You know that old saying about "the best laid plans?" Well, I fell victim to it on Sunday. I was so excited to use that marled gray merino and alpaca yarn and I was sure it was bulky. Well, it's not. Not bulky, not exactly worsted either, bulky in spots and worsted in spots, thinner than worsted in some spots. Guess that's the risk you take with handspun. I started out using two strands of the merino together, but after only a few rows I thought maybe it was too thick. Didn't measure gauge then, of course. So I frogged it and restarted using only one strand.
Got 11 rows of the pattern knitted before I pulled out my handy dandy gauge measuring thingy and, lo and behold, I had way too many stitches per inch for my size. If I kept going my end product would be too small for me and I'm not doing all this work in this gorgeous yarn and then end up not being able to wear it. No, sirree, back to the frog pond I went.
You understand that this is my first attempt to knit with two colors so as disappointed as I was to have to rip out all that knitting, I was at least that happy that I'd been able to use my newly-acquired chart reading skills to do it and redo it. I even ended up with the right number of stitches in all the rows. Score!
Both times I frogged it I was able to stop and pick up the last row of the ribbing, and make sure the stitches were sitting on the needle with their correct side forward; I'm feeling slightly smug about that. And I'm being careful not to pull the yarn too tight across the back of the fabric so it doesn't pucker. I hope I'm doing it right because I don't think I want to frog it again. Nope, don't want to do that.
I've restarted again carrying 2 strands of the gray marl and I have about 1/2 a stitch over gauge. I'm happy with that; I'd rather have it be a little big than too small, and I've got plenty of yarn. (fingers crossed, knock wood--I'm not saying that too loudly just in case the knitting fates rain fury down upon me to humble me)
In one swell foop I've learned both knitting things I wanted to learn this year: how to knit from a chart and how to knit with more than one color. Go me!