The 5% nation of blocking your shawl and when are we going to switch to metric?

Two shawls are waiting patiently on my new cutting table (thanks for the car service, Kathryn!).

I have a measuring board as well that I covered in contact paper upon sage Kathryn’s advice.

Finally found a store with rust-proof T pins in stock over the holidays. And I have big plans for soaking these babies in some water and a dash of lavender loveliness from my new big bottle of Eucalan. Everything is ready.

But where oh where are my two boxes of rust-proof T pins? Alas, they have hidden during the shuffle that I have termed ‘rearranging my junk.’

I had a mild crisis over the weekend that did not involve preparing to block, but rather of the running-out-of-yarn-and-holy-crap-have-I-been-knitting-on-the-wrong-size-needles-
THIS-WHOLE-TIME???? variety.

Here are the salient points:
Dale of Norway told me to use #4 for colorwork and #3 for the rest.
– Dale of Norway gave me gauge only for #4s.
– I finished everything except the second sleeve cap, and now I have no more orange yarn.
– I reread the directions and it says, #3 (3.0mm).
– At the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, I discovered #2.5 needles (3.0mm), and realized that my #3’s are 3.25mm.
– My gauge on 3.25mm is what they recommended for 3.5mm.
– 2+2 = I might have run out of yarn because I’ve been using the wrong size needles!

I have no idea whether this is a reasonable analysis, but the fact remains that what Dale calls #3 is not my #3, and I have no more yarn, so I can’t finish Bjerk. Sniff.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I have created a similar problem for myself with a pair of knee socks that I was working on – I may have accidentally switched out the #3 for a #2 when I needed the #3 for Bjerk, and not switched back, and kept on knitting. So this NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN, my sock knitting dpn collection now looks like this (the circulars may not be rounded out yet…)

But I still need to pin down which size equals which mm and get a correct needle gauge. Mason Dixon Knitting has a needle gauge on a recent post that lists #2 as 3.0mm, but my circlular needle holder calls that a #3. Ack!

In the mean time, does anybody have an extra ball of orange #3436 Tiur?

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7 thoughts on “The 5% nation of blocking your shawl and when are we going to switch to metric?

  1. I just saw a needle conversion chart in Yarn Harlot’s book Knitting Rules, I can investigate tonight and see what she says.

    Dale of Norway could have made things a whole lot easier for you by also giving the gauge for the rest. If you got the correct needles would you reknit just the sleeves or the whole thing…

  2. I don’t think that I would reknit either, actually. I have no problem with the size of the sweater, only that I ran out of yarn! I knit the entire thing on the wrong #3s, so at least I know that it’s all uniformly wrong. The best solution now is to get the extra yarn.

  3. I have a table at home that I printed off some website a few years back … I’ll try and find it/the link this evening.

    (I got here from the post at noricom’s blog)

  4. Oy! What a conundrum! Not to make matters worse, but (in the interest of seeing whether Kay has some nutcase kind of needle gauge, and hoping to prove once and for all that she is BATS) I checked my own gauge, and it has not one but TWO sizes of #2 needles: 2.75 AND 3.0. Two little holes, each a unique size, each labeled a #2. Is that nutcase or what? I think there is some European kind of #2 which is more rare and exotic than the American #2.

    Sorry not to be more helpful. All I say is try to get the number of stitches that the pattern calls for; the “correct” needle is the one that gives you the right size stitches.

    Good luck with all this.

  5. This is always such a problem with the smallest needles — why can’t US manufacturers just get their act together and switch to metric? Then the sizings would all, you know, maybe actually mean something. Not that I am bitter about this or anything…

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