Wednesday, 5 November 2014

WIP Wednesday: An Old Dog

Spiral Tarot

I thought talking about an old dog learning new tricks might be a bit less threatening than talking about Armageddon or the End of the World being nigh, as in, right now this minute.

Because I made a swatch:

I made a swatch because I want to make Wilde for Mini Diva's Xmas present. Instead of the Malabrigo Rasta at a cost of nearly £100/approx.$158 and aftercare involving washing it by hand in filtered unicorn pee and drying it with the breath of fairies (but only orange ones) in a south-facing rose garden at dawn, I've substituted King Cole Big Value Chunky for about £25/approx.$39 which can be bunged in the machine and will survive the Zombie Apocalypse along with the cockroaches. Let's set this out as simply as possible:

Malabrigo Rasta recommended gauge:  10st x 18 rows in a 4'' square on 9 - 12mm needles

Pattern gauge:   6st x 9 rows on 15mm needles

King Cole Chunky gauge: 10st x 14 rows on 10mm needles

So from that heap of confusion, you can see the logical thing to do was to knit a swatch and actually do, like, you know, measuring-type things. So feeling very grown-up and sensible and responsible and more of those really unattractively boring qualities, my first swatch on 12mm needles came in at 7.5st x 11 rows. Which means that the item would come out way too small (by about 20% according to the help I got from Ravelry).

So I made the Earth positively rock on its axis by knitting ANOTHER SWATCH.

I know, you'll need more than a moment to recover. I'm not sure if I have even now. Do they even make smelling salts any more ?

This gave me 7st x 9 rows on 15mm needles; but you can see in the photo that the fabric is too holey and loose - it'll sag and let the cold in.

So after all that, and with advised caution, I shall attempt using 12mm needles and make the Large size hoping to achieve a Small in the end. 

You may indeed wish me luck - I am surely going to need it all.


  1. I suffered exactly the same mental fug when trying to get the TABI LEnormand cards to fit the card template. No matter how I sized it, it just wouldn't work out the correct size. So, in a roundabout fashion, I feel your pain. Shall I send you down some unicorn pee in a bottle? It's Scotland's National Animal, doncha know :-D

  2. I don't see a problem with the second swatch. If the yarn is thick, it doesn't matter too much if it's a bit holey and it makes for a softer more drapey fabric. That said, if you're convinced, I'd be happy to check your maths :)

  3. LOL! But pardon my asking, do you really expect it to come into contact with roaches? Zombies I can live with, but roaches!!!

  4. You made a swatch, you are my hero! I always shy away from doing that..and subsequently from any project that seems to require one. Fingers crossed that your plan works.


Thanks ! I love comments :-)