Sydney Easter Show . . . No. 5

26 March 2013

I mentioned the other day that I’d talk about tension/gauge of many garments I came across at the Easter Show.  Because I was able to actually handle the garments this year and not just stare at them through glass, I learnt a great deal about other people’s knitting styles. 

A number (and I mean a lot) of the knitting was as stiff as a board.  I got the impression that the knitter had looked at the ball-band, followed the recommendations for what size needles to use and off she went.  The fact that she was knitting some sort of fairisle or slip stitch pattern wasn’t going to deter her from following the instructions to the letter.  The result was that a couple of garments felt like strait-jackets and one baby cardigan would have broken the arm of any baby who tried to bend it. 

I’ve done it myself.  I knitted a jumper a couple of years ago and part way up the body was pleased to see that the gauge was spot on.  So I kept going until I’d nearly finished the whole body when it dawned on me (I know, I can be a bit slow sometimes) that the drape was dreadful.  It would have been like wearing cardboard.  I was so concerned with the size of the jumper and the quality of the stitches, I’d forgotten that it was supposed to be WEARABLE.

I did a knitting course once where the tutor kept banging her mantra into us – “Once you’ve knitted a few rows, it’s no longer knitting.  It’s fabric”.

I try to bear that in mind and I hope you do too if you’re thinking of entering the Show next year.    

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  1. What a great knitting mantra! I have ripped many times because I didn’t like the drape or feel of the fabric I was knitting for the purpose I making it!

  2. I once inherited some knitting things from a friend who decided to give it up. One of the items was a part knit jumper… and it was stiff as a board! I gave up ravelling what had been knit and sacrificed the lovely Rowan yarn because it was so tightly pulled it wouldn’t come apart without breaking.

    There’s something in there about not just blindly following directions, but also applying common sense.

  3. Excellent points as ever!

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