Slowly but steadily…

I had hoped to have a finished sweater by Thanksgiving, but time seems to have been conspiring against me. I had also hoped to have posted several weeks ago, but daylight seems to have been conspiring against me there. In fact, time seems to be conspiring against me in general, as I have become convinced that instead of a 24-hour day, I’ve only had a 22-hour day to work with….

I have managed, however, to finish off the first ball of yarn in the sweater body re-do. Nice and wrinkly and I really hope my gauge hasn’t changed. (Maybe I should check that…)

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I actually knit quite a few rows this weekend, as, for the first time in forever, I had a chance to sit and just knit. I’m hoping for more free time in the coming weeks (I may be dreaming here, it’s the holiday season) so that maybe I can finish by the New Year. It’s been a mild fall, but I will definitely be wanting a new sweater come January!

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On progress

Well, the blue sweater is looking somewhat like this these days:

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OK, it’s not quite that bad. I have two completed sleeves.

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And there is a bit of the body started. But…as you can see, quite a bit of it got ripped!

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If you recall, the sweater pretty much didn’t fit lengthwise at all. The sleeves actually turned out to be a really quick fix–there were enough “keep knitting straight” rows between the last increase and the shoulder shaping that I was able to take the extra length entirely out of that portion without messing with the increase rate. Phew.

The body turned out a little more complex. I spent a couple evenings playing with the numbers until I got something that would a) add a little length to the total b)raise the v-neck and c)not screw up the shoulder shaping. And then I spent another evening charting it using the drafting software we use for work. So I have a perfectly to-scale representation. That bit  may have been a little much…

At any rate, all the number-play determined the unfortunate truth that I’d need to rip back almost to the ribbing. Sigh. Other than that little setback, the knitting is actually going pretty well. The only “difficult” part is the cable. Thanks to the nifty little number chart I made while reconfiguring the new cable slant rate, I don’t even have to pay close attention to the pattern; I can just look at the chart and the row number of the cable pattern to determine if I’m on a slant row or if it’s time to start neck or shoulder shaping. It’s perfect TV knitting, and so has been assigned to the morning pre-work rotation.

Speaking of work, I think we were all a little lost at work this afternoon: the last major immediate deadline came and went without incident! Sure we’re still busy, but the next big project deadline (that I’m aware of) is the first of February. Very exciting to have a little breather–it’s just enough that I’ll be able to take a week off in October. I wasn’t able to use my second week of vacation this summer, so I’m really looking forward to this. I’m already dreaming of all the projects I could start…of course, maybe I should concentrate on finishing a few first!

You'd think I'd be getting somewhere…

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Looking at the picture, you’d think I’d have an almost-finished sweater, now wouldn’t you? And I did have an almost finished sweater, with nicely seemed sleeves and shoulders, only a bit of neck band to go. But it wasn’t right.

That’s where it was left off last spring. Lace was more intriguing, less frustrating, and the advent of hot summer weather discouraged sweater work at any rate. But as is bound to happen in the midst of a very long slog of knitted edging, I finally couldn’t take project monogamy any more and finally pulled the sweater out of hiding. I tried it on, eyed it critically, and determined the following.

  1. The sleeves are way too long. The pattern is designed for long sleeves, but I know they’ll just annoy me. They must be shortened.
  2. The v-neck is lower than I would like it. Way lower. Much lower than shown in the pattern pictures. My row gauge probably doesn’t match the pattern’s (I generally only focus on stitch gauge). I considered just shortening the sweater and raising the neck by removing the top portion of the shoulder bits but a)this would probably make the sleeves not fit in properly and b) see next…
  3. I think this would look better just a tad bit longer. Right now the sweater’s doing that bad ‘hit at the widest part of the hips thing,’ and I think overall a little more length would both add to the drapey feel of the pattern and maybe just plain look better.

So I did the only logical thing–I switched from knitting unending lace edging to removing seams. Which may have been more time-consuming than sewing them in the first place. I had already woven in the ends, and they proved nearly impossible to find. But now it’s apart, and I can begin to rip. I need to do some math first to determine how far to rip back for both sleeves and body, the new increase rate for the sleeves, and how to adjust the cable traveling rate to keep the v-neck centered on the body. I may be ripping quite a bit (especially since I’d like to add length). I also have to go digging for my spare yarn. I believe I still have two untouched balls (I hope), plus the partial still attached to the neck band. This project could prove the big fall challenge, but I’ve decided it’s the next ‘monogamous’ project.

As for the current one…that never-ending edging? Well, there’s some good news. For some not-so-great reasons, flex time has ceased at work. Previously I worked 8-1/2 days Monday-Thursday so I could get out early on Fridays. Now we’re all required to work 8-5, Monday-Friday. I’m still getting up at the same time however, so I’ve had an extra 1/2 hour in the mornings. After going months where, at best, I knit for a few hours on the weekend, I’m suddenly knitting every day again. It’s just enough that I can get a bit of edging done (usually most of a repeat) each day without losing my mind at the dullness of repetition. I’ll be ready for blocking sooner than I expected!

You’d think I’d be getting somewhere…

DSCN8436

Looking at the picture, you’d think I’d have an almost-finished sweater, now wouldn’t you? And I did have an almost finished sweater, with nicely seemed sleeves and shoulders, only a bit of neck band to go. But it wasn’t right.

That’s where it was left off last spring. Lace was more intriguing, less frustrating, and the advent of hot summer weather discouraged sweater work at any rate. But as is bound to happen in the midst of a very long slog of knitted edging, I finally couldn’t take project monogamy any more and finally pulled the sweater out of hiding. I tried it on, eyed it critically, and determined the following.

  1. The sleeves are way too long. The pattern is designed for long sleeves, but I know they’ll just annoy me. They must be shortened.
  2. The v-neck is lower than I would like it. Way lower. Much lower than shown in the pattern pictures. My row gauge probably doesn’t match the pattern’s (I generally only focus on stitch gauge). I considered just shortening the sweater and raising the neck by removing the top portion of the shoulder bits but a)this would probably make the sleeves not fit in properly and b) see next…
  3. I think this would look better just a tad bit longer. Right now the sweater’s doing that bad ‘hit at the widest part of the hips thing,’ and I think overall a little more length would both add to the drapey feel of the pattern and maybe just plain look better.

So I did the only logical thing–I switched from knitting unending lace edging to removing seams. Which may have been more time-consuming than sewing them in the first place. I had already woven in the ends, and they proved nearly impossible to find. But now it’s apart, and I can begin to rip. I need to do some math first to determine how far to rip back for both sleeves and body, the new increase rate for the sleeves, and how to adjust the cable traveling rate to keep the v-neck centered on the body. I may be ripping quite a bit (especially since I’d like to add length). I also have to go digging for my spare yarn. I believe I still have two untouched balls (I hope), plus the partial still attached to the neck band. This project could prove the big fall challenge, but I’ve decided it’s the next ‘monogamous’ project.

As for the current one…that never-ending edging? Well, there’s some good news. For some not-so-great reasons, flex time has ceased at work. Previously I worked 8-1/2 days Monday-Thursday so I could get out early on Fridays. Now we’re all required to work 8-5, Monday-Friday. I’m still getting up at the same time however, so I’ve had an extra 1/2 hour in the mornings. After going months where, at best, I knit for a few hours on the weekend, I’m suddenly knitting every day again. It’s just enough that I can get a bit of edging done (usually most of a repeat) each day without losing my mind at the dullness of repetition. I’ll be ready for blocking sooner than I expected!