365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time


Day 26/365: Gauge Swatch


Even though I’m in the process of finishing this sock and in the middle of knitting a yet-to-be-photographed sweater, I got bored and decided to start a new project.  I looked at the yarn stash and picked out this pink yarn, mostly because it’s a self-striping yarn and I’m into the self-striping thing right now.  I like how you can just keep knitting and the yarn does all the work for you, so that the next thing you know, you’ve got a lovely knitted thing that’s changed colors and patterns all on its own.

A few years ago, I took a knitting class in designing your own top-down sweater.  It’s not a very complicated process.  The first thing you need to do is determine how many stitches you are knitting per inch.  I used to be a lazy knitter who guesstimated and never bothered to knit a preliminary gauge swatch, but I learned my lesson soon enough.  Nothing says “You should have knit a gauge swatch” like a too baggy sweater that you spent three months knitting and looking forward to wearing.

Anyway, so today I knit a gauge swatch, and I did it in the round so that I’d have a more accurate stitch count, since I plan to knit a pull-over top-down sweater that I’ll be designing as I go.  I don’t have any interesting or funny stories to tell for today, particularly since my broken wing sock model headed back to Ventura this morning.  But some days it’s just like that:  all I do is sit around and knit and try to relax, because I know the minute I get back to work, I’ll be wishing that I could be at home sitting and knitting, even if it is just a gauge swatch.




Leave a comment

Day 19/365: Toe-Up Self-Striping Sock


On the drive back down to Ventura today, Sean and I stopped at the best independent bookstore in Santa Barbara.  He went straight to the fiction section, and I remained at the front of the store.  I was browsing through the blank journals and telling myself not to buy another one when the phone at the front desk rang.  It was only several feet away from me.  The cashier answered the phone and even though I didn’t catch his exact words, I could tell from his response that he was talking to a customer who had a question.  Then I clearly heard him say, “Are you in the store right now?”

To my right, not ten steps down from me, a woman stood in the aisle with a cell phone to her ear.  “Yes,” she said.  “I’m standing here in the Health section.”

I looked above her head and sure enough, she was standing underneath the sign that read Health.

To my left, the cashier said into the telephone, “Okay, I’ll send someone over there to help you.”

He hung up and said something to a second store employee standing nearby.  Moments later, that guy walked past me and headed toward the woman standing in the Health section.  I took a good long stare at her, because I had to see exactly what sort of person would make a phone call to the front desk of a bookstore when she was within both walking and shouting distance of said front desk.

“Oh, good,” she said to the employee when he reached her.  “I can’t seem to find the bibles.”

“We moved them over here,” he said, leading her to the section of bookshelves right at my back, which was also in the direct line of vision of the cashier who had just answered the phone.  “We needed to move them closer to where we could see them.”

“You don’t mean…?”  The woman’s voice trailed off.

“Yes,” the store employee said.  “People have been taking them.”




Day 16/365: Stripes


As I mentioned previously, I was summoned to serve jury duty this Friday.  I spent most of today sitting in a courtroom.  During the morning orientation in the juror assembly room, we were informed that the county was at an all-time high of 184 cases waiting to go to trial.  So of course it was inevitable that my name was selected for a juror pool.  I reported to the courtroom and sat through proceedings, and at the end of the day the judge ordered us to return on Tuesday because Monday is a holiday.

The good news is that I completed the mate to the toe-up purple hand-dyed merino wool sock that you’ve already seen in previous posts.  I also had the above orange and black striped sock that I started in Morro Bay and brought down to Ventura with me.  I got all the way to the heel today, but I wasn’t able to take a good photo because the sun was already setting when I got home.

I was able to take this photo this morning in the juror assembly room, though.  So you can see how my day started:  I got the seat right behind the trash can.