There has been stash enhancement here at Missouri Star this week:


Twelve skeins of Knit Picks Shine in sport weight, two skeins of Essential sock yarn in Navy and one skein of the self striping for Fair Isle socks. Take a close look because this is the last stash enchancement you’ll see for a while. I am officially on a yarn diet! Some expensive home repairs (a backed up septic system and a leaking skylight) have put a dent in our savings, so until I get that built back up I am trying to be frugal. I will allow myself some sock yarn and perhaps a lace pattern later in the summer, but at least until August I’m going to make do with what I have. You heard it here first!

The Shine is for my summer tank. I was so excited to begin, but the Gauge Demon is really rearing his ugly head! Plan A was for the Shine to transform into Calliope. The gauge calls for 31 stitches to 4 inches on size 2 needles. I’m a loose knitter and usually go down one size to start, but since this was already pretty small, did my guage on size 2’s. The pattern was lovely and I liked the fabric it made. My gauge? 23 stitches to 4 inches. Not even close! Then it kicked in. 31 stitches to 4 inches? That’s darn near the gauge I get on size 1 needles with fingering yarn! Are they out of their ever loving mind? Who could possibly knit that tightly with sport weight without breaking their fingers? I contemplated just keeping the gauge and calculating either knitting a smaller size or rewriting the pattern.

Instead I moved on to Plan B. In looking through the new Interweave Knits, I saw The Bonita Shirt. That’s the ticket. Sport weight yarn at 6 stitches to the inch on #5 needles. Much more realistic. I did a gauge on size 4’s. 6 stitches to the inch – spot on! I washed and dried my gauge. 6 stitches to the inch – spot on! So I spent the entire evening doing a crochet chain provisional cast on on size 2’s – 258 stitches! I spent the next evening doing 11 rows of stockinette for the hem. I debated doing a purl row for the turn or a picot hem, but in the end decided to go with the pattern as written and was very pleased with the nice rolled hem:


But wait, something wasn’t quite right! It seemed a little, well, LARGE! I tried measuring scrunched up on the needle and finally in desparation threw caution to the end, stretched it out to its full length. 52 inches!!!! Not 43 as it should have been. What happened? How could I get 6 stitches to the inch on size 4 needles one night and 5 stitches to the inch on size 2 needles the next????

I have debated what to do and changed my mind about 10 times, but as of this writing I think I will redo my gauge for Calliope, wash and dry it and then see if knitting a smaller size in a larger gauge will give me a good fit. SIGH! Is this why socks have seemed so attractive lately?

7 thoughts on “

  1. I’ve used Shine for my Kiri shawl and for my medallions for my Carnival Afghan, two projects where gauge wasn’t crucial. I’ve never really swatched it for true guage, and I have enough in stash for TWO shells! I hope I can get gauge myself! Have you tried swatching it on different types of needles? I used addi naturas for Kiri.

  2. My Shine gauge was 6 stitches per inch on #3s. But you had gauge and then didn’t. How frustrating but interesting. Did you tense up knitting the gauge swatch while the septic system was backing up?

    It’s never fun to spend money on something completely unfun like a septic system. Sympathy.

  3. Maybe we could start a “knit what you have” support group.
    And the gauge thing? Weird. Maybe that’s why shawls and socks are so attractive as projects.

  4. Yes, this is one great reason socks are soooooo appealing. Satisfying. Addictive!

    I seem to always have at least one pair on the needles! Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  5. When I have done hemmed edges before, the hemmed gauge does come out bigger than the plain stockinette stitch gauge. Was that the problem? How is the project going?

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