My friend's daughter is a knitting maniac. She's fast and furious and uses the strangest method I've ever seen. I can never remember what it is called. One day while knitting around my friend's kitchen table we were chatting about cast-on methods and such. Friend was using the double cast on method for socks. When I commented about how I wouldn't dare use that cast-on for fear I'd never be able to stretch the sock to get it on, Friend's daughter said it was because I am an extremely tight knitter. Huh. The thing is, I can still get the stitches off pretty easily. I would think that if I were to knit much looser my needles (almost typed "kneedles" LOL) would fall right out of my knitting. *shrug*
So as you can imagine being a tight knitter is a bit frustrating to someone who doesn't normally check gauge.
I decided a couple of weeks ago to knit an afghan for my mom for her birthday (and if you know my mom, please, please don't give away the surprise!). A week or so ago I finally settled on a pattern, the cable twist throw. That night I ordered yarn from JoAnn's, which incidentally was my very first internet yarn purchase! Mom can't wear wool so I wanted a soft acrylic. I chose Caron Simply Soft. I wanted 4 colors for my afghan, dark sage, sage, raspberry and then couldn't decide between bone and off white - so I ordered both. And too much of all 5 - plus some yarn to knit up for babies and LucyBug.
I was so excited when the UPS man made a stop at my front door yesterday!
The pattern calls for size 8 needles. Silly me, I tried knitting it on 8's but fortunately this one time I did pause to check gauge. Waaaaaaaay off! I couldn't believe how much smaller my knitting was. The piece was supposed to measure 6 inches across and 1 inch in length. I had about 4 and a quarter or so inches and about 1/2 in. long. Ugh. So I tried again with 9's.
Hmmmm still wouldn't work. I couldn't find my 10's, but did have some 10.5 circular needles. I tried those and the gauge was right on. One problem: I really detest circular needles. No problem, I asked my nine-year-old daughter if she wanted to go to the craft store with me (on the promise of new needles for her too) and she agreed. A while later we were back home, new bamboo straight (phew!) 10.5's for me and bamboo 3's for her (she doesn't like needles larger than 5 but also doesn't care for her 1's very much).
So this is what I have so far. I decided on bone for my fourth color. I really like the color as well as the feel of the yarn. It is so very soft. I can't wait to give this afghan to my mom. I hope it will help keep her warm this winter (her birthday isn't until November, so I ought to be able to get it done on time, right? LOL!)
a close-up of the stitch pattern: