Gauging the Gauge
I recently received Hip Knit Hats: 40 Fabulous Designs, Cathy Carron's book about, hats!
I thought I would give Yarn.com's or (Webs as they like to call themselves) Berkshire Bulky a try so I ordered several colors to make the Valery and Clara hat.
Photo of Valery in solid color from Pond's Edge
Valery calls for size 11 (US) needles, bulky yarn and 2.5 stitches/inch. Webs says Berkshire Bulky will knit up at: 3 sts = 1 on #10 needles, so I thought on 11s there was a good chance it might work.
While I was waiting for my order from Webs, I saw several other hats in the book, that I wanted to make, Skye and Hilda. Skye calls for Chunky yarn and size 10 (US) needles with a gauge of 3.5 stitches/inch. Another hat, Clara, called for #9 (US) with a gauge of 3 stitches/inch, chunky yarn.
Photos of Skye and Hilda from Pond's Edge
Knowing that knitting combines art and science and math and that one woman's bulky is another woman's chunky, when the Berkshire Bulky (BB) arrived, I swatched. I tend to knit right to gauge. I practice Combination Knitting or you might say I am a combination knitter. So, I thought it would be interesting to see how BB worked up on 11s, 10s and 9s, respectively.
I cast on 20 stitches and knitted 10 rows. With the 11s, I got my 2.5 stitches/inch. With the 10s I got 3.5 stitches/inch and with the 9s I got 3 stitches/inch. I didn't get 3 stitches/inch as yarn label indicated I would using #10 needles. Go figure.
My Valery came out quite well after consulting the errata for the pattern on the author's website. So did Clara, if I do say so myself!
Be certain to do this if you are knitting any of the patterns from this book. While the patterns are cute, the book is full of mistakes.
Here is a photo of my Valery...
And here is the Clara Hat that I knit with a Noni Bags camellia as an embellishment.