Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sweater Without Shoulders

Last week I finished the second sleeve (to the underarm join) and put the whole sweater aside to "think about it." I had to 1. figure out how many stitches to put onto waste yarn for the underarm and 2. put all the pieces onto a long cable needle. (Blah.)

After letting myself work on some quick projects, I had an evening I could put aside to work out problem 1. Using EZ's percentage system, some measurements, some recommendations from a pattern, and experience, I came up with a number. (18 sts per side, if you're curious.)

2. I slid all the remaining stitches onto a cable needle. (No more bamboo straights :sad face:) I managed to put all the pieces on in the right order and noticed right away that one of the sleeves was inside out. (So back off and then on with that piece with a flip in there to make it right.)

And then started knitting. It's a lot of stitches on one row! I've done about one inch and have one more to go of straight shaping before any of the decreasing begins.

Today I was just confident enough about the shape and size that I sewed up the sleeve and side seams. (Battling inside my head were the thoughts that I would have to take out all that sewing if it was wrong and that I wouldn't be able to tell how it fit unless I had it sewn up. Catch-22.)

But then tonight, I "made" Troy try it on. It was an easy sell because he was excited to see it starting to look like an actual sweater.
Obviously it needs a lot of blocking--and shoulders--but it looks like it is basically fitting. Good news!

Troy was concerned about the length until I explained that I would still be adding either a ribbing or hem to the bottom. He wants about two more inches, so I will probably be doing a rib. I'm thinking 3x1 so that it won't actually pull in that much and then it will integrate right into the cable columns on the front.

The sleeves also need some length. Not as much, however, as my worst fears led me to believe. You can see the length on the outside of the sleeve is pretty good. On the inside, it doesn't look nearly as long but that's because that stitch contracts vertically more than the cable column. Blocking should fix that right up. In fact, I may block the sweater before deciding how to finish the cuff of the sleeves. [Note to self: make a note of that.]

You will not be surprised to hear that this project has ceased to be portable. Every time I leave the house now, I have to debate about what to take with. (A pain for me because I am usually leaving with -2 minutes to spare.)

One option is the lace scarf that I started during vacation in July and haven't worked on much. I'm struggling to find needles that will work well for it. It also still takes a little more concentration than I can give "on the go."

For a while I was taking the quick projects mentioned above, but those are done now.

I'm stalled on my Christmas surprise projects--I'm reconsidering the whole idea, as a matter of fact.

And that has meant I have actually made progress on the girl's pinwheel cardi! (The poor neglected thing.) I finally got the loopy I-cord edging finished (joy and bliss) and Friday at lunch started the sleeves. Alas, when I switched from the cable needle to dpns, I apparently grabbed the wrong size. The dpns are too small and so I'll have to redo all the work I did on Friday. (But the loopy edge is still done. Done, I tell you.)

I have a new sock pattern that I want to try, but I'm sort of saving it for my travels to the AQS Quilt Show in Des Moines at the end of the month.

Meanwhile every trip out the door means some decision making and gathering of tools and materials. It's exhausting!

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