New-ish blogAges ago, I talked about having a Goth or 'Goffik' range of Erssie designs, and just for fun Stevie came up with a little biker type version of my Erssie Knits logo. I asked him if he could make a banner for Skeinspotting (my blog) which he did, and then I didn't have the skills to add it myself. However, after pottering around today, I managed to update my blog and add some pics etc. So, I have gone back to my minimal black look.
Really I should have been doing a thousand and one things other than this, but that is the way the day goes! Well, it was a bit difficult to concentrate with plumbers and roofers in. The poor dogs have had an upheaval with workmen in the way of getting to the garden and we have had a few tinkles on the floor. I put them into a doggie hotel today, so hopefully they have had some rest and don't think they have lost their home and gone back to racing!
Knitting wise, I have 13 pairs of socks I am designing at this very point, and switching between them takes a bit of multi tasking, it is hard to keep detail in mind and work on loads of other stuff and come back to something still remembering those details.
Knitters who need help desks
I heard a funny remark about one of my patterns, which was taken to an LYS where someone advised the knitter that it was very odd to have the gauge given in the same stitch pattern as the garment. This was for the POW scarf I designed for Handknit Heroes. The whole of the scarf was knitted in a K4, P2 pattern and was on 5.5mm needles, half a size bigger than normally used with that yarn because I wanted a light and airy feel to it even if it is fairly thick fabric. Well, I was told that I should have given the gauge in stocking stitch only and someone else mentioned that I should have used 5mm needles.
I disagree. I think if you have something like a sock, which has a stocking stitch section anyway, then perhaps it is reasonable to give the gauge of that but in my experience, matching the gauge of the stitch pattern cannot be easily done by matching the designer's gauge in stocking stitch. Some knitters purl more tightly than others, and we all vary when doing rib or lace....and if the final garment is in one stitch pattern, then I am going to take several gauge readings from that garment in that stitch pattern and give it to my knitters to help them match it. I cannot see why I should have to scrap that and put it in stocking stitch because their stocking stitch gauge might vary from their specific stitch pattern gauge anyway. I know a lot of commercial patterns do that, but they approach pattern sales as support to selling their yarns, and often will put a standard gauge that seems to be more about matching what is on their ball bands than referring to the specific pattern. Someone tell me if I am wrong, but I think it is more helpful to give gauge in the actual stitch pattern and even if that is my choice, I don't think I am odd or the only one who does this.
As to being told I should be using a certain needle size....that is nonsense and if I want superlative drape using an Aran or worsted yarn, then I am going to use the needle size that produces the fabric I want and not worry about what the yarn was 'supposed' to be used with. It is all about achieving the effect I want and I think people get too hung up on needle sizes. Some novice knitters, finding they cannot achieve a gauge on a pattern do get a bit panicky about changing their needle size to match, as if there is a strict rule about these technical matters and it doesn't help if people working on a yarnie help desks confuse them over these matters.
The way I see it, this is what is important:
1. Are you getting the right gauge with the needle you are using regardless of what the designer used? If so, then stick with what works and if your garment fits, that is the right result.
2. Do you like the fabric of your garment...i.e. is it too loose, or is it too tight? If so change it but if you like it then do keep that needle size and perhaps change the number of stitches in the pattern to accomodate it and keep the same drape to your knitting.
3. The last rule of knitting is that there are no rules.....you just do what you want to personally please yourself and try not to turn it into an academic exercise. Too many people read blogs and forums and force themselves to conform to what they think they should be doing, only to find that way does not work for them.