Friday, 28 August 2009

size matters

Better a week late than never, finally a knitting post. I'm talking about matters of size here, of course. I am reasonably tall, generally an Australian size 12 (which is a US size 10), so a medium to large let's say. And Trinny and Susannah would probably call me a vase (a vaaz, not a vayz - phew). What Trinny and Susannah would not call me is an extra-small.

Which brings us to Joy. I have been wanting to knit this cardigan forever. Vintage Style was the first time that I got Rowan suckered; that is, so in love with the models and the styling that I wanted to knit everything in there and bought the book immediately. Ok, so there's only a couple of things that I actually want to knit in there but Joy is number one.

So, please observe the photo: I think that this model is definitely an extra-small. And there is not a lot of ease in the garment's fit, that is, it's not baggy or loose and those are not bell sleeves. Gauge is 26 stitches to 10 centimetres, using a 3.25mm needle. By my calculations, casting on 61 stitches should give a sleeve cuff that measures about 23.5 centimetres in width.

Ok, I'm going on and on about this because I am knitting my first sleeve of Joy in size extra-small and on 3mm needles. My cuff measures about 22 centimetres in width which would easily block out a bit but I don't know that I would even want to.

These two photos show how incredibly different the colour of this yarn is in different light. I can't decide whether it is brown or russet or purple. It's recycled from a Talbots twin set, 80 per cent wool 20 percent cashmere. A further note: while I am following the chevron pattern chart I am not achieving the effect by slipping a stitch with one of 5,300 tiny beads on in. No thank you. I am instead purling the stitch on the right side and knitting it on the wrong side. Because while sometimes nuts I am not crazy.

And those little clippy things holding the sleeve together in the photo on the right? Miniature hairclips. These things are an absolute must for anyone who has not mastered the whole seamless knitting in the round picking up stitches thing. They hold your knitted garment's seams together perfectly, grip tight, one stitch in, don't allow slippage and I could not seam without them. Why then is my Wallingford still languishing in want of a side seam? Well, I never said that I seam with them either.