There hasn't been much knitting going on at interknitville recently. I have been busy running up against various aspects of myself. (Oh, and doing coursework). I did put in some training for the Olympics, however, and it's a good thing I did. It felt very weird knitting with needles and yarn that small. (Yes I know it's not cobweb weight and toothpicks. I realise I have a long way to go).
After carefully washing and blocking my swatch it weighed in at a mighty 24 st over 10cm. The pattern specifies 33 st to 10cm. So I rang Liberty, from whence I bought the yarn, for advice, and spoke to the lovely and ever-helpful Dodie. She told me that although she never never tells knitters to change their technique - she was telling me there was something wrong with mine. As a continental knitter I could expect to go down a needle size, but my double knit gauge in 4 ply yarn was going too far. So I went back to the needles and by tightening - well, everything - managed to fit 28 st into my 10cm. Luckily this is what she told me I should be getting, and, interestingly, it felt much much better too. Less weird, and even kind of 'right'. Here is the original swatch. Note the glorious weather.
That weird curling thing is swatch two. I was so anxious to catch the sun I hopped out to photograph it before there was much to show. But I thought another gratuitous shot of knitting posed in greenery might not go down too badly, it being February and all.
Hopefully by tomorrow I will have a smaller knitting needle, and the hot water bottle cover can come with me on holiday. My olympic challange might have changed slightly though. It may not be to learn to cable. It might just be to learn get gauge.