Sunday, 22 April 2007

Queen bolero

The cloud bolero is so swishy in her satin ribbon (let's hope there are more Hunky-Dory loving knitters than me out there, or that joke will be incomprehensible as well as bad) that she's downright unwearable. As with many dysfunctional relationships, it turns out that our problems go right back to the beginning. I remeasured my gauge swatch, and even though I am absolutely certain that I counted 12st to 4" back on Monday when I started, on the recount I got 10st to 4".

I'll admit that I was less exacting than usual with this swatch. My usual procedure is to knit a big swatch (normally 5"x5") and then leave it for a day or so before measuring; sometimes I chuck it in my handbag to find out what it will suffer with wear-and-tear, or wear it tucked into the top of my jeans for a few hours to find out how comfy it is against my skin. This time, I cast off the swatch, measured it, pronounced myself happy, and immediately cast on for the bolero - so I wouldn't rule out a fair dose of wishful thinking influencing me in my eagerness to get started, especially since the lovely shiny Addi I swatched with was the is the needle I wanted to knit with.

But my preferred explanation (because it makes me look slightly less foolish, even though I'm doubtful of the logic) is that the swatch grew and so did the bolero, which would mean that for all the bolero's heartfelt protestations, she has been out to betray me from the beginning.

So now I consider my options. Because of the design, I could rip back to two repeats before the sleeve and then reknit, following the directions for size xs. At 10st/4", that would give me a 36" bust, and a bolero that fits. I could start again on smaller needles, but my next size down happen to be bamboo, and since I was cross enough with the yarn on Addis, I might become murderous on stickier needles. Or I could start entirely afresh using some Rowanspun Chunky which has been in my stash since before I learned to knit, and which is a nice dependably 100% wool - although I am loathe to, since the bolero is very much what I want, if only it wasn't twice my size. The other thing I could do is take my newfound insight into gauge and just start something new. But want this, and most of all, I want to solve the problem I've made for myself, and manufacture a happy ending for the Mills-and-Bolero (thank-you, Seahorse!) story.

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