Gauging Fabulous

How do you gauge how fabulous something is?

We could try a scale. On a scale of 1-10 how fabulous are these goodies that will be available at the Manitoba Fibre Festival this year?

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I’m going to go with 120.

That’s 10 for each item: sturdy cotton canvas bag, luxurious yarn in this year’s Festival colourway dyed by Manjusha Fibre Arts,  super-handy needle gauge made locally for us, and nine pattern designs that were created for the Challenge this year.

Wait, you ask, what’s so super-handy about a needle gauge? Can’t I just look at my needle and read the size?  Sure, sometimes you can. However, I know that not all my DPNs and interchangeable needles have the size written on them. I use my gauge often.

In addition to the obvious use of the rulers as well (basic measuring, gauge swatch measurements, seeing exactly how close you came to losing in yarn chicken, there is one more handy-use for a needle gauge I can show you.

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Have you ever used a needle gauge to help you choose a good needle for a particular yarn? Pulling a sample of yarn through those measured diameter holes gives you a very useful indication of how your stitches will “smoosh” or “grow” to fill a space – and that space is determined by the diameter of the needles that will be creating those stitches (assuming a basic tension and you’re not making double-loop stitches and so forth).  I find this particularly useful when assessing my handspun yarns for a project, but it also works great with commercially-spun yarns.

I made a video if you’d like to see.

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