First of all, thanks for all the lovely comments on my Coral Cables. Modest a part, I am really happy with the good result, specially unexpected ones! :)
On my last post, Erin caught me! Now I need to confess that I don't do swatches.......
And indeed, it's not a very good habit. To explain myself, a little introduction to my knitting history will help. I learnt to knit the basics with my mother and I would knit with all the calculations done for me. With her expertise, she could always tell me how many sts I needed and how to do the decreases or increases. She warned me of the need for swatches and she still does nowadays when I tell her of my unfit FO's. Unfortunately, I have not lived nearby mom ( not reachable without a flight) since my early 20's and had to self learn knitting from Japanese books. I learnt well the stitches thru pictures but not the calculations as I can't read the explanations.
Since I have knitted a good amount of items using the Jap. books, I have an idea of the # of sts that would fit me. Most of the Jap. patterns adopt Jap.needle size 5 for summer tops and I normally need 110 sts for my work or 120- 130 for more detailed stitches or thinner needles. I also check the gauge given by the yarn manufacture with the one in the recipe ( Jap. pattern comes with a gauge for a 10cm swatch) . At least, I get the numbers in the middle of the unknown characters!
I kind cheat and measure the gauge at about 10 cm of my work. It's actually more choosing the right yarn and changing needles as there is a range of the recommended size. See, it's not really a method but just a way I can get around my deficiencies.
Not sure whether I answered Erin's question but you can get back to me if you have more doubts.
Now let me show what I am working on. I am into shrugs, wraps, and boleros. Most western magazines are carrying nice designs. But I have not knitted any item using recipes in English. It's the laziness to learn the abbreviations and meanings of the knitting glossary words.
I found this old design ( Is this a bolero??) and decided to give it a try.
Not sure if I can wear a bolero, though. Sure would look nice for a slim waisted lady. Sighs, I used to have one! Didn't the fashion came a little bit laaaate!
However, I still want to try one. Here is the progress of my Gray Pearl.
I am working on the right front it's coming fast. The yarn is Cotton Cable in a very light gray and is thicker than the usual cotton ones I have. It's been knitted with Japanese needle size 6 (4mm).
Sorry, need to go and take my job as a driver for my boys. We are going to the swim school and that means I get to knit! Have a great weekend!