For a while I was steaming along on my newest project, Sparkling. I managed to finish the back and knit both fronts:
And then I got stalled. There are a number of reasons for this. First, as I reported before, I am having troubles with my shoulders and back and this has meant less knitting. I have a great physiotherapist and have started pilates as well and I hope to get that problem sorted soon.
The second problem is with the project itself. I talk a lot in here about how important it is to knit to your measurements and not blindly follow the pattern. Also, about the importance of knitting a swatch and then (perhaps even more importantly) paying attention to what the swatch is telling you. I should perhaps practice as I preach: I kept merrily knitting away on this, even though I had a few niggling doubts.
My swatch clearly gave me a gauge of 23 x 48 in the bubble stitch. The pattern calls for a gauge of 23 x 52-60 (yes, that’s what it says!). There must be a great deal of variation in how much the bubble stitch compresses the row gauge between knitters. Anyway, I didn’t think about the row gauge as I made the decreases for the arms and for the V-neck, and that affects the slope. It also means that the armscythes are quite deep as I was counting rows rather than inches; they are a good 9.5″ deep unblocked.
If the only problem was that the armscythes were too deep, I could just pull out a few rows at the top of each piece (because this is knit bottom-up). However, I am also worried that there are too many stitches decreased at the arms and at too long a slope. Just look at the above photo: it doesn’t look right to me. The shoulder is too narrow and the armhole keeps getting wider and wider. The annoying thing is that this was bothering me the whole time I was knitting, and yet I never stopped to think things through. Also, I never went back and checked the pattern or the photos. I realise now that in my head the sleeve was shaped a bit differently than in the pattern photo (for one thing I thought it had wide ¾ sleeves) and so I was ignoring the voice in my head because I also had a false picture of the sweater to go with it.
So, the question now is: what to do? Do I painfully rip back to the beginning of the armholes and re-knit the top portions, or do I blaze on ahead and put my faith in blocking? Or do I just rip back a few rows to adjust the length of the armscythe and not worry about the width of the shoulder? Also, do I knit the sleeves as written, or do I go with the picture in my head? I started one sleeve but it feels pretty narrow, so maybe a re-think is in order in any case. Until I decide I am stalled.
I must say that the situation isn’t as bad as it sounds. It could still be that it is just my head messing with me. What I need to do is take out my tape measure and carefully make measurements and spend some time thinking about the shape and construction of the sleeves and armscythes. I plan to pull out Shirley Paden’s book Knitwear Design Workshop, and look at her algorithms for sleeve and armhole shapings and then make some comparisons. This takes concentration, however, and I have been more in the knitting-blindly-along and not in the think-about-what-you-are-doing mode of knitting lately.
Regardless of what I decide, I must say that this fabric is gorgeous! I just love it! It is so light and fluffy, and it has great texture. I love both the inside and the outside of the fabric (you can see both in this close-up of the v-neck shaping):
I am having trouble with WordPress today, and with my laptop as well. I have now written this post at least 5 times, and used three different browsers and two laptops. I am ready to throw my hands up in the air about now and declare defeat. Clearly my knitting is not the only thing that has stalled.
I hope that your knitting (and everything else) is not stalled and that you are enjoying a peaceful Sunday!