Got Gauge?

I want a t-shirt that says this. Who’s going to help me design it? We can sell it and give the proceeds to charity. I’m not kidding. I need a t-shirt that says “got gauge?” and maybe one that says “swatch-n-bitch“. What do you think?

This weekend was all about the knit, baby. And even though there was some phenomenally BAD news of the knitting variety, I enjoyed the weekend and thinking about my knits.

I’m leading off with the bad, because, well, it’s so bad that I want EVERYONE to read it – none of this skimming through and missing it at the end.

Okay. Here goes.

Friday night, I FINALLY cast on the front of Short Rows. And guess what? I GOT GAUGE!!!! This may seem like a good thing, but trust me, it’s very, very, very bad. Why you ask? Because when I knit the back, I didn’t get gauge. Or at least I thought I didn’t – I seem to remember measuring it a bunch of times. I even remember starting it a couple of times and ripping it because I DIDN’T get gauge. I deliberately, painstakingly decided to move up a size in the pattern – which would leave me with a sweater conveniently between the medium and large size. Nice and comfortable for me. But while I was casting on and knitting the front, something kept nagging at me about the back. It just seemed, so, I don’t know, HUGE. And I kept pushing those bad feelings down, down into the locked closet of my brain that sucks all the bad thoughts in like a hoover – as I’ve been training myself to do. (It’s working. A little bit. Everyday.)

But. I just couldn’t let it alone.

Sunday, I got out a sweater I have that fits pretty good and put the two backs together. Then I took out not one, but three tape measures. Sure enough I GOT FUCKING GAUGE! The sweater matches perfectly to the dimensions the pattern lists for a large. It is WAY too big.

I think you all know where this is going. Do I really have to say it? At least I didn’t get too far on the front (honestly, I was getting bored pretty quickly. What happened to all the love?) I’m going to cast on again for a back. In the size I should’ve done the whole time. I’m going to knit said back, and compare the two. Then I’m going to rip the sleeve I’VE ALREADY KNIT, because I can salvage the yarn easily. I think I might just leave the first back and buy more yarn. The thought of ripping it, after I’ve cut and WOVEN IN all those ends is enough to – I don’t know – NEVER KNIT AGAIN?! What’s a few extra dollars for a project I really loved (once) and want to get right? Don’t you agree? Eventually I can rip out the bad back and make something with the yarn. But right now, I think that would just be way too depressing.

That’s it. That’s my awful knitty news. Feel sorry for me. Seriously – I WANT the pity.


On to the GOOD!

I found a new knitting store this weekend. I was looking through the new VK and came across some interesting notions. When I went on the website to see where they were sold, I found Stix-n-Stitches in Montclair, NJ. They literally opened about a week ago. The store was very nice – nice wood – roomy – lots of cool notions and stuff. Tons of Classic Elite yarns. I asked the proprietress, Sheila, what kinds of new yarns she was going to get in. No Noro or Debbie Bliss, because another yarn store in town is going to carry it. What about Rowan, I asked. Another new store opening up is going to carry that, so no. I found this really, really interesting. What do you think? Is she limiting her business by not carrying yarns that other stores in the area are carrying? I’m not sure what I think about this.

One thing she does have is a full line of ArtYarns – which happens to be one of my all time favorites – so that’s good!

That’s Ultramerino 4 – a new fingering weight yarn. They’ve come out with Ultramerino 6 as well to go along with the 8. Good stuff. Oh and I bought some circular needle size markers as well. They clip onto the wire and clip right off. Never seen them before – maybe they’ll help.

All in all – a nice store that I definitely plan on going back to – Jen – whenever you’re ready!

I spent a lot of time looking through stitch pattern books this weekend. I was pulling together cable patterns for my dad’s sweater and also looking for stitch patterns for squares for the John Glick Afghan Project. Some fits and starts, but I’ve managed to identify all of the cables and I’ve finished one square and started another.

Both squares are from Cascade 220 I had in the stash. I love the blue-green heather color and I have more, so I might make another one with this. The stitch on that one is the Quaker Ridge from Barbara Walker – I figured it was fitting for John since by all accounts he was a peace loving man, traits the Quakers embody. The brown square stitch is called Jacob’s Ladder or Ladder of Life – both of which I thought were appropriate. I’ve tried to infuse the squares with love. I hope they bring comfort to the recipient.

And last but not least, when your knitting gets you down, KNIT SOCKS!

I’m calling these my Walking on Sunshine socks! I’m hoping to remember the bright, warm, NOT HUMID, sunny day I started them on when I’m wearing them on a particularly cold and gray winter day. Also, they match my bright orange flip flops (which I won’t be posting a picture of – they’ve turned black under my toes and well, ew.)

I’m using Trekking XXL Crazy Stripes in Color 38 – I’m loving me some stripes and stockinette and hey, you can never have too many socks, right Margene? (Check it out – she’s got FOUR FEET!)


  1. Love it!… Got Gauge? should be just like the Got Milk shirts… Font is straightforward, then could easily be a Cafe Press or similar service thing….

  2. Hee, hee. This sounds like a Cafe Press shirt in the making. I would buy one.

  3. Dude…that is so wrong. You poor girl.

  4. You are doing the right thing by starting over (it’s so much smarter than frogging-or never knitting again!)
    Our yarn stores carry the same yarns, but they have favorite pallets of color and what you can’t get one place you can in another. It seems to work for them.
    I LOVE your sunny socks. You can’t have too many and that color is going to bring sunshine to any gray winter day.

  5. You must do the shirts. Funny as hell.
    I think the reason the new yarn store is not carrying those brands is because the companies won’t let her. They may have agreements with the other stores in her area not to sell to a competitor within a certain area for a certain period of time. It stinks for knitters as it keeps prices up and selection down. Class action anyone? I AM JUST KIDDING. I HAVE ALREADY GIVEN ENOUGH OF MY LIFE TO LITIGATION. But it does annoy me because if this were a bigger part of the economy it would definitely not be allowed. Feel your pain about the gauge-catastrophe of a sweater. Gauge is the absolute worst of all the knitting bugaboos if you ask me. xoxo Kay

  6. Swatch ‘n bitch! I believe it’s the first time I’ve seen this one … I’d buy one. 🙂 Yes, just knit the frickin’ short rows over, ARGH, is what I say! Thanks for the squares and your latest SIP is delish.

  7. The yarn stores in my area have a little bit of distance between them, and many of them sell the same things… but there are some lines that none of them sell–like Koigu, Artful, or Alchemy. I guess they don’t want to be perceived as big-time competitors–knitters are a peaceful people–but business wise, I think it makes sense to have some redundancy.
    Love the socks–Trekking yarn is so much fun. I am STILL knitting away on my first Trekking sock…

  8. PS…I want the ‘got gauge’ tee shirt, too!

  9. The new store may not have a choice – I know one of my local stores was refused a line of yarns because a store 12 miles away carried it – the rep said they were in the same sales area, even though if you know my locale, they draw from two totally different residential communities.
    Anyway, if she’s carrying Artyarns, maybe she’s going to focus on the fabulous stuff that is never available locally.

  10. Yes, that was my take on it too – that she’s not allowed to have it because someone else does. That really does stink.
    But let’s talk about your pity party! That’s the kind of pity party I can GET INTO: The one where you just come right out and ASK for it! Yay (I mean, sorry, boohoo, I pity you, Cara!)

  11. Swatch’n ‘ bitch count me in!

  12. Are you SURE it’s too big? What a horrible discovery. Good luck pushing through.
    As for the new yarn store, I don’t fully believe in her philosophy. Some yarns I think you should have even if another store in the area has them, others maybe you can do without but you’ve better have a lot of unique things that aren’t anywhere else then. It all depends on what type of store she wants to be. Maybe she isn’t looking to be upscale yarn store, more middle of the road, dare I say it, scarf store? At least they have Art Yarns for you!

  13. PS Knitiot is making shirts with fun yarn slogans on them. Contact them about “Got Gauge”. I’m sure they’d love it!

  14. Love the squares, Cara. They’re perfect.
    And I LOVE the socks. Great color!

  15. Oooh! I love the “Got Gauge”!
    I hate it when a good knit goes bad. So sorry.

  16. love the new yarn, love the socks and squares….I’m in for ‘got gauge’

  17. Here’s the Got Milk font…it’s not free, though.
    But I think it’s only about 20 bucks or something.
    I’d buy a shirt 🙂 (and then I’d feel guilty for wearing it on days when I clearly “got nuthin'” ;-))
    I feel your pain. You’re a brave, brave woman.

  18. Oooh, love the new socks!

  19. Lovely sock color, Cara. KFI distributes Noro and Debbie Bliss, and I am a little puzzled as to why they want to restrict the number of stores carrying their yarns, unless there’s some kind of strategy behind it. A little weird, and I think too much of a power trip on their part. It’s a pity.
    As for the type font, it’s similar to ITC Franklin Gothic Condensed, but tracked out, of course. The K is quite unique. There’ve been so many imitations/permutations of that phrase that I’m sure the dairy industry and GS+P are more flattered than anything else.

  20. 1) I know I’m behind again. Grr.
    2) LOVE LOVE the Tshirt idea. We must do this, and I will buy one for sure. How can it become a reality? I picture white “got gauge?” on black fitted tee. In the Got milk font. LOVE. IT.
    3) I am (was) about to start Short Rows in the near future. Now I am sick to my stomach about the woven ends and entire back you are ripping. Ugh. You deserve a huge pity party.
    4) We still love you. 😉

  21. P.S. I mean the back you AREN’T ripping. 😉

  22. Lovely new yarns!
    Do you have a charity in mind? I’ve got a tee…