Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Gauge is an Issue
I was thrilled to be included in a two page Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about knitting that came out in the Entree section of the Sunday edition. It is an excellent article that is about quick innovative projects that use up stash yarn in a hurry. The writer, who is a knitter originally from Canada, loved Itty-Bitty and selected the vertical stripes hat to knit up for the article. You can check out the article here at www.jsonline.com/entree and the writer's name is Mary-Liz Shaw.
She completed the hat and she did a nice job with it. The picture makes it look a little tubey, but with a head in there it will round out nicely. Other knitters she interviewed are Leigh Radford, Mel Clark, Jaime Guthals from Interweave, and Melanie Falick.
I love to see knitting get such great publicity. She selected a flower washcloth, a felted recycled sweater bag, a dog sweater, a knitted mouse, a tea cozy, a felted bag, and the baby hat to include in the article. All of these projects have a fun twist somehow worked in the pattern.
When I was being interviewed over the phone, we talked for quite awhile about many topics. One of the main topics we discussed is toy knitting. She was in the middle of knitting Tracy Chapman's mouse from Toys to Knit. This is a sweet book that I own and am familiar with.
I gave Mary-Liz a couple of tips for toy knitting, which she hadn't tried before, and I see that her mouse turned out really cute. While discussing toy knitting I said that knitting toys is a perfect small project. It packs a lot of learning into a small amount of knitting. Toys often have tons of shaping and usually there is some seaming required. I added that when knitting toys you don't have to worry about gauge as much because you are not making something to be worn. She wrote that I said, "I like knitting for babies. You don't need a large amount of yarn and gauge isn't an issue." That's not exactly what I said.
Let me just say, gauge is an issue for baby knitting! Any time you are knitting a garment to be worn by a baby or anyone, any size, you have to knit to gauge to get a good fit! it doesn't matter how large a hat, mitten, sweater or bootie is, it has to match the recommended gauge in order to get the look and fit you are hoping for.
The context for me saying gauge isn't an issue was taken out of toy knitting and placed into baby knitting in general. When knitting toys, it isn't going to be a big deal if you are slightly off gauge. However, I wouldn't recommend being off gauge for any project. You may be disappointed with the look of your finished product. When you are knitting an item that isn't going to be worn gauge isn't as important as when knitting a garment that needs to fit.
Still with that being said, it is a good article, and I am honored to have been included with these other fantastic knitters. These things happen. I have been quoted in other articles and I have had to laugh at times because your words can get switched around in a way that you wouldn't say them. This can be kind of funny. This time though, I thought some clarification was necessary.
In both of my books I address gauge constantly, so I would never dismiss this important element to successful baby knitting.
One more time: Gauge is an issue for baby knitting!!!
best, susie (gauge lover) anderson