Friday, June 14, 2019

Gauge Measurement vs. Finished Measurements

Yes, it has been quite a while since I've posted.  It was a busy spring.  Travel, getting Cast On out, developing a new certification course have all taken precedence.  Masters Day at the DFW Fiber Fest was a success.  We hope to go back next year.  The Spring 2019 issue of Cast On came out on May 1st.  Since then I've been working on the new Professional Knitter Certification Course.  It is basically the Masters Program without research, writing and design.  It is designed for those who want to improve their knitting skills but don't want to do the Masters and those who hope to work in the knitting industry as sample/test knitters or finishers.

Student News
I've been keeping up with my student's work.  I've been getting a lesson just about every day for review.  I will be one of the instructors for the new certification program.  I think the workload for just one instructor.  We announced the program at Masters Day and the response was positive to say the least.  There will be a team of us but the instructor will work with the student as a mentor throughout the process.

Tip of the Week
This is a request from several people working on Level 1 of the Masters.  One of the questions concerns measuring for gauge and measuring finished measurements. This has always seemed a no brainer to me but I've noticed that sometimes it is the simplest questions that cause the most concern.  The knitter over thinks it and makes it more complicated.

The majority of knitters I encounter do not calculate gauge in a way that is going to produce useful information.  Casting on 10 or 12 stitches, knitting an inch, binding off and then counting the stitches/row for an inch isn't the best way to do it.  For specifics on how to work a gauge swatch and calculate gauge, look at the index for this blog. I've discussed is many times.

Gauge Swatch
You do not want to measure the entire swatch.  Selvedge stitches and the cast on/bind off edges are not the same size as stitches and rows.  You want to measure a large enough area that you get a good average over four or more inches.  Nobody's knitting is absolutely perfect.  There will be variations in the stitch size even for knitters with good tension.  In the photograph below (which isn't a real gauge swatch, I was just lazy) I've placed markers to show exactly what I would measure and count for the gauge--no edges are included.  ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS block the swatch and let it dry completely before taking the measurements!  The gauge swatch is a snapshot of your garment.

Your gauge swatch for a project should be for the stitch pattern specified in the pattern.  If it is for a lace pattern, working a gauge swatch in stockinette isn't going to be helpful.  If is it a design with multiple stitch patterns, make sure you work a swatch for the predominant pattern.  If you look below at my current projects, I've just finished a sweater with a single cable panel.  My gauge statement is for stockinette.  If you are designing a project and it has multiple stitch patterns (as for an Aran design), do a gauge swatch for all the patterns.

Finished Measurements
In the Masters Program you have to provide finished measurement for all of the projects and that includes the swatches.  The finished measurements are exactly what it says.  The piece is measured after any finishing...seams, bands, blocking, etc.  The whole thing is measured and for swatches that means selvedge stitches and cast on/bind off edges.  If you look at any pattern you will see finished measurements include length and width.  For a swatch, this is simple.  For a garment, it can be more specific.  The photo below shows an old project.  The finished measurements for this piece is the length from shoulder to hem, circumference at the chest AND and the bottom since this is an A-line design. 

Finished measurements are different from schematics generally found at the end of patterns to show the "pattern pieces."  Schematics are particularly helpful for blocking.  Schematics can also help for items which might have an unusual shape, such as shawls.

I hope this helps clear things up.  Also, I'm working on the Fall 2019 Cast On and the On Your Way to the Masters addresses this.  Here is a video.  I know the sound is not great, some sort of technical issue but I don't have time to redo it today.

Knitting Salon
Salon will be on Sunday, the 16th (yes, I know it is Father's Day) from 2-4 pm.

Current Projects
I've finished two of the things I'm doing for Fall 2019.  This is the When the Snakes sweater.  The yarn is Miss Babs Yowza in color Oyster.  The cable panel runs diagonally from the hem to the shoulder.  It is slightly wider at the bottom.  I wanted a big old comfy sweater with extra long sleeves.

Here is the back. The cables meet at the shoulders, sort of.  I did saddle shoulders.

You can see the cable panel runs up the sleeves to the neckline.

The Special Topics in Finishing article is about cleaning up thumb/finger joins in mitten/gloves.  I decided to do fingerless mitts (to keep it simple) with a slip stitch design.  The yarn is Zealana Cozi.  It is lovely to work with and produces a rustic fabric perfect for these mitts.  I'm thinking of doing a matching hat for the Winter issue.

Next up, thigh high lace socks.  When I was in Vegas this spring I saw a mannequin at a lux store with lacy thigh highs and I thought that would be fun.  You can see I have a LONG way to go. When the socks are on an actual leg, the lace pattern opens up.  The yarn is Wollmeise and the fabric is really stretchy.  Next up, two kid stranded sweaters.  I haven't got the yarn yet but it is Lornas Lace,