"I started photographing my domestic world and writing not just about what I had made,
but why I made it, examining the thoughts that accompany creativity and the act of making."
Jane Brocket from The Gentle Art of Domesticity p. 189 UK edition

Friday, July 17, 2015

In Gauge In July

So far in July I have had some wonderful celebrations with family and friends and I hope you have too.  I celebrated the freedom I have where I live. As part of the celebration on July 4th I made  fruit kabobs that we whirled around in canning jars full of homemade raspberry-lemonade spritzers...fun to make and yummy to drink and munch on.

Admiring flowers and the moon and having a tea/chocolate almond milk party with my granddaughters have occupied some of my time during the unusual stretch of very hot weather we have had so far in July.  Also,  water has figured prominently in my activities. I have continued to swim frequently at the gym pool, and I've watched others swim or play in kiddie pools, and my oldest granddaughter asked her pastor to baptize her as a Christian in the river by his house which I got to witness. [a bit of swimming and boating happened afterwards].

For those of you who crochet and or knit, do you crochet or knit a swatch to determine your gauge before you start a project like most patterns suggest you should?

I don't....or haven't....I know, but don't judge please :)

Monday night I joined a group of ladies at the church that I have been attending who gather to crochet or knit baby blankets for babies who arrive at a local neonatal unit. Before I came I had been told that we were asked to make blankets 16x22, or 22x28, or 28x34 inches in a non-lacy pattern, and if knitting use size 8 knitting needles with worsted weight, soft acrylic yarn.

Since I had appropriate yarn, I dug out my Knit Picks size  8 circular needles and attached them to a size 24" cord figuring that would be enough room for a small blanket. Then I cast on stitches until it looked like it would be big enough and started knitting.  I knit and knit and knit and knit...

I know :)

I completed very few rows before arriving.

When I showed the leader of the group what I had started she kindly told me that the blanket might be big enough to fit a twin size bed.  Really?

I started to frog my work, but before I had finished frogging she said, "Wait a minute.   Let's figure out your gauge." [I at least knew enough about "gauge" that I had brought my little ruler-knitting-needle-sizer-thingy with me so I efficiently whipped it out] [ahhh pride]

My new friend-teacher said, "See.  You have four stitches per inch so all you have to do is multiply the number of inches you want the width to be by four and you will know how many stitches to cast on."

See my enlightened mind?

In my over 44 years of knitting I am certain I have figured out how to figure out gauge before, but I am hopeful that this guided hands on experience will help me internalize the information forever and put it to use in a timely fashion in the future :)

So far July has had many exciting events, including the first awesome close up views of the dwarf planet,  Pluto, and devastating losses of life and property around the world, so my mind has not only been trying to wrap itself around stitching in gauge but also  thinking and feeling in gauge about life in and around me.

Life is engaging to me!  Is it to you?

Wishing you life engaged in love,

Gracie  xx

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother's womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  It is amazing to think about.  Your workmanship is marvelous-and how well I know it."  Psalm 139:13-14 TLB


  1. Hi Gracie! I enjoyed your post today, especially the photo of your grandchild's baptism and the close up of your knitting project! Beautiful colors...
    Have a blessed weekend:)

  2. Lovely family photos Gracie :) Your kiddy pools are such a better design than ours - ours tend to have inflatable sides so you nearly pass out whilst inflating them with your mouth because the foot pump doesn't fit it, and then the wretched thing will get a puncture at some point which is impossible to fix!
    I am a lazy crocheter and don't bother with gauge. Terrible. I love the pinky yarn you are knitting with, the white/green bit is lovely :)

  3. Wow, you have had a busy month so far. The fruit kebobs look delightful and I bet tastes as good as they look. How wonderful to be part of the celebration of your Grandaughters baptism and certainly look likes a lot of fun with the boat afterwards. The devastation and events around the world play heavy on my heart, it is my lifelong dream to see world peace and everyone to get along.

  4. So many wonderful days to celebrate my dear Gracie. You are so loving and positive and such a blessing to your family and to me. I do try to get gauge, but I am often off a bit as I keep knitting and then my projects don't fit as well as I would like. But for a shawl or baby blanket I don't give it much thought.
    Hugs to you,

  5. So awesome about your Granddaughter baptism! That was truly special to be able to witness that. :) Goodness, you have been a very busy lady, but it also sounds like you have been having tons of fun as well. I never do a gauge swatch either, so I most certainly could never/would never judge. :) I love the yarn ...what brand, color way is it? Wishing you a most blessed day. :)

    1. The yarn that I am using is Bernat Baby Jacquards Florals Rosebud. I just have one skein of that and one of Easter Basket and I am thinking I will need to use both to make a 16”x22” blanket, but am not certain. It is 90% acrylic and 10% nylon, a total of 692 yards. How do you figure how many yards you will need for a given size?

  6. Glad to see your family having a great time :). Love the color of the yarn you are using. I know about gauge but technically I use only when some specific size is required - for wearables, cushions etc. For making decor items like mat and doilies, I don't bother much.

  7. This post has a lovely summer vibe. The fruit kabobs look yummy and I love that pretty pink yarn.

  8. Wonderful photos. I thought I was seeing a baptism - how special! I was baptised at 16 and it remains a very important marker in my life. As for gauge, I am a dedicated swatcher. I have enough swatch patches to make my own small blanket, and maybe I will someday! Fab photo of the moon. As you know, it doesn't get dark here in the summer til quite late so I haven't seen the moon in a while. On the 31st, it will be blue!

  9. I smiled a lot as I read your blog today My sweet Gracie. Praise the Lord about your Granddaughter! I can only imagine the joy you feel. I loved the pictures. And then I smiled at your knitting story. How I wish I could join you there. I can't find a group of like minded ladies here. I sometimes check gauge, but never for blankets. We're still in the midst of hot, hot weathers. It's 97 right now. Dennis just finished mowing and we're cooling off in the basement.

  10. Wonderful pictures Gracie, hope you are staying cool in the long hot summer weather.

    Hugs Diane

  11. Awesome that your granddaughter decided to get baptized! Your knitting looks beautiful to me.

  12. Lovely summer pictures with your family, dear Gracie. Your knitting is so very pretty in that delicious yarn! I love to just dive in to my knitting and not knit a gauge square, naughty I know! I hope you are having a happy week.
    Helen xox

  13. It does look so much warmer with you! It is good to hear you are having a lovely time with your family and friends. Those fruit kabobs look delicious! Hope you have a great camping holiday and it is cooler by the sea! Sarah x

  14. Hi Grace, it sounds like you are enjoying a wonderful (albeit hot) summer. :-) Congratulations to your granddaughter on her baptism, that is terrific! Looks like you have a lovely hydrangea on your property. One of mine died over the winter and the other is still pretty small, but it did bloom. Take care and thank you for your kind comments. You are appreciated, Heather

  15. Hi Grace, I loved seeing the lovely photos of your family enjoying fun times at your home. Your flowers look beautiful in their pots; especially the window box. How pretty! I too am so bad at matching a swatch for the gauge. I just received some new yarn to make a sweater and I have no idea what I should do regarding the size. I know I'm going to go down a needle size but I think I will just wing it. Wish me luck. Have a wonderful weekend and blessings to you and your family. Pat xx

  16. Hi Gracie, Feeling warm reading your post even though it is raining and cold outside. Baptised in river - that is amazing. Jo x

  17. Oh yes, I always always check gauge if I need to have a certain size. Finally, I have embraced the idea that there is math in knitting. :)
    Enjoy your days in the water--and at the beach. We are home now for a bit and relearning our routine.
    May you continue to have engaging days of water play, tea parties and grandchildren.

  18. I know you are supposed to check gauge but I never do, hence my knitting being very hit and miss, that's why I prefer crochet much more forgiving, enjoy the camping trip with your family
    Clare xx

  19. Your summer looks and sounds full to bursting with good things and family. And am I right in thinking plenty of sunshine?

  20. It looks like you're enjoying a beautiful summer with family and friends, Gracie. I'm looking forward to taking knitting lessons. Right now, I enjoy crocheting, but I'm excited to learn something new.

  21. Sounds like a perfect summer :-)



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