Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pioneer Progress (and Regress, I'm Sorry to Say)

I've had to do some backtracking.

I tried on the Pioneer this evening and decided it was too tight under the arms. It also seems short even though my row gauge is right on. By short, I mean that there wasn't enough length in the raglan shaping to give the ease I needed under the arm, and the low V neck is not very low. The way it looks now I could wear this shirt without a cami or tank. That's ok with me, but it's certainly not how it's designed. I'd wonder if I'm making a size too small except that the width around seems to fit so well. I guess this is why I try things on and get to make adjustments.

Before doing any adjustments, however, I had to take out about 14 rows to get back to where the sleeves are put onto waste string and the front and back start getting knit together at the side seams. I could just tink one stitch at a time (tiresome) or frog it boldly (risky with all those yarn overs and knowing where to stop). With the shortcomings of those two methods in mind, I decided to try something else.

I took my needle and picked up the stitches of what I believed was the last row before the front and back were joined:
Can you see the cable needle in there? It's right below the red curved line. [Click on the pic for a larger view.] I still have just a few stitches to pick up on the left side.

And how did I pick them up? I just consistently picked up one of the top loops of a row from the wrong side:
So in the above pic, I was putting the needle through the loops marked with the black curves. I did pretty well...considering. With the twisted cable stitches, yarn overs, and going from the different pieces of the front, back, and sleeves, I did not exactly stay on the same row all across.

To put it bluntly, I made a big mess. Of course, just raveling* 14 rows from two different balls will make a huge tangled mess (which it did), but I also had sections where I was 2 or 3 rows off and had to "knit up" quite a number of stitches in a row. And fix some of the cables.

But, as I say, knitting is not for the faint of heart, and this was nothing that a concentrated 30 minutes couldn't fix. I'm still glad I didn't tink it, and I think if it were a straight patch of stocking or garter stitch this method would work great.

After I got everything back on the needles and knit a row to straighten out all the stitches, and cast on a few extra stitches in the underarm (my current solution, assuming it works), I took a picture so you could see:
I know it looks small and wrinkled, but can you make out the sleeves on either side? And the front shaping coming to a point in the front? And of course you're looking at the wrong side of the back and you can see the vertical stripes made by the purl stitches on either side of the twist columns.

So, ok, there's a progress report. Sorry I mostly had bad news but you can be happy you're just reading about it and not living it.

Now I must get back to knitting and see if can regain some ground on the 14 rows I just lost. (Wait, I knit one already, so only 13 more to go...)

-Clickety clack!

*According to, ravel and unravel mean the same thing. And given a choice, I'll take the least adorned version of a word any time. As a bonus of looking this up, I found out that the root of ravel is Dutch from an obsolete word [ravel] meaning loose thread. [Go, go, pride in Dutch heritage.]

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