Sunday, January 15, 2006

Complaining is part of swatching, dear

In a decision which shows I have no sense at all, I asked for (and received) this Japanese knitting book for Christmas. It's got a cardigan in it that the good folks blogging at Crossed in Translation ( are knitting. I'm knitting it too, but I'm not posting on the blog, because my posts would go like this:

"What the hell, I can't read Japanese! What are all these fish-shaped thingers on my cable charts? Why are the fish swimming in a sea of hyphens? Where's the first line of the chart?! Damnation!"

Instead, I'm soaking up the knowledge of smarter knitters than I, and mucking on through. I've been trying to find a yarn to use that shows the cables well, with little success. Now that the Fool has shown me how to actually "purl through the back loop," rather than the wack-ass thing I was doing - "knitting backwards through the back loop," maybe, or just "purling weirdly through the back loop," or "Wrong, wrong, all wrong," - I'm hoping for better luck with the swatching.
But two nights ago, I was sitting and knitting and muttering to myself, when the Fool said, "You know, you could give up."
I tell you, it was like the part in a Western when the bad guy comes in through the swinging saloon doors and a hush falls over the bar.
Give up?
Two sticks and a ball of yarn, and he suggested I give up? There are a lot of other things I do that I'd be happy to give up first. Flossing. Running. Bananas.
But not this.
I am not giving up. I might be a gibbering idiot, reduced to garter stitch fun fur scarves by the end of it, but I'm not giving up.
I mean, it's only a sweater. How hard can this be?

In less fraught-with-complicated-twisty-stitches news, I finished the Jaywalker socks. They're all the rage among some bloggers, and they were fun to knit and I think they showed off the yarn stripes very well.
But ... but, but, but .... the stitch pattern does something to the sizing of the sock that I don't understand. Despite the number of stitches on the needles, the Fool has to grunt and mutter to get the socks on over his gigantic heel. I have high hopes for washing.

Here they are:
This is a closeup of the stitch pattern (try to ignore the drunken Jaywalking that happened when I cast on to knit these socks in a dark car en route to a contra dance weekend - don't ask; seemed like a good idea at the time.)

Here they are, fully deployed on the Fool's feet.
I knit them on two Addi Turbo #1s, out of Regia Strato Color, #5741 (I think.)


Kenny said...

You and everyone else is doing that Japanese Crossed in Translation pattern.

Well, I'm glad someone that's a "guy" is doing the Jaywalker. I'm currently swatching for it.

Let me ask you this, before I start, what size did you make? I am not sure where to measure around my foot to get the size. Did you make the bigger one? How many sithches did you cast on?

meg said...

I made the bigger one to fit a size 11.5 foot, but like I said, it turned out to be weirdly tight right before the heel .. not sure why.

the fiddlin' fool said...

I speculate it's too tight because it's not really a stretchy pattern, and the rows slightly slant diagonally, which means that some of its horizontal width is taken up by it going vertically a bit as well, therefore making a narrower round.

Kenny said...

What is your gauge? I'm swatching right now and I'm getting about 9 stitches to 1 inch on size 1 US. I'm going to use Knitpicks simple stripes (strips and faux fair-isle).

So, how many did you cast on? Thanks for your help.

And sorry, I wasn't sure who posted, but I guess it was meg and not the fiddlin' fool. :)

Sockbug said...

Oooh! Love those socks in Strato! Good luck with the sweater, you're a better person than me, LOL!

Celtic Knitter said...

Cool socks!
You say you were worrying because you were doing everything backwards . . . my advice is, if it works then do it anyway possible. I know that I do all kinds of really weird things when I knit . . . but somehow it gets done and it looks okay. I don't think there is a right and wrong way to do things.

meg said...

I don't necessarily think there's a "right" and "wrong" way to do stuff either, but in this case, purling weirdly through the back loop was really making the stitches look strange ... now, though, front loop, back loop, it's all good ...
The Jaywalkers have disappeared, so I can't measure the gauge for you right now, Kenny. I'll ransack the laundry later.

Wannietta said...

I had to restart my Jaywalkers because I thought that with the (apparently erroneously huge)number of stitches to be cast on and me knitting at my normally tight sock gauge that everything would be fine. Wrong. (and not for the first time in my life either!)
I cast on 64 sts for the rib (I found it flared) then inc to the # needed for the pattern and knit less tight. They are fine and I'm almost done the second one. Hearing that other experienced knitters have had some hurdles with this pattern really makes me feel better!!

I wanted to do the Crossed in Translation & even ordered the magazine, but I wanted to do the FLAK too. I had to choose, so I'm a FLAKer who yearns to be CiT. So many patterns ... I can't wait to see pics of your CiT!!

Aprilynne said...

Your Jaywalkers are really cool - and a great colorway.

I just finished my Jaywalkers and am starting some for my tiny daughter right now! Mine are cuff down, ankle socks, so it doesn't matter that they are a little loose.

Thanks to your awesome tip to the knitting help videos about cable needle provisional cast on, the babyjays are toe up, so THANKS!