I promised today that I would explain why I draw around my swatch on a piece of paper before I block it. But first, I am in lovely San Diego, CA, home of perfect weather. It was just slightly too hot yesterday but by the time we went out to dinner at 7 pm, it couldn’t have been lovelier. The restaurant I had chosen turned out to be a block from our hotel. We had a fun dinner of appetizers and sharing dishes: Corn and tomato salad, french onion soup, mussels, kangaroo sliders and lamb bolognese fries. Delicious wines–a tempernillo and a zinfandel. So the visit, from my standpoint is off to a good start. Mitch has to spend his days in CLE sessions to earn credits to keep his license current in the three states he is licensed in. I get to knit and hang out.
Gauge: First off, my gauge wasn’t correct on my first swatch! I grabbed a 3.25mm Size 3 needle, but it was just a touch too big. I cast on 30 sts, and my swatch was 5.25″ wide. Fortunately I had some 3mm Size 3 needles–and lace needles to boot, so I get that nice tip for working the Purl-Knot Twist. I was able to get what looks to be the perfect gauge with this second needle size.
I wanted to show both swatches, so I did some garter ridges between needles. I did two purl rows using the original needles, then two with the smaller Size 3s. I worked another gauge swatch on top of the original one. I have counted my rows, and it looks like I might have a slightly squatter gauge so I’m going to work a few extra rows before I bind off my swatch.
If you are working the P-K Twist, you will notice that the second part of the purl twist is really a p1-b (or through the back leg). The instruction says to go between the two sts just worked in the p2tog, then into the first stitch from behind. Just a p1-b, done in a stitch that has not yet been slid off the left needle.
It is quite easy to work once you get the hang of it, but it is why I am liking the lace needle. You will notice in the photos that my Nook is part of the picture. I like to read while I’m knitting. It makes me not so fast at either, but allows me to do two things I love. Years ago, like 1994, when I switched from throwing to Continental knitting I decided to teach myself to read and knit at the same time.
I need to finish my swatch so I can bind off and do the blocking. I draw around my unblocked swatch so that I have a reference point. If I know my swatch blocks smaller (or larger) in some way, then I need to take that into account when I’m working my garment. I will know that my knitted piece will change a bit when I block it. More on this in the next post.