Gauge frustration and some whinging about ends

This has not been a week with a lot to show for itself, other than of course a child who is well on the way back to normal thanks to the wonders of penicillin. Babette has been stretching me. I did two 6-round squares, 6 2-round squares and joined them all together. Not a lot of area, but over 50 ends to sew in. FIFTY! I’m going to start stockpiling those little blighters, as doing 2 or 3 at a time and sewing in the ends has to be better for my mental health than doing 6 in one go again. I am now completely cured of any desire to make anything else involving joining a zillion little pieces.


I decided that the time was right to start the adorable Big Sister dress for Small Girl, but am struggling to get beyond the gauge swatch (Rav link and non-Rav link). The pattern calls for a sport-weight yarn, with gauge of 24 stitches and 37 rounds to 10cm on 3.5mm needles, or size needed to obtain gauge. I can’t buy such a yarn locally. So I have a 4ply weight blend that needs size 4 needles to get 25 stitches (the label says 28 the lovely but not working Caline and my last hope - KC moodsstitches per 10cm with 2.5-3mm needles), and that doesn’t feel right. The row tension is fine though. So I’m going to try a fine dk, that says on the label 22stitches and and 28 rows to 10cm with 4mm needles. I’m hoping that 3.5mm or thereabouts will get me to 24 stitches and a few more rows than 22. Hopefully this won’t result in a dress down to Small Girl’s ankles that she can climb into through the armholes. Plan B is to skip the dress altogether and do the matching cardigan in the original yarn, but one size up. As the cardigan is button-up rather than over the head that shouldn’t cause any problems. Any wisdom from those who have been here would be much appreciated, thank you!

Sigh. What have your challenges opportunities for learning been this week?

a sneaky post-publish edit – I can’t get the gauge to work with the King Cole either. 😦 I don’t think this dress wants to be made in any yarn that I have at the moment. It’s a sign to crack on with eleventy-zillion tiny Babette squares.


17 thoughts on “Gauge frustration and some whinging about ends

  1. Man, gauge has always been my downfall. Must be why I don’t do many garments on the needles or hooks. Just socks! But I do love the colors you have chosen. Have fun with the weaving in ends on the babbette. Don’t envy you doing that either.

  2. Maybe it is a niche in the Market to set up a business where you sew other people’s ends in…….actually now I think about it far better to train the kids, that would leave far more time for knitting and crocheting too. Have you tried crocheting over ends as you join in the new colour, I’ve always been a bit rubbish at it, but I know some people do.

    Your big sister dress is so lovely, I can’t wait to see that one develop, what a great pattern. I would have no idea over gauges, my tip to you? Can you kin at the same time as crossing your fingers?

    Have a fun week!

  3. Thank you all, I’m relieved it’s not just me who struggles with gauge and finds ends tedious. Faith, I did weave in ends on my two Granny stripes, but this one is cotton so there is not a hope of them felting their way in. Not of course that they will on my acrylic grannies either, but somehow that felt different. I can’t get the gauge to work on the KC either, it’s still coming out so that the dress will be too narrow and too long. Back to Babette for a while I think, whilst I work on training up Small Girl 😉

  4. Most of the knitters who I know and admire resists knitting gauges and swatches before starting a project so we are definitely not alone! Still, if I’ve not learned anything from my mother (the master knitter), it is to swatch and get accurate gauges. What’s that expression about prevention being worth a pound of medicine? Hmmm, probably got that all wrong as I am wont to do but you know what I mean. Keep trying — the dress is too lovely to give up — and as for your Babette, in spite of all those annoying ends, it’s a stunner!

    • Thank you! I do normally knit gauge swatches, I think the only exception was the Aesderina hat – I generally hit gauge ok, which makes me think that I just have the wrong yarn for the pattern. Still, I shall not give up.

  5. I feel if you’re going to put in a lot of time in a project such as in a garment esp., then gauge swatch before you start. Otherwise you may find yourself doubting its fit midway which is such a downer b/c you were so psyched to start it and make it for your little girl and then aren’t sure about how it’s coming out.
    As for your ends, when you connect a square to something, can you crochet an end in at the same time?

    • Thans Kepanie, I am glad that I swatched first, as at least this way I’ve only had to rip out swatches rather than dress.
      The Babette squares have the tail about half way down one edge rather than on a corner which is why I haven’t used the ends to join. I suppose I could leave longer ends and just go for it, that could work.

  6. Good luck with all those wonderful ends !!! I really don’t think I ever want to make a Babette (lovely as they are). That must be so frustrating not being able to find a yarn suitable for the dress. Still, its good that you did do a swatch and not just jump right into the project – as I tend to do. Have a good week.

  7. I hate making gauge swatches. That means sometimes things aren’t right at the end. I keep thinking that I will learn my lesson and never do. Sigh.
    The only thing I hate more? Weaving ends. HATE IT. I hate it so much that my husband helps me with it while we are watching tv just so he doesn’t have to hear me being a whingy little pratt 🙂

  8. wow 50 ends from 8 squares – i can’t imagine how many there will have been by the time you finish it!

    did you manage to sort out your gauge headache? i’m sure your small girl will be delighted with whatever you make out of that yarn, it’s so pretty and girly 🙂

I always enjoy comments, thank you for reading.

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