Posted by: SisuGirl | February 8, 2007

I never swatch

One of the gospel truths of knitting is that Swatching, though annoying, is one of those things that you should ALWAYS do. I never do. I knit 2 sweaters, more hats that I can count, more mittens than I know people with hands and I have never had problems with this. To me, they just got in the way and really never had a purpose beyone delaying my knitting of the “real thing”.

Never again.

I got thru all of the seagull lace on my Pacific Northwest Shawl in Anne and thought to myself, “This looks a bit small and I cant imagine this blocking out to be like the picture. I love how the fabric is coming out but its just not like the picture.” I was using the 6’s like it called for but not the Jaggerspun Zepher. It took me 59 ROWS TO REALISE THIS WAS IMPORTANT!!! Some days I feel that I would benefit from a smack upside the head. I pulled out the main page of the Fiber Trends pattern and saw that I was to be getting 4 sts per inch (16/4″) What was I getting? More like 8 per 1″. Does anyone know what this means? Froggin’ galore. Does anyone know what else this means? Increasing needle size. After realising that I was WAY off, I pulled out my needle bag and went to town trying to find the right size. 7’s? Dont bother. 8’s? Not a chance. 9’s? Getting closer. 10’s Now that would be right. I had to go up 4 needle sizes and then promptly to the KnitPicks site to order new Options needles in size 10’s and DPNs in 11 (and then 2 pairs of 2’s in the circs)

Which leads me to one of the joys of living in Alaska. THE SHIPPING IS ALMOST AS MUCH AS THE ORDER!!! I hate the USPS and their policy to AK. Flat rate boxes are a gift from God but somehow, this fact of cheap shipping has escaped almost all vendors. Just because I live up here doesnt mean that I want to pay 2x’s as much for everything. Daily life here is expensive enough! I dont have a place here to buy underwear not to mention a bra. Fuel and milk is bad enough but yarn and needles are another necessity to me and this shouldnt be so painful to get. Yarn buying is supposed to be a joyous situation, not one that causes more tears.

Back to the lace. I frogged the whole darn thing and rewound it. I am going to cast on again tonight on my straight 10’s and get as far as I can until my tips from KP’s come in. I cant wait to get started again and oddly, I’m not stressed by this at all. I thought I would be but I’m not. I have achieved a Zen-like state over this shawl and want to do anything to make it perfect.

With the Lime and Violet Sock Marathon, I am well on my way. I’m planning on casting on with Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Tamarak tomorrow (the joys of starting my weekend on Friday) and since I have no real plans for anything this weekend, knitting it away. YAY! I had to re-do the heel on the Daffodil Bluebell socks but now that is going on and J’s socks are ready for the Waffle-ing to start. I love socks. Pics to come soon, I swear.



  1. Since I have come across some other Alaskan Knitters, I thought I would start an Alaskan Knitters Blog Ring on ringsurf. That way we can all stay connected globally. I grew up for 22 years in Alaska, but currently live in South Carolina. Please feel free to join, and invite anyone else you know.



  2. I totally adore Mountain colors bearfoot yarn. So warm! and I am on the LnV sock marathon too. But I think my sock yarn purchases still outpace my sock knitting speed. 🙂

  3. Hope you had a great hike! I am knitting a sock right now out of Mountain colors bearfoot yarn in the bittersweet rainbow colorway. I am loving it to death, and I hope I can keep them on his feet at least long enought to get a picture.

  4. I so do not miss the expensive shipping living in Alaska. I feel your pain. Victoria’s Secret is the worst (even in the lower 48). They make you pay over $10 in shipping and “handling” for one little tiny bra. I don’t want anyone handling my bra, thank you! Just stick it in an envelope, ship it USPS priority and call it good.

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