Saturday, May 27, 2006

All's well that ends well

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After 4 trips down to Angers last week I am glad to say that Bracken is well on the way to recovery. Here he is with his mistress, Jan. He must keep the large bucket on his head to stop him licking his scar. Unfortunately one of her other cats also has a bucket on after getting in a fight, so they must be thinking it's the latest fashion.

Après je suis allée à Angers quatre fois la semaine dernière je suis heureuse que je peux dire Bracken recouvre sa santé. La voici avec sa maîtresse, Jan. Il doit porter le seau parcequ’il fait obstacle de se lécher sa cicatrice. Malheureusement, un de ses autres chats a un seau aussi, parcequ’il a lutté et sa face était blessé. Peutêtre ils pensent c’est la dernière folie.

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The high winds and storms last week tore the canvas of the yurt crown (the star shaped canvas that covers the 5 foot diameter window in the top). However after days of bad weather we were rewarded with a wonderful double rainbow.
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The cat we rescued in November as a tiny thing has been growing steadily not least because of the number of birds he catches. However he also has a taste for paper. As well as eating the Être page (the verb 'to be') of my verb table book he has taken to chewing any knitting books left around! He does look cute when he is sleeping though.
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On tuesdays I go to the handcraft group 'Doigts Agiles'. At the moment everyone seems to be making variations on a patchwork bag. There is even a crochet version. I thought I would try it using modular knitting methods and an I-cord handle. I will felt this when it is finished. Look out for pictures later this week.
Chaque mardi je vais à la groupe, ‘Doigts Agiles’. À ce moment tout le monde fait un variation d’un sac de patch . Il y a un version en crochet aussi. J’essaye un version en tricoter à la modulaire avec des poignées de ‘I-cord’. Quand il est fini je le feutrai. Regardera les photos en plutard cette semaine.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Merci Beaucoup

I am so lucky. I have a really friendly Secret Pal. Also Sylvie from Pelotes has been helping to make my french better. Check out her site, she is going to have a baby any day now.
Je peux me considérer heureuse. Ma 'Secret Pal' est sympa. Aussi Sylvie de Pelotes m'aide à améliorer mon français . Vas voir son website, elle va accoucher de son bébé à bientôt.

Let's all do the Warp

I've been preparing yarn for dyeing. This is why a warp board is a good idea.
Je préparais des fils pour teintre. C'est pourquoi un 'warp board' (panneau de chaine?) est un bon idée

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A skein 15m long!
Un écheveau de longeur 15m!

Monday, May 15, 2006


"Je vais essayer de faire ce blog en anglais ainsi qu’en français. Je m’excuse d’avance si mon français n’est pas au top - laisse-moi un p’tit mot dans ‘comments’ pour me corriger. Merci, bonne lecture et surtout bon knitting !"

Last night I finished spinning the yellow wool and mohair. Here it is, I wish you could feel it. It is so soft and lustrous.
Hier soir j'ai fini de filer la laine et le mohair jaune. La voilà. J'aimerais que tu puisses la toucher si douce et brillante.

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Next I will be spinning this which I bought on ebay from Denise at Knitting Kitties . One roving is wool and the other is silk.
Prochainement, je filerai ces fibres de la laine et de la soie achetees à Denise de Knitting Kitties sur Ebay

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Finally in response to Kate Gilberts post at Needles on Fire here is a picture of my workspace.
Enfin en réponse à Kate Gilbert à Needles on Fire voici un photo de mon espace de travail.

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A Weekend of Animals

Saturday I visited my friend, Erica, to meet her new donkey, Ted, and goat, Jack. They are adorable and so like babies.
Samedi je suis allé voir mon amie, Erica, à la rencontre de son nouvel âne, Ted, et sa chèvre, Jack. Ils sont mignons et comme les bébés.
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Sunday, I drove down to Angers (130 Km) with my friend Jan and her sick cat, Bracken, to the animal hospital there. We will be going again tomorrow and at the end of the week to pick him up if all goes well.
Dimanche, je suis allée à voiture jusqu'à l'hopital veterinaire d'Angers (130Km) avec mon amie, Jan, et son chat, Bracken, qui était très mal. Nous irons demain et encore à la fin de la semaine pour aller le chercher si tout va bien.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

One Skein Swap Questionnaire

Yet another questionnaire (have I spelt that right? It seems to be spelt differently every time I see it.) This time for the One Skein Swap. I feel bad that I haven't translated it into French but I am a bit pushed for time right now and my one skein spoiler needs this information :)
So here it is:

1. which yarn is most like your personality (you can be specific or general with your answer- brand, type, color, fiber, whatever)?
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Ok, lets try and answer this in the manner in which it was intended (I think). How about Colinette Point 5 in Red Parrot? This was the first yarn that tempted me to knit. It's bright and fat (that sounds loads better than gaudy and thick doesn't it?) It's not exactly what you would call subtle. It can achieve alot with very little effort ( how I wish I could!) It's warm, cosy and 100% natural. It's thick and thin giving an inconsistent texture (I'm definitely inconsistent, but hey what's wrong with that?). Results are quick (I need that). It isn't cheap. It is rather naive and childlike (I have a reputation for being gullible but I think naive sounds more endearing). It may not be unique but it is different and rather hippy. It's bursting with potential creativity.

2. what is your favorite color yarn to knit/crochet with?
Lots. Purples, pinks, reds, greens turquoise. Almost anything. I like saddened colours too (like when they are dulled a bit or have a greyish tinge but not muddy (too browny)).

3. have you ever used variegated, or magic yarns?
Oh yes.

4. do you tend to favor certain fibers when choosing yarns?
I like natural fibres for the feel and handle of them. I don't like things that pill and are static (silk excluded).

5. do you prefer to work with center-pull or traditionally wound balls of yarn?
No preference

6. have you ever worked with organic yarns or are you interested in trying them?
I'm interested

7. how many and what projects have you made in the last year?
A coat, fingerless gloves, endless scarves, 2 moebius cowls, lots of shawls, a poncho, felted bags, a sleeveless pullover and I've almost finished a clapoti.

8. will you be knitting any gifts this year?
Since I have little money and alot of yarn it seems like a good idea...

9. what is your favorite one skein project?
Fingerless gloves, scarves.

10. how much yarn do you have in your stash and how do you store it
More yarn than I have places to put it but I mostly store it in wicker baskets. I also sell Colinette yarn at local events so I have kilos and kilos of that tempting me!

11. do you have a yarn in your stash that you love so much you can never use it or part with it?
No but I have lots that hasn't found the right project yet.

12. do you knit less or differently in the summer?

13. do you belong to any knitting groups (online or offline)?
A local handcraft group, Droigts Agiles, which is mostly patchworkers but has knitters and crocheters too.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Colour Drift

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Just before I went to the UK I found a few odd balls of a boucle mohair called colour drift. The colours drift from one to the other over the length of the ball. I had wanted to try out the multidirectional scarf pattern found here and thought this might work well. And it did. Don't the colours look beautiful? I used 2 balls and reversed the colour sequence for the second ball by stating from the centre of the ball. I ad libbed at the end so both ends ended straight, but of course I didn't make notes so who knows what I did? I only had 2 balls of this but cannot think of a better project for them. I have some balls in other colours (red and black, blue and green) and will probably make similar scarves with them. Unless there are other suggestions?
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Juste avant que je sois allé au Royaume-Uni j'ai trouvé un pelote ou deux d'un mohair de bouclé qui s'appelle 'Colour Drift'. Le couleur change de l'un à l'autre toute la longueur de le pelote. J'avais voulu essayer le modèle 'Multidirectional Scarf' trouvé ici et j'ai pensé que ces pelotes pourraient le faire bien. Et il a fait. Les couleurs ne paraissent-ils pas belles ? J'ai utilisé 2 pelotes et j'ai renversé la séquence de couleur pour la deuxième pelote j'ai commencé du centre du pelote. J'ai changé la fin du modèle c'est ainsi que les deux fins ont terminé le même, mais bien sûr je n'ai pas fait de note si qui sait que j'ai fait ? J'avais seulement 2 pelotes de ceci mais je ne peux pas penser à un meilleur projet pour eux. J'ai quelques pelotes dans les autres couleurs (rouge et noir, bleu et vert) et probablement je fera des écharpes similaires avec eux. A moins qu'il y a d'autres suggestions ?
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Peutêtre and Maybe

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These are our 2 angora goats. When we first got them we happened to be playing Janis Joplin and they got named after one of the tracks (Peutêtre is Maybe in French, she is the smaller one). They are sisters.

Il y a nos chèvres angoras. Quand elles arrivent nous entendions la chanson “Maybe” de Janis Joplin. Donc, la grande s'appelle Maybe et la petite s'appelle Peutêtre. Elles sont soeurs.

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As you see they are badly in need of a haircut. My partner, Keith has managed to clip most of Peutêtre, she is left with a sort of lions mane, it took 3 hours. The other day I spent 4 hours trying to clip Maybe and although I got quite a bit off it hardly shows as it is all underneath (apart from round her face). The next day I had bruises everywhere and ached in every joint. Since then it has been raining on and off so they are a job waiting to be done.

Tu peux voir que je dois couper ses poils. Mon copain, Keith, a pu couper le poil de Peutêtre pour le plupart mais il a mis trois heures pour le faire et elle est laissé avec une crinière comme un lion. Tu ne peux pas voir que j’ai coupé Maybe mais j’ai mis quatre heures pour le faire. Elle bougeait beaucoup et elle m’a donné des coups de pieds et elle m’a mordu! Le lendemain j’avais les bleus et les douleurs articulaires. Le reste attend.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

SP8 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I prefer natural fibres and like variegated and patterned yarns. I have such a large stash now that I am trying to go for quality rather than quantity. I really like all the Noro yarns.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting on and off for about 25 years (I think) and I think of myself as intermediate as there is always something new to try or learn. That's what keeps us young - right?

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes on, and (and boy don't the prices vary)

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Lavender, Geranium, Rose, are all time favorites sometimes fruity scents are nice. I'm not so keen on the spicy ones though.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Chocolate, dark chocolate, mint crisp chocolate, fruit and nut chocolate, Lindt Tarte Citron chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I spin, dye, sew, crochet. Sometimes I do cardmaking and like pop up cards and origami. I'm up for trying anything that looks interesting.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like all sorts from Dylan to U2. Female singer-songwriters, Alanis Morissette, Dido, Shawn Colvin. Souxie, the Au Pairs, Ova, Holly Near, Laurie Anderson.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I'm not to keen on some browns, yellows and blues, though some of them look real good especially together. Tend to favour purples, greens, reds, pinks, turquoise. Variegated, stripey, patterned (though I guess some plain for contrast is a good idea..)

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
One grown up son (my online tech support when I am not too embarassed by what I don't know to ask). 5 cats, 4 are big and all-black and can freak people out when they all appear together (Fish, Painter, Man Ray and Marge) and one is much smaller and all grey and he just enchants people (Jenkins). 2 angora goats, Maybe and Peutetre, who donate their lovely mohair, or at least I want them to but they find it hard to keep still when I am trying to clip them.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, I have made so many scarves though I have run out of people to give them to so have a large personal collection, most of my hats are boring and I have no knitted ones (hmm theres an idea for my next project good thing I thought of that) I wear fingerless gloves almost exclusively. Although I like ponchos they can be a bit annoying to wear when carrying a bag (or am I just clumsy?)

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I suppose I have knitted more scarves than anything but that can get a bit boring. I always go back to fingerless gloves the way other people go back to socks - they are very quick too. I have a short attention span and love starting new projects and trying new techniques. I'm not so good at finishing things but want to be. I like knitting to felt at the moment. I have been doing bags but want to try some clogs soon.

13. What are you knitting right now?
I have close to 30 UFO's at the moment and one of my New Years revolutions was to finish or frog all of them, however I didn't take account of other new ones I would start! There are a couple of ideas I want to get started on but I am trying to finish the clapotis I am knitting before I start anything else.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Oh yes

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
It's horses for courses really, I like all of them in the right situation but generally use bamboo straights or addi turbos. I have tried knitting gloves (rather than socks) on 2 addis and it is great so I am into collecting addis now. I also want to try and get some short needles, they are so much nicer for things like scarves and modular knitting (which I have just discovered) and I haven't seen any anywhere (I resorted to cutting a pair of bamboos in half!). I also want to get some really long addis (how long do they go?) to try some of the Moebius patterns in Cat Bordhi's book and some of the Debbie New stuff.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
A yarn winder no swift yet but I am watching swifts on ebay.

17. How did you learn to knit?
All by myself with 10mm needles and Colinette Point 5 in Red Parrot . I recently unpicked this cardigan as it had holes in the elbows and will probably knit and felt a bag with it.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
16 years or maybe more (blushes) it's only a baby hat too! I will finish it, there are lots of babies around at the moment (well I guess there always are but I seem to have a lot of friends who have babies at the moment). Ever since the Knitting Olympics when I knitted a coat in 16 days I have been much more inclined to finish things. So there is hope.

19. What is your favorite holiday?
Every day's a holiday if you make it so. As I get older though I prefer the summer, especially later summer when it isn't so hot but the days are still long.

20. Is there anything that you collect?
Yarn, fabric, knitting books, vintage silk kimonos (though I only have about 16 and I bought some of them for the fabric - they are so cheap for what they are - check it out on ebay)

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
An evergrowing list of books on Amazon.
Long addi turbos and bamboo (or other) short needles.
I want to try one of the celtic cable patterns from the and somewhere I saw a pattern for felted clogs I must track down.
I subscribe to the 2 UK magazines and Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting. I would like to get hold of the 2006 Interweave crochet special but haven't been able to so far.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I want to try something in lace, I haven't done much of that. I want to venture into the realm of freeform (knit and crochet) and from the Debbie New book I want to try Labyrinth Knitting and Virtual Knitting.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I have knitted one sock (nearly) but I think I might be ready to get into this particular genre now. I also have 3 rather lovely sock books to inspire me.
Length of foot 25cm
Circumference at widest point 26cm

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
April 1st (really)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Project Spectrum Update

"Je vais essayer de faire ce blog en anglais ainsi qu’en français. Je m’excuse d’avance si mon français n’est pas au top - laisse-moi un p’tit mot dans ‘comments’ pour me corriger. Merci, bonne lecture et surtout bon knitting !"

In which I aimed to create something of the appropriate colour in each month.

Pour ce projet le but est les créations du couleur du mois.

March was designated Reds and Pinks. I joined near the end of the month but did make a Scribble Lace scarf (see Debbie New's book, Unexpected Knitting) with Colinette Point 5 in Magenta and black cotton thread. This is basically just garter stitch with one row in chunky yarn followed by 3 in thread (a circular needle is a must). A bit tricky at first but my sort of project since no swatching was required - I could just jump in the deep end. Sorry the photo seems odd, it looks more like a shrub with red flowers, perhaps it's the vivid colour...

En Mars les couleurs ont été Rouge et Rose. Bien que je devienne membre du Projet au fin du mois j’ai fait une écharpe de ‘Scribble Lace’ (dentelle gribouillage?) (regarde le livre de Debbie New – Unexpected Knitting) avec le laine ‘Colinette Point 5’ (couleur Magenta) et le fil à coudre noir. J’ai utilisé le point mousse et j’ai tricoté un rang avec le gros laine suivi de trois rangs avec le fil à coudre (un aiguille circulaire est obligitoire). Au debut je l’ai trouvé difficile mais ce le truc pour moi parce qu’il ne faut pas que je fasse un echantillon – je peux prendre le taureau par les cornes. L'image est bizarre, l'écharpe ressemble un buisson rouge, peutêtre le couleur est trop vif.

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April was Oranges and Yellows (not high on my list of colour choices) and since I was in the UK at the beginning of the month apparently catching all the germs and virus' going I put things of until the last day. (You may detect a couple of themes emerging). So on 30th April I decided to dye some fibre to spin. In my stash I found some Teeswater tops, some of the mohair from the goats last year and some already prepared 'tincture of onion skin'. i.e. last year I had a load of onion skins from my friends, Rachel and Grègoire, who run the local restaurant Papillon (highly recommended) which I boiled up and drained off and then... left (could this be another theme?) Anyway the result looked less than promising, a kind of muddy brown in the pot as Marge and Painter (the 2 black girls investigating) can attest to.

En Avril les couleurs ont été Orange et Jaune (pas mes preferés). Au debut du mois j’étais en Angleterre et j’étais malade pour le plupart du mois. Donc, comme d’habitude, j’ai laissé tout jusqu’au dernier jour. 30ème avril j’ai teinte des fibres pour filer. Dans ma cachette j’ai trouvé des fibres “Teeswater” et un peu de mohair des chevre angora qui j’ai coupé l’année dernière, aussi la tisane de peau d’oignion . Mes amis, Rachel et Grègoire, qui dirigent le restaurant merveilleux, Papillon près d’ici (je recommande extrêmement) m’ont donné des peaus d’oignion. Toutefois quand j’ai fait brouiller le tout ensemble ça ressemblait la boue. Mes chattes noires, Marge et Painter ont été témoins

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However, when washed and dried the result was stunning, the mohair a lovely golden colour and the Teeswater a beatiful saffron. Now I just need to spin it...

Mais, quand les fibres étaient lavés le couleur était sensationnel. Le mohair était comme d’or et le Teeswater comme safran. Maintenant je dois le filer…
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Also in April I was part of the Project Spectrum postcard swap and by the skin of my teeth I managed to send my colour themed postcard off to my assigned partner Liz at Luckily she was very forgiving as she seemed to have some of the same characteristics as me and our cards arrived around the same time. Here is hers.

Aussi, en Avril j’ai fait partie du “Project Spectrum Postcard Swap” (échange de carte postale) Juste à temps j’ai envoyé ma carte postale de couleur à theme à ma copaine assignée, Liz Par un coup de chance elle était le même que moi et sa carte postale a arrive à le même temps. Voilà.
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Well what will May bring? May is for Greens. I have dyed some Portland Fleece that was lying around which looks less green in the photo than in reality. Will I get round to spinning it?

Et Mai? Le couleur est vert. J’ai teinte des fibres de les moutons “Portland” de ma cachette. L’image n’est pas vrai, en réalité c’est plus vert. Est-ce que je le filerai?

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I have a single skein of this rather yummy but unnamed colourway in Colinette Skye. I wonder if this is enough for a small felted bag? Skye felts beautifully and I have an idea for a bag knitted in the domino style. I bought the Vivian Hoxbro book Domino Knitting after Yvonne showed me the technique at the 'Knit and Relax' area of a craft show in Olympia recently. Thanks Yvonne!
J’ai un seul echeveau de “Colinette Skye”. Le couleur est sans nom mais je l’aime – miam, miam. Je me demande si j’ai assez pour un petit sac feutre? Le laine ‘Skye’ fait le bon feutre et j’ai un idée pour un sac tricoté à la domino (après le livre Domino Knitting de Vivian Hoxbro). Merci, Yvonne, qui m’expliqué dernièrement à un exposition à Londres.
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There will be more green dying as well as I also joined the Project Spectrum dyed sock yarn swap. So watch this space.

Aussi, j’ai fait partie du “Project Spectrum dyed sock wool yarn swap” (échange du laineà chausette teinté). Donc, lis ce blog d’affichage pour plus de details.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Neverending circles

"Je vais essayer de faire ce blog en anglais ainsi qu’en français. Je m’excuse d’avance si mon français n’est pas au top - laisse-moi un p’tit mot dans ‘comments’ pour me corriger. Merci, bonne lecture et surtout bon knitting !"

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I was amazed at how simple the moebius cast on described in Cat Bordhi's book "A Treasury of Magical Knitting" was. She claims she can do it behind her back and whilst that requires a level of dexterity I can only aspire to, it was easy. However in my usual instant gratification manner I was cavalier about the guage and thought 160 stitches 'seemed about right'! It was impossible to judge the size whilst knitting as the circular needle is coiled in a moebius so it was a surprise when I cast off to find I had more of a scarf than a cowl! Still it looked fine on my friend Maureen when we wrapped it round twice. So soft too - this is a mixture of a soft eyelash and a shiny boucle yarn. I will try again with fewer stitches next time - a lot fewer stitches.

Je surprenais que le 'Monter Moebius' de le livre "A Treasury of Magical Knitting" de Cat Bordhi était trop facile. Elle dit qu'elle peux le faire derrière son dos. Je n'ai pas la même dextérité mais il était facile. Toute fois, comme d'habitude j'avais besoin de satisfaction immédiatement et je n'ai pas vérifié mon échantillon. Je montais 160 mailles. C'était impossible pour savoir le taille pendant que je tricote parce que l'aiguille circulaire était enroulé. J'avais étonné quand j'ai rebattu les mailles. J'ai eu une écharpe pas un capuchon! Quand même nous l'avons enroulé deux fois sur le cou de mon amie, Maureen, elle n'était pas mal. Le fil est très doux, un mélange d'une fil bouclé brillant et un fil fourrure couleur arc-en-ciel.

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Monday, May 01, 2006

On the needles

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This one of the projects on my needles at the moment. It is of course Clapotis. The yarn is Colinette Prism. The colourway is supposed to be Jamboree but it is not like the usual Jamboree colourway, I have other skeins in the same colourway that look completely different. Ah the joys of handpainted yarn. I didn't pay much attention to the guage as I wasn't fussed about what size it would turn out (within reason).