crafts · knitting


Sometimes something will happen in my knitting world that just completely stumps me.  Exhibits A and B:


What you see above are two swatches for the Nantucket jacket in the yarn I bought (still trying to make it work!)  The pattern calls for 4.5st/in.  Both swatches above read 5st/in, even though they were knit with different size needles.  The one on the left is size 7 needles, and on the right is size 8.  On size 9s I get the same, so I didn’t bother with the picture.  How is this possible?

Then I swatched in pattern on 3 different sized needles.  I couldn’t get an accurate st/in count (how are you supposed to do that on non-repeating patterns?) but I can tell you that all 3 swatches are basically the same width, meaning that apparently  I am cursed with this yarn.  I won’t make a larger size because of the difference in the way the little seed stitch triangles look.  I’m still going back and forth about buying the recommended yarn.  Even with the WEBs discount it would still cost me $84.  I’m a fast knitter, so I have a pretty firm policy where a sweater is not allowed to cost me more than $40 to knit.  So what I need is another yarn that gets 4.5st/in on size 9 needles.

Ok… on to my second yarn problem of the day.  Well, it’s not really a problem today, but I am wondering….  I bought this yarn on closeout from Littleknits.  It’s GGH Sir Galli, 100% silk, a full bag for under $40.

It’s a really pretty tweedy yarn.  The only problem?  The silk smell.  Now, I’ve never noticed a problem with this before, as I am noticeably lacking in the sense of smell department.  I thought, if it bothers me… so I went and stuck it under Marc’s nose.  He had to leave the room.  So yeah… stinky silk.   I’m just terrified to knit anything with this, because I don’t want to walk around smelling that all day.  I have, in fact, isolated this yarn into its own container so that it will have no chance of contaminating my other yarns.  I’ve read online about washing the silk in water with shampoo and baking soda.  Has anyone tried this and had it work?  I will admit to getting even more grossed out when I read about why silk smells.  Worm spit… eww…

And here is my progress on Ms. Marigold.  It actually would have been more, were it not for the several hours I spent desperately swatching for the Nantucket jacket.  I’ve decreased by 8 stitches (and tried it on) and now I’m to the increase section.  Looks to fit well so far!

6 thoughts on “Hmm…

  1. Hi,

    Thought I might help with your silk smell problem. I had some silk that I had bought originally to knit myself a wedding dress. Well time has past, I am married and I made a dress but I forgot about this yarn. When the new IK came out I thought that the lace nightie from the staff project would be great. Well I seem to have never noticed the smell in the 5 years I have dragged this around in my stash. I do now remember it smelling. I hate to toss good yarn. I made a swatch and washed it in a fiber wash I have. Nothing. So I went to the internet and followed each idea. The first was the febrez fixes all smells. Hah Not a chance. So I remembered them mentioning that tea tree oil is in some wool washes and it eliminates odor. I tried it. When it was wet it still smell but upon being bone dry the swatch smelt ever so lovely. I had a bottle of essential oil and used a couple of drops to a sink of water. My other options had been vinegar or ammonia but thank goodness I did not get that far. I have ended up not knitting the the item with the yarn but now I know it is usable.

  2. RE: gauge issues – I don’t like using that tool, but I use a clear ruler that seems to take accurate measurements. Maybe it just me.

    I would go down one more needle size so that the stitches are firmer and you might get the required gauge.

    Good luck.

    Re: the silk smell – no clue! Sorry.

  3. Weird on the gauge thing. Maybe that yarn really wants to be 5 sts/inch, so when you’re knitting with the larger sized needles you’re knitting tighter so that it looks good? Perhaps 4.5 would be too loose and drapey in that yarn?

  4. Elizabeth Zimmerman talks about that, I recall. Seems yarn wants to be a certain tightness — & we (subconsciously, inadvertently, unconsciously) adjust our tension to make it similar. That’s another ‘expert’s opinion’. FYI

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