Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Knitting is supposed to be relaxing, isn't it?

I decided to knit Calorimetry out of some hand-painted alpaca I got at the alpaca show last year.

The model looks happy; she looks stylish, hip even.

I want that.

The gauge, however, is a problem. It's almost Victorian in its vagueness. To whit, "20 sts / 22 rows = 4 inches in 2x2 Rib, lightly stretched" is quickly followed by "IMPORTANT NOTE: It is very important to obtain the correct gauge for this piece."

Lightly stretched? What the hell does that mean?

Look at the close-up of the happy, stylish model. Those ribs look really stretched.

Essentially, it's a hat, but the pattern says cast on 120 stitches on size 8 needles. What kind of yarn would do that? Most size 8 hat patterns I know of use about 84 stitches, or less. Filatura di Crosa is a chunky weight.

I don't get it.

I knitted on the angora about half-way on size 8, then ripped and began again on size 5. I finished, but it's still too big.

And instead of looking happy and hip, I look eccentric. It looks too much like the vintage ear-warmers my great-grandmother used to knit me.

Off it goes to the charity chemo cap pile.

(NOTE: the angle on the picture doesn't show the open back, but it's pretty obviously too wide.)


Carrie said...

I'm sorry to hear about your calorimetry troubles, but this post has actually provided some much needed levity to my day.

Vintage ear-warmers! So true!

My theory is that the model has an abnormally large head. I've seen pictures on other knitting blogs of people wearing the item in question, and NO ONE looks as hip and happy as the model. Everyone always looks a bit dowdy and over-bundled.

Also, what do you think of Pink Think? I heard the author speak after the book came out.

7-letter Deborah, never a Deb said...

I'd like to think the model has a freakishly large head, but I've got a punkin' head myself, so I don't think that's it.

Thanks for letting me know--I feel much relieved. I'd been beating myself up about it this very morning.

I like Pink Think, in general. If I were her editor, I'd tell her that she gets off track now and then, or at least needs to pause and reinforce her point--that we internalize this idea that a "real" woman or a "real" man is "naturally" a certain way.

And boy, is pink think insidious. It's hard to even read her book, which exposes the issue, without wondering whether I should be wearing more make-up, taking more effort with my dress, etc.

About when the book first came out, I had bought a McDonald's Happy Meal and the girl's sides were all about slumber parties and make-up and coordinating outfits. The boy's side was all about matching trucks to their tasks.

Pink think isn't just a retro thing.