gaps that needed filling.

To be sure I was getting an accurate inventory, I cleared the needle list I had in Ravelry and started from zero. I went through all my needle cases. I gathered project bags. I listed each needle, even designating brands. I then created a separate spreadsheet for my circulars that I could color-code and manipulate to get a better handle on gaps and my needs.

I placed my order - a Christmas gift to myself - and purchased needles.

When the needles arrived, I pulled out my handy spreadsheet, filled in the newest additions and calculated how I could store them to make best use of my needle cases. I color coded my inventory spreadsheet and pulled out my handy label maker and went to work re-organizing my entire circular needle collection. 

Approximately two hours later, very proud of myself, I had one complete, hyper organized circular collection, complete with laminated reference charts. I was never going to buy duplicates again, I was always going to know not only that I had the needle, but where to find it. I rewarded myself with a little knitting time on the sofa. I settled in, pulled out my project bag and immediately found two circular needles I'd missed, and recently replaced. 

Spreadsheets are editable and there is always a knitting friend who can make use of your duplicate needles if you can't find another project to cast on.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Until it's right...

Recently I posted about this sweater. If you look closely, you'll quickly notice that the picture to the left shows a very similar project, but this one lacks a section of ribbing.  Why?

Well, there was a gauge issue. A big one. My swatch and the actual project were one stitch per inch different. 

One stitch. Per inch. 

One stitch never sounds like a lot, but when you do the math, for this project it meant a difference of 7 inches in chest measurement. Those 7 inches meant my 2" of positive ease were actually 5" of negative ease, effectively creating a wool sausage casing. 

Not the goal.

I ripped the entire project back. Swatched again. Went up TWO needle sizes. Swatched again. (Can you tell how dedicated I am to this *!@&* project?!) 

I cast on again. This time instead of starting with the neck ribbing, I'm opting to go back and pick up for the neckline. On the last iteration, I found I wasn't entirely happy with the gauge of it against the colorwork and think I'll be better served being able to work it and rip out if necessary later.

So far, I'm much happier with the fabric. It's less dense - did I mention I went UP TWO needle sizes? - and at the larger gauge it's knitting up faster. 

My plan is to work down to where I divide for sleeves and try it on. I'll make decisions then. Until I reach that point, I'm carrying all twelve lines, loosely looping carry ups rather than cutting just yet, so as to keep each line fully intact. If I rip back, I'll have full yardage rather than scraps. This means a lot of yarn management. I keep telling myself it's a worthwhile investment and not self inflicted torture. I tell myself a lot of things.

It's going to be amazing.