crafting

Talking Tension

Or, “what not to do when you’re knitting.”

You might have seen from my instagram that I caved and bought the Tara Stiles x Wool & the Gang TS Street Hoodie, complete with their gorgeous rosewood needles that I really did not need. This was not the most logical decision, given that not only do I already own this Denise Interchangeable Needle Kit, which includes a US size 15 needle, but I didn’t know whether I could get that gauge. Of course, I hoped I would.

Same needles, different styles. Left: Continental. Right: English.

Same needles, different styles. Left: Continental. Right: English.

Naturally, as it always happens when one relies purely on hope, and as evidenced by these photographs, I didn’t get the right gauge on my first try. However, nor did I get it on my second. The swatch on the left is my first attempt and it’s about half an inch smaller than it should be. Now, as every knitter knows, the solution is just to use a different needle; in this case, a larger one… which I didn’t have. Instead of doing the smart thing and going out to get the next size up (a whopping US size 17), I decided to keep trying my luck by abandoning my usual Continental style of knitting for the English method, which, for me, results in a much looser gauge.

It kinda worked.

Width comparison.

Width comparison.

Height comparison.

Height comparison.

With this second swatch I was able to gain a quarter of an inch in width and got the height I needed, however the width is still about an eight of an inch too small. While this should compel me to bite the bullet and buy another pair of needles, buyer’s remorse (for just the needles of course) and obstinacy is telling me to just go with the English style. The TS Street Hoodie is a one-size-fits-all garment, and although I’m not as lithe as Ms. Stiles, so long as I stay mindful (this is yoga, after all) of my tension, this could work out.

If not, I can always frog it.

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