Sunday, March 18, 2012

.25 Millimeters

My latest project is called the Hillhead Slipover. It has already been the source of much drama.

Let's start with the carbon footprint that I have stomped across the planet's northern hemisphere. The yarn is grown, dyed and spun by Jamieson's in Scotland. Thinking I would save some money, I ordered the yarn from a place in Canada at the end of January. But after several weeks, I learned that two colors were back ordered. I cancelled those colors with Store 1, and ordered them from Store 2 in Wisconsin. But store two told me that one of those colors was back-ordered with them, too. So I cancelled it and got the problematic color (black -- really?) from store 3 in Oregon. Fittingly, these orders arrived in the reverse order in which they were purchased. Two months after starting the process, I finally had all the yarn. You can click on the picture to see the color names in the notes at Flickr.

Then came the gauge issues. The pattern calls for using size 3 (3mm) needles to get a gauge of 32 stitches over 4 inches. I grabbed some size 3s and knit the awesome swatch on the top, but my 32 stitches spread over 4.5 inches. Doesn't sound like much, but gauge differences compound like interest. Staying with size 3s would turn this vest from a roomy 48" to a man-swallowing 54"! Then I took a closer look at my needles. While they are indeed size 3, they are 3.25mm. My size 2 needles are 3mm, so I made a new swatch and got gauge. Always go by the millimeters on needle sizes, people.

It appears I'm on track for this project. Time to cast on -- finally.


  1. Gauge is a cruel mistress, but it's better to face her head on. Bravo! This will be another stunning vest!

  2. I've had that same issue with the number size not matching the millimeter size. And considering that I have a horrible time getting gauge anyway, it's something I've learned to check!

  3. That's going to be so beautiful!!

    As I am completely baffled by the differing UK and US needles sizes anyway, I always use the mm size. Probably just as well. Good luck, can't wait to see it!