Twisted stitches, lazy afternoon

Since returning from my knitting retreat I have been putting all of my knitting energy into the Hirne pullover. It is a relaxing knit, despite some sizing anxieties. If you recall, I dithered at the beginning about which size to make, initially opting for a Size 7 (47″) for a fair bit of ease, and then ripping out the ribbing and re-starting for a Size 5 (43.5″) after determining my gauge was a bit off. I calculated that the Size 5 at my gauge would give me a size 6 (45.75″) for about 2-3 inches of ease. I decided to knit back and forth instead of in the round, mostly to avoid a steek.

The initial knitting was just lots of stockinette back and forth, and very soothing. I have been thinking a lot about colour recently, especially bright autumn hues, and so it felt a bit odd to be knitting in this soft beige-grey shade. Then Doug and I stumbled on some giant mushrooms growing wild, and I realised that this is part of an autumn palette as well.

I hit some trouble when I started the sleeves. I worried that the sleeves would be too narrow, and thought about re-engineering the pattern so that I knit the sleeves wider. But I had picked this pattern in part to avoid having to do any recalculating (because my post-covid brain is still mush) so I decided to just knit it exactly to pattern and hope for the best.

When I got to the knitting retreat, I had finished one sleeve, and spent the first morning knitting half of the second sleeve. However, I could not help feeling that they were going to be way too tight. Here, you can see the finished sleeve and a half against the background of Sofi, my Hanne Falkenberg cardigan, which I had taken up with me (you can find my post on the finished garment here.) Sofi has a nice standard fit through the sleeve.

I then tried on the first sleeve and was told “It is too tight.” I was pretty despondent, and decided that instead of ripping out the sleeves, I would continue on the second sleeve but increase the rate of, and the number of, increases. I finished the second sleeve and then decided I didn’t like either one; the first seemed too tight all the way up, and the second was too tight at the wrist and forearm and then increased too quickly so that it looked wonky. I switched at that point to knitting other things, and left the sleeve decision until I got home.

Doug convinced me that the first sleeve was better and that it would block out. This meant that I had to rip back much of the second sleeve and re-knit it to match the first.

I think I must have been cognitively lower than I thought at the retreat because I spent so much time there knitting the sleeve on DPNs and fretting because there were too many stitches on the needles and they kept falling off, and it never once occurred to me to just put the stitches on a 16″ needle. Argh!

Once I decided to stop fretting about the sleeves, the knitting has been plain sailing. We were supposed to visit some friends this afternoon and it got cancelled. Doug is having bad headaches again, so I have been sitting on the couch with a pile of warm woolly knitting on my lap, watching cookery shows, drinking cocoa, and knitting happily away. I’ve started the twisted stitch pattern on the yoke, and it is really fun. It is “just one more row” kind of knitting.

As long as I don’t think about whether the sleeves will be too tight everything will be fine. That’s my story and I am sticking with it.

4 thoughts on “Twisted stitches, lazy afternoon

  1. Beautiful pattern ! I hope you ate these mushrooms, I don’t know their name in English, but they are delicious (not the stem).

  2. Your sweater really looks very pretty so I hope it blocks out just as you want it. I chuckled at the expression “bad headache”. That’s what I called mine. I don’t think I get actual migraines (although my mom did and my sister does sooooo) but I always called them “bad headaches”. My solution was eating M&Ms. I didn’t care if it was psychological, I was just glad it helped. Fortunately now that I’m retired I rarely get them anymore.

  3. Your sweater looks lovely! Nice soft coloring, and the twisted stitch pattern is interesting so far. I’m looking forward to seeing it done! So sorry that Doug is having headaches and that you are still feeling a bit under the weather. Hopefully resting and recuperating with help you both!

  4. I find my gauge on sleeves is always tighter and so I always go up a needle size on sleeves and you can never tell when it’s finished. Have you checked the gauge to see if you are tighter on the sleeves? It’s a lovely shade and definitely reminiscent of the mushrooms growing in a circle in our lawn.

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