Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ok - I thought worsted was bigger than sport...

I don't expect a lot out of the world, really. It should keep turning on is axis, and certain established and totally inconsequential items should keep on making sense. You know, the things that I already understand, and which are so unimportant as to really pose neither threat nor opportunity to the world at large - those are the things that I prefer remain the way I have always known them. I figure it would be nice if something did, and this seems to me as if it would not be skin off anyone's nose...

The world violates this continually - as far as I can tell, it is still turning, but the fact that I needed to dial one plus my area code to call across the street was predictive of bad times for established and inconsequential items. I don't really care that you needn't be president or famous or even dead to get your face on a stamp now, but the messing around with yarn terminology is bothering the hell out of me.

I've noticed that Knit Picks does this a lot, and I am wondering if anyone can explain this to me in a way I can understand...

As far as I ever knew, you had, roughly

Fingering - very small, for socks.

Sport - about 6 stitches to the inch.

DK - 5.5 stitches to the inch

Worsted - 5 stitches to the inch and

Aran 4.5 stitches to the inch.

After Aran, the names start sounding like they describe MacDonald's meal sizes and I don't bother with them, but up to Aran, they seem useful.

What I do not understand it sportweight that knits up to 20 stitches to the inch and DK which knits up smaller than said sportweight.

In this case, the perp is Knit Picks and I will give you solid examples in the hope that someone can straighten it, or me, out.

I downloaded two free patterns from Knitpicks for pretty one skein projects.

One Pattern, the Cathedral Purse, calls for Knit Picks Shine Sport.
Shine Sport is 110 yards to the 50 grams.
An awful lot of DK weight yarn is 116 yards to the 50 grams. I know, because I bought a lot of it at one time... Different brands, different yarns, but all cotton, and all about the same length to weight. Ok, maybe Modal is heavy. Very heavy.

So then I look at the gauage, and it calls for 20 stitches to four inches. That is five stitches to the inch.

I looked back at the bag, which did not look loosely knit at all. If anything, it looks quite firmly knit. And why would you knit a bag loosely, anyway - you want it to hold it's shape and you want it to not have stitches so loose that stuff falls out. (Especially when it is not a market bag and you will not be putting large items that can take care of themselves, like Cantaloups and whole chickens, in there.)

I did not buy the assigned yarn because I have numerous balls of sportweight cotton lying around here. I am now looking with interest at various worsted weights and wondering how they will look as a bag...

The second pattern is for the Victorian Lace Headband Pattern Now frankly, I have a feeling you can use DK, which it calls for, or Worsted, which would give you a marginally wider band... (It is designed as 2.5 inches wide. that means what, about 14 Stitches? [for soem reason they call for 18, but ok...] Well, if you have 17 stitches in Worsted Weight it comes up to just over three inches. This is presuming you can't get the lace to block a little narrower and longer, which frankly seems unlikely to me.)

Or, you could probably use a real sport weight, and at 6 stitches to the inch you'd get..(.exactly 3 inches with the 18 stitches you actually are asked to cast on. So wouldn't that mean in DK it would be at least 3 inches? But they say it is 2.5)

I know my math skilz are lacking a bit here and there. I just didn't know theirs were too.

That, or these useful yarn names have gone the way of the 7 digit phone number, stamps you had to lick and car ignition keys that are actually metal and actually physically unlock something...

My dumb luck...

1 comment:

junior_goddess said...

Pssst-you know changes made "for your convenience" rarely are??

I know....