Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mungo Ice & Easing On

And when you heard a dining-room smash
Or up from the pantry there came a loud crash
Or down from the library came a loud ping
From a vase which was commonly said to be Ming -
Then the family would say: `Now which was which cat?
It was Mungojerrie! AND Rumpelteazer!' - And there's nothing at all to be done about that!
from "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" - T.S. Eliot

Gato the Cat is little and feisty, and when she wants something she is very good at finding the thing you least want knocked over and knocking it over. Occasionally, she will knock things off the stairs, just for her own amusement.

When I got home the other day, Mr. S. was in the tub. As he got out he said, "Oh, Gato was in the bathroom pestering me. Then she left, and I heard her knock over something fairly large - just letting you know in case you find anything." We didn't immediately see what it could have been, so we sort of forgot about it.

Yesterday, while I was working on the computer, I heard another crash. But again, no evidence in sight.

Today, a crash and a scratchy, rumbling sound; followed by another.

I finally figured it out: large icicles falling from the upper roof onto the lower. Gato is off the hook.

A couple of posts back, I mentioned a good article on fitting in the current "Knit It!"; which got me to thinking. When addressing the questions "What size should I knit?" or "How much ease should I allow?", authors often advise: "Measure a sweater that fits you well and knit to that size." This is very good advice, as far as it goes. It just should go one step further, and say: "Measure a sweater that fits you and that is made from yarn close to the weight you intend to use." Because yarn weight does affect fit.

I saw this demonstrated years ago at a design workshop given by Lily Chin. She brought in four sweaters, in yarns ranging from fingering to bulky, all knit to exactly the same chest measurement. She proceeded to put them on. The lightest weight floated like a tunic. In the mid range they fit with average ease, and the bulky looked skin tight. It really was almost unbelievable, but there it was in front of our eyes.

Elizabeth Zimmerman explains this phenomenon in Knitter's Almanac: "...very thick sweaters should measure at least one inch, if not two inches, larger than you would think, as the thickness of their fabric makes them smaller inside than out. If you don't believe this, envision making a garment out of a foam-rubber mattress, and think how much wider the circumference would be than the inside measurement. The same applies to a thick sweater."

And keep in mind that a heavy-ish worsted can make a fairly thick fabric if it's worked up in a deeply textured pattern - say all over Aran honeycombs and cables. Just something to consider...


Happy Valentine's Day


Elizabeth said...

Not only should one consider the weight of yarn, but also the general style of sweater. The intended fit and things like sleeves or not, style of neckline, a by-itself sweater, or an over-the-turtleneck sweater all make a difference, too.

CatBookMom said...

Now I'm going to be having that song run through my head the rest of the day. Which isn't bad - it's upbeat.

About the 'sweater that fits you well', I have very very few of those, due to being pear-shaped but with a proportionally small waist and short waist length. I am somewhat surprised that most knitters would not intuitively figure out that a chunky yarn would make a sweater that fits very differently than a sportweight yarn. Hmmm..

Kathy said...

I just read that very passage in EZ a few days ago. Thank you for elaborating on it -- it seems the kind of thing I might not necessarily remember and apply in a given instance like I should.

Knitbert said...

Mmmm, that's very helpful Cindy, I'm trying to work out at the moment what size I shold knit a thick cabled sweter and I think that's just confirmed for me that I should go for the larger size. Thank you for your feedback on my blog about knitting two socks together, I have just finished knitting two sleeves together and it is a great feeling to not have another sleeve to start, plus they are identical, so I think it will be good for socks too.