Gauge, tension. Different words for the same knitter’s problem, but tonight I’m preferring tension because that’s what I’m feeling. I’m working on Christmas gifts, which means original designs, and as much as I hate to admit this, you just can’t do design without knowing your tension.

I know this, but I got lazy about it yesterday when I was working up a new fingerless glove pattern, and this is what I ended up with:

Failed Laced-Up Glove Sample

This is why you shouldn’t calculate gauge while watching t.v.

And no, sadly, that glove was not intended for a child or a midget, but for someone whose hands are actually reasonably close in size to my own. Well done, me.

The awful thing is that I did take time to knit a gauge swatch–a whole two inches of it. I know they say you can’t really tell gauge from anything less than four, but I happen to think that’s horse-pucky if you’re working with anything finer than a medium worsted. I usually use 20 stitches by 20 rows as my measure, and it’s reasonably accurate. My problem was that I was watching Star Trek with my husband while I was doing the math to extrapolate from the swatch to the design, and while I am a champion multi-tasker, math and Star Trek apparently add up to a heavy load for the ol’ cognitive processor.

On a more fun note, I thought you might find my chart draft to be an amusing curiosity….

Draft chart from my latest design.

A look into my design process.

This is a draft chart for the glove pictured above. This pattern will probably be available for sale by the end of the year. Want to be the first to know when it goes up? Sign up for my email newsletter!

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