Monday, February 25, 2008

The Return of the Hybrid

I take the thundering lack of interest in the last few posts to indicate you are waiting with bated breath for an update on the Now Shirt Yoke Saddle Shoulder Hybrid Sweater. My life is but to serve. So, where were we?

We left our intrepid heroine in the throes of another decrease disaster. This one discovered when she realized her decreases weren't working out with the symmetry she expected. Note the failure to get matching stitch counts between the front and back and the left sleeve and right sleeve. See Diagram 1.

She hoped to rectify this by the simple readjustment of possibly misplaced stitch markers. Despite her increasingly desperate attempts to count in groups of 20, this approach failed. The significance of this led to a more complete count and the painful reality exposed by the math recorded in Figure 2. On the right, the stitch count I should have had. On the left, the actual count. Fiddling with stitch markers was not going to fix this.

Neither did having a go with a crochet hook at the joins between the sleeves and the body pieces. A diligent search for long ago dropped and forgotten stitches was similarly unproductive.

On the plus side, Knitting Workshop had somewhat more specific instructions which, if I frogged this first nine rows of the yoke, I would be able to incorporate. The fact that the nine rows represented over 3000 stitches, well, let's just not go there. The picture of our heroine as a puddle on the floor is not a pretty one.

Frogging also let me change the stitches set aside on waste yarn. I had opted at first to include the first stitch of the round as part of the held stitches. I think I had some muddled notion of keeping the transition from 3 pieces to 1 a subtle one. It was not muddled, it was just plain bad.

I won't go into the grief when I found, after frogging, realigning, replacing and counting, counting, counting, that my decreases were still not symmetrical. This time it really was a dropped stitch (the, in my mind, now infamous first stitch of the round), perhaps better characterized as the stitch I somehow failed to knit up at all, and a miscount. An attempt with the crochet hook failed miserably. So did the next one. And the next. I finally bit the bullet and pulled out a set of DPN's and did some real re-knitting a la what I learned on the BSJ. It worked this time, too.

I've tamed the cephalopodic tendencies by pulling the sleeves inside out and containing them in the body of the sweater. I've got stitch markers to the nth degree, but this time they reflect the construction of the sweater. Now I am a mere 5 sets of decreases away from where things should get really interesting: forming the shirt yoke.

Good thing, too. I've set myself a deadline. I'm sending Himself and John off to the UK over Easter Break to see Clare and do a little father-son bonding. But that's another story.

1 comment:

diane h said...

I feel your pain, but I know there is no other way for you to knit this sweater (I mean, keeping the stitch count, decrease, etc., accurate and on point). But I want to say I LOVE that you are pulling the sleeves wrong side out! Why didn't I ever think of that???