Saturday, November 12, 2005


Gauge is an odd duck. Have patience with me, I really will get somewhere, eventually.

I learned to knit in Brownie Girl Scouts, many many years ago in second grade. We know it was in second grade, because Annette didn't learn. She would have learned if I was in third grade, because she would have been in the troop too. I learned on red Boye size 2 short needles (still have them) and with sport weight wool burgundy yarn. We started by covering an oatmeal box and top with contact paper for a project holder. All of us had the same paper. It was white paper with little pink roses, with 2 leaves per rose. There was a hole in the top for the yarn to feed through. When you finished knitting, take the top off, put your knitting in, put the top back on, and everything was safely stowed until the next time you were ready to knit. I think we also had cotton cord carrying handles, but I don't remember for certain.

We were on to the knit stitch, then to the purl. I was lucky that my mom was able to help me, so if I faltered, she was there to rip back to where the error was, and start me on the right track.

The first project I remember was the infamous scarf. I really don't remember finishing it, but that scarf went with us on a camping trip. It kept me busy as we drove from Missouri to Colorado, in the month long camping, and on the long drive home again (hey I was little, I knit a LOT slower then!) I don't remember wearing it, I don't even know if I finished it.

Over the years, Mom and I have had exactly the same gauge. She could fix my knitting when I had problems when I was a child or a teen, althought she believed in ripping back and letting ME knit it back up. Felt I remembered the lesson better. When I teach, I usually knit back up to where the student was. I wonder which method is better? (I figure my way prevents the student from being discouraged. Comments?)

That burgundy yarn followed us around for years. I don't know what use Mom had for it originally, but she had several skeins of it. Some of it in balls, at least on still in a skein, and I remember holding it as Mom carefully rolled it into a ball. I remember finding it off and on through the years, and have even found small balls of it still in my stash.

Later on, Mom started a few projects and became tired of working on them. I was able to pick up her knitting, using the same needles, and finish them for her after tinking back a row to eliminate the needle mark. There was no difference in the gauge. She did finish knitting a gorgeous afghan (that I never would have started) full of trinity stitches. Things had to catch and hold her attention. This one did.

When I broke my wrist my knitting became looser. I didn't even think of it when I asked Mom to knit on the helmetliner the other day. And you know what? Mom's gauge has changed too. You STILL can't see the difference between her stitches and mine. She knit the first inch of the stockinette portion. Our gauges are exactly the same. After all these years, we STILL knit to the same gauge. CHEERS Mom! I love you!

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