… that your knitting gauge will probably change – even using the same needles and yarn – over your career as a knitter?

Yep.

I tell you this because I want to save you the frustration that will happen when you go grab a holiday project that you started earlier in the year, you look at it, realize why you had initially decided to rip it back, then look at it again and realize… oh. It doesn’t look right. Not at ALL.

In my case, this happened on Saturday. My dear friend just had a baby in February, and I offered to make Baby C her Christmas stocking (in part – and I told Dear Friend this up front – because I needed a stocking project for a colorwork knitting class I was teaching). Dear Friend accepted the offer, and I set merrily to work. Well, with the move and all, I had just enough time to unearth the half-finished stocking, toss it in a box labeled “PRIORITY HOLIDAY KNITTING,” and ¬†give it to the movers. I pulled it out on Saturday, remembered that I had really not paid attention when planning colors, and had started a Santa design with a green background…. which made for alien-face Santas (since the face is the same color as the background for the design band). I sighed, took it to the LYS, and started ripping. As I ripped, I looked at the stocking, and the gauge was… off. Floppy-off. I-can-see-my-floats-on-the-front-off. So I ripped and ripped and ripped, rewound the yarn, and cast on again.

As it turns out, when I made my daughter’s stocking a couple of years ago, I was a typical knitter learning colorwork. I went with a larger needle size than normal because I was afraid of knitting too tightly. As I got more comfortable with stranded knitting, I loosened up. All is now well. I went down a needle size, bought some Plymouth Galway to sub in for the Cascade 220 that I forgot I was going to need more of to finish the stocking, and solved my Santa problem (white background, red hat, grey beard/eyes that will get duplicate-stitched blue eyes before blocking). Pictures tomorrow.

(In my knitting coup de la semaine, I also found my niece’s stocking, the color of green I used for trim, and finished duplicate-stitching Niece’s birth year on the back of the stocking, then sent it on its merry way to my sister’s house in Iowa. Booyah!)

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