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Tres Chic Veronique


Rowan hates math

I love love love Rowan designs. Especially Kim Hargreaves and Jean Moss. (Note to Kaffe Fasset: why use 17 colors in one sweater? Because you can? I don't get it).

My mother gave me 8 balls of Kid Classic over a year ago (for Christmas '04 to be exact), and it's been sitting in the stash ever since. It is destined to become Rapunzel, from Rowan 34. This yarn is beautiful and perfect and the balls are perky little ovals. They look like fresh bread: they have some substance but are warm and soft inside. You think I'm exaggerating? When Jess popped into the Point last monday, she petted it. Anyway, I knew I would enjoy every minute of its' $10.50-a-skein goodness. I was waiting for just the right moment to start knitting, when I could relish every stitch.

So, instead of finishing all my WIPs, I decided to finally cast on for Rapunzel. You know, I needed a little "me" knitting! Hell, I haven't joined the Knitting Olympics, I can knit what I want when I want! I had the pattern, the yarn, so I pulled out my US 7 needles from my sister's scarf (sorry Mona!), and just went for it. I stalled immediately. I could not remember how to do the K/P long tail cast on. Good thing Steph was there to teach me... Still, I messed it up several times. Seriously, it took me half an hour to cast on 68 st. Finally, I moved on to the chart. On the 2nd row, I realized I was knitting K1P1 ribbing instead of moss st. I tinked. Just one row, that's not too bad, right? Then I went cross-eyed trying to follow the chart, which contains:

  • moss stitch
  • travelling K2P3 ribbing
  • 2 cables
  • my old nemesis, fair Isle
It took me most of the afternoon to knit 10 rows. I apologize to Steph and Lisa who had to listen to me complain the entire time. They even wondered whether the Point sold magnifying glasses. But! Once I got home, I got the hang of it and knit another 20 rows. Woo hoo!
That's when I started to realize that my sleeve was *really* wide. And the pattern schematics do not specify how wide the sleeve should be. (They give you one number, one number only: the length of the sleeve. Why, Rowan, why?!!). I cannot calculate the sleeve width, because their gauge is given only for moss st (20 st = 4"), but not for K2P3 ribbing, and not for the cable. I emailed Rowan and asked them how wide the sleeves should be. Here is their answer:
The sleeve width will have been calculated in proportion to the rest of the
garment. If you have achieved correct tension on the back of the garment
then it is assumed that you will have the correct measurement for the rest
of the pieces.
Not very helpful.
So, I decided to measure my gauge swatch, which I knitted over a year ago. I know, I know, why measure a swatch *after* starting the knitting? First, I didn't want to waste time measure a stupid swatch at home, I wanted to hop on the subway and get to the Point. (Please do not point out the obvious: I could've take the swatch with me). Second, if you knit a swatch and it's the wrong size, you'd knit another swatch on needles one size larger or one size smaller, right? Since I knitted only one swatch, I must've been on gauge. QED.
You guessed it: my gauge is completely off. 18 st instead of 20 st/4" on the suggested needles, US 7s. Argh!
I ripped. *sob*

Here is what I had, pre-ripping:
I then started a new swatch, on smaller needles (US 6). I was relieved to see I got gauge!! Stitch gauge that is... It occured to me that since I'm following a chart, I better get row gauge too. Rowan's row gauge is: 30 st = 4". My row gauge is 38 st = 4".
Don't. Even. Ask.

I've spent my entire lunch hour making all sorts of calculations so that I won't end up with a cropped Rapunzel. Basically, for the fronts and the back, I need to knit 140 rows up to the armholes instead of 100.

I had the brilliant idea of googling "Rowan Rapunzel" to see if anyone else has knitted it and has words of wisdom or comfort. Bonne Marie has, but she's shuffled things around on her blog and the link is no longer active. Then, I found a knit-along! In french! http://knitrapunzel.canalblog.com/
The hostess, NiniePuce, just started it, so there's nothing there yet. I feel so relieved that I am not alone...

But, you know what? This whole Rowan melodrama has left me exhausted. It's happened before, with Butterfly. The chart was wrong, which Rowan denied (scroll down to my pic), and it took me forever to figure it out.
So, I made the executive decision to knit on the Somewhat Cowl. Aaaah, plain old stockinette!

By Veronique
On Wednesday, February 22, 2006
At 2/22/2006 04:22:00 PM