Friday Gauge Check: Heat Wave

It’s been really warm this week.  Really warm.

Okay, it’s been in the upper 80’s/low 90’s, but when you live in a second-floor apartment with no air conditioning and no screens on the windows, it gets downright hot by evening.  I tend to be nearly vegetarian when it’s hot out, because for some reason meat seems revolting to me when the temperatures rise.  During the winter, all I want is meat, but in the summer, it’s vegetables all the way.  The farmer’s market is starting to fill in with actual fresh spring vegetables – mostly asparagus, but I’ve seen some salad greens too.  The grocery stores are getting incredible strawberries, and I expect some at the farmer’s market any week now.

Hurry Up Spring armwarmers, ribbing of hat, Forest Ridge shawlAnother thing you don’t really want when it’s hot outside is a lap full of wool, so while the Gnarled Oak Cardigan got some love over the weekend (it makes good train knitting), it made it to 11.5″ and not any further.  Instead, I cast on the May Year Of Good Intentions project, the Hurry Up Spring armwarmers, and they went incredibly quickly.  Three days, start to finish, for both mitts.  I haven’t woven in the ends or blocked them yet (because it’s not like I’m in a hurry to wear elbow-length fingerless gloves right now) but I’m very pleased with how they turned out.  What surprised me is how much yarn I had left over – according to my calculations, about 150 yards.  I fiddled around with a cast-on and eventually decided on a number of stitches and an inch and a half of ribbing for a hat to match.  The flowers and vines will look nice on a reverse-stockinette background; I just have to figure out exactly how I want it to work.  (Entirely reverse-stockinette?  Reverse stockinette panels?  Ribbing?)  This may just involve randomly knitting and seeing what I turn up.

Despite the fact that I liked the result, I can’t really recommend the pattern (out of Stitch n’ Bitch Nation).  First of all, half the chart is labeled wrong (always check for errata on Ravelry, kids!) and while that’s easy enough to fix, there comes a point when you’re about to start the chart on the second mitt and it tells you to “reverse the chart.”  Okay, that seems easy enough, right?  Just read the chart left to right, instead of right to left.  I worked on that for a few rows, and didn’t like the results I was getting.  Another internet search (which turned up a lot of other confused people) and I determined that “reverse the chart” apparently means “scan the chart, flip the image, and work it that way.”  Or use a mirror.  Or look at each row and manually figure out what cable you’re supposed to be using based on what it would look like if you were using a mirror.  It’s akin to reading upside down – certainly possible, but more than a little irritating.  Would it be so difficult to have actually printed a flipped chart?  Or even put it up on the website for download?  (I do want to specify that this is not at all meant as a slight against the designer, Renée Rigdon; the pattern itself was lovely and the project turned out beautifully.  The errors are entirely on the part of the editor and whoever did the layout.)

Then there was the Forest Ridge shawl.  After some attempted tinking, I eventually gave up and frogged the whole thing.  Jack graciously suggested that I pick up a pair of Addi Lace needles in a more reasonable size (the Clover needles I was using were bought for two-at-a-time magic loop for socks, and they were a lot longer than I needed), so on Sunday I swung by Urban Fiber Arts and picked one up.  And that has made, as they say, all the difference.  After I finished the armwarmers, I cast the shawl back on, and I’m halfway through the fourth chart repeat (of nine) for Chart B.  Last night I hit that wonderful moment when I stopped working from around the ball and started pulling from the center of it again – in other words, I had now knit further on the re-do than I had on the original attempt.  I’m still not using lifelines, but I’m being a lot more careful about tinking back if I get to the end of the row and I have an extra stitch.

Since I only have two active projects on the needles (not counting the ongoing Twitter Mystery KAL), I actually put a couple of rounds on the long-neglected SpillyMitts (remember those?).  The Enya socks are giving me dirty looks from the box they’re sitting in; I should probably finish those instead.  I’m not very good at working on projects that don’t have an intuitive progression or that I have to keep checking on the cables, but I love the look of the SpillyMitts and I’ve put so much work into the Enya socks.

More tiny progress on the blue fiber, but not much else to report on that front.

We have company coming this weekend, so I need to get back to cleaning my apartment.  Feel free to check your gauge, or let me know what you’re working on in this warm weather, in the comments.  It doesn’t even have to be Friday.

 

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~ by Amber on May 18, 2012.

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