When Meg was packing up Elliot’s stuff to come over here yesterday, I asked her if she would put his baby blanket in the bag. See, it occurred to me as I sat down to start the blanket and knit a bunch of swatches to get this thing figured, that since I’m using the same yarn for this baby as I did for her brother, that I already have an actual full size swatch to go by. This, let me tell you my knitters, felt pretty darned clever. Perhaps, I thought, as I anticipated the blanket’s arrival, I could cut the swatching time down considerably. All I needed to do was look at the blanket, make a few measurements and calculations, look back at the blog to see what size needle I used to knit it, and… shazam. This blog was going to pay off like never before, I told myself. (I admit “pay off like never before” is a wild and gross overstatement. This blog has given me some pretty amazing things over the years, like you and lots of jobs and the feeling that I belong in the universe, which is some pretty big stuff and hardly compares to saving a few hours on a big project, but you understand that avoiding a swatch is like knitter catnip and well… heady stuff.)
So, the blanket arrived -and Elliot too, who had less excitement for this project than I did, and played puzzles with Poppy and Poppa while I took some measurements, interjecting more than occasionally to make sure that I knew it that was his blanket and had no designs to give it to this new interloper. Notes in hand, I popped over to my own archives, deftly searched up the posts where I was knitting the thing three years ago and… do you know that in the two months it took me to knit that, I never wrote down my needle size?
Oh, sure, I took lots of pictures (which I have tried zooming in on and squinting at to see if I can tell what damn needle it is) but I never actually wrote down the size. So much for that, I tell you. A crushing development. I looked at the blanket, looked at the yarn, thought about how big that blanket is and what I was likely to have done, and swatched on a 4mm needle. I have no picture of that because I ripped it out after two rows. I didn’t need to go any farther to see that it was too big. I got out the 3.5mm.
Well, that was too big too, and I didn’t even finish the swatch, just ripped it off the needle in disgust and tried a 3.25. (Result also not pictured because the heartbreak was too real.)
I ripped that out and sat there, looking at my needle collection, asking myself all kinds of questions. First, why the H.E.double-hockey-sticks didn’t I write this down? Second, I feel sure that I would have used a 3.5mm needle. Why wasn’t that working? Was it the stitch pattern? Have I changed? Has the yarn shrunk in the cupboard? (Don’t panic that’s not a thing. The other things are all possible, but that’s not.)
In the end, I had no choice. Even though I cannot believe for one crazy moment that I knit that whole blanket on a 3mm needle, I swatched with it.
Guess what? I ripped that out too. Knitters, it would appear that I knit that huge blanket on a 2.75mm needle. (That’s a US size 2. I think. So many of those US size charts are different. The gauge I have in front of me says it’s a 2, but it also says that a 3mm is a 2 so I give up. Accuracy isn’t possible in a system like that, so I’m just going with the metric.)
I knit the swatch, rather agog that it was such a little needle, and when I was done, it was perfect. Just right, and the gauge almost matched the original (a little different but that’s likely the stitch pattern change) and I did the math, and then I did the math again, and then I washed the swatch and did the math again and yup. I knit that thing with a 2.75mm needle, and in my mind it didn’t even take that long, which is a bit of a shock, because as I look ahead of me now I can only assume that the powerful JuJu of first time Grandmotherhood got me though, and now that the excitement is at a near normal Grandmother level?
Whoo-boy. That’s a lot of knitting. Hang on Granddaughter, this is going to take a little longer than I thought.
Note to Self: You are using a 2.75mm needle, a circular Addi, not the one with the dent in it but the good one. The Yarn is Juniper Moon Farm: Findley. Colour: Fresco, and you have five balls. You’re welcome, future Steph.