The Forever Sleeve

I’ve been knitting a blouse for my mom, based on a pattern in a Knitting Traditions issue – the Haubergeon Sweater. This sweater has a plain body, with a lovely crisscrossing cable pattern on the sleeves that caught my mom’s eye.

The color that my mom prefers was not available in the suggested yarn weight, and we bought a thinner yarn. From my previous experience with mom, I’ve realized it’s better to knit top-down for her and keep making her try the project frequently. Since this sweater is knit bottom-up, I was going to have to change the knitting direction anyway, so adjusting stitch and row count for a different gauge shouldn’t be too problematic.

Once I read through the pattern and understood it, converting it was definitely not much of a hassle, taking into account the inevitable differences from turning a bottom-up pattern into a top-down one. (Especially the visual differences between increases and decreases.) What I didn’t expect was how long the project would go on – the cable pattern has crisscrosses in every row, and with the thinner yarn, it’s taking forever! I’ve now reached the armhole, and have continued with the sleeves, because I certainly don’t want to tackle the body first and end up having to come back to these cables. πŸ˜‰

Haubergeon Sweater - Sleeve

The looks-beautiful but takes-forever sleeve…
The picture is a bit blurry, but it accurately represents how I start seeing the sleeve after a few rows of knitting. πŸ™‚

Since November has brought with it a new section of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL, I’m going to switch over to it while continuing to knit a row or two of the sleeves at a time.

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The Center Pull Catastrophe

How does one get along with center pull? It has never played nice with me. And after my latest tangle disaster, I’m not in a hurry to re-experiment with it anytime soon.

I’d knit the body of my current textured cardigan project till the waist, and I decided to switch to the sleeves for a much-needed change. Instead of knitting them one at a time, I thought I’d try the center-pull method “one more time” and knit one sleeve with yarn from the outside like always, and another with yarn from the center.

Textured Cardigan - progress

This is where I was a few days ago.

I’d knit only a few rounds when I noticed I just couldn’t pull the yarn from the center anymore. It had gotten tangled on the inside! I thought I could try winding the yarn from the outside into another ball until I reach the tangle, but I was wrong…

Long story short, I spent an entire afternoon untangling a horrible mess, even after I’d snipped away the yarn from the knitting. I was so irritated that I thought of just dumping it in the trash, but no, there would be no wastage, not when I’d even bought an extra skein for this project because it looked like I’d need more yarn. (And lucky me, they were able to send the new skein from the same batch as the old ones.) So I persevered. At the end of it, I wasn’t even sure if it was worth it. I’m hoping it was. πŸ™‚

After a few days of break to get over the trauma, I’m back on the project. Next time I work on two sleeves at a time, I’m just going to use two balls of yarn, even split a skein in two if it’s the last skein. I’ve concluded that for me, a center pull is just not worth the risk of bald patches on my head from all the hair-pulling. πŸ˜‰

And if you prefer center pull, a tip of my hat to you. πŸ™‚

So it’s My Fair Cardi!

My next project is a sweater for my sis. We’d talked about what she’s looking for in it, and she’d said she wanted some eyelets in its bottom half, and a solid top half with some pattern. So naturally, I thought about the Feather and Fan pattern, since my fellow knitting/crochet blogger, Kat, had just talked about her Sage Remedy Top, and I thought the pattern there resembled it.

So I looked up the pattern to refresh my memory, and I found that what I’d always thought of as Feather and Fan pattern is actually the Old Shale pattern! Feather and Fan turns out to be a completely different pattern, and Sarah points out the differences in a recent post.

Sarah’s post also mentions projects that use Old Shale pattern, and I came upon My Fair Cardi. It’s a pretty simple design, and I’d thought of exactly that for the bottom half, so I showed it to my sis. She thought the cardigan looked good as is, with Old Shale in both halves. Even the shape of the neck was to her liking. Alright then, problem solved! I could just use this pattern.

The cardigan is a bottom-up raglan construction, and is knit in pieces — sleeves, front, and back — all the way, and the pieces are joined raglan-style in the very end. Um, when I’m knitting a bottom-up raglan cardigan, I like to knit the body as one piece, knit the sleeves, and join all the pieces at the armhole and knit them together. So that’s a slight deviation from the pattern for me — other than the usual deviations to account for changes in measurements to conform to my (or in this case, my sister’s) preferences.

So I knitted a swatch, and readied my excel worksheet to track my pattern deviations, and started on the project. Since Old Shale is mostly stockinette stitches, it’s knitting up fast, compared to my previous chock-full-of-tiny-cables project. Exciting times! πŸ˜‰

My Fair Cardi progress - sleeve

I’m knitting the sleeve flat, a departure from my previous raglan projects. I think I’m beginning to like the distinct seam it results in when the edges are joined, instead of the faux ‘purl column’ seam that I add when knitting sleeves in the round. (And there’s a picot edge! I like that edge.)

Waves – no yarn-chicken game?

Waves WIP - sleeves are doneThe sleeves are done (at least the flat knitting part) and there’s some yarn remaining for a nice little button band. I’ve knit the absolute minimum dimensions that I wanted for the sleeves, and since there’s no chance I was going to compromise with them, it’ll have to be the button band that will need to be accommodating. I think it’ll knit up wide enough, but I’ll still measure the yarn and figure out if I want to modify the style slightly to work with the amount of yarn left.

In any case, I don’t think there’ll be enough left for seaming up and setting in the sleeves, but since that’ll all be on the inside of the garment, I think I’ll find some other similarly colored yarn for it. Or maybe use some thread — I’ve never done that before…

Ooh, I might end up not playing the yarn chicken game for this project, after all… That is, if I ignore the seaming part! πŸ™‚ Fingers crossed…

A slow month

Well, April seems to have been a bit slow as far as knitting goes. I managed to complete, in the eleventh hour, this month’s self-imposed commitments for the jewelry course I’m taking, but I don’t have any commitments for my knitting. It’s summer and super-hot, and not really ideal knitting weather. πŸ™‚

That doesn’t mean there’s been zero progress.

Waves - WIP, sleeves

I haven’t fully completed the body of the wavy cardigan I’m knitting for my mom, but I started on the sleeves. You see, I think I’ll end up playing yarn chicken when this project nears completion, so I want to maximize my chances of winning. πŸ˜€ This is the first time ever that I’m knitting both sleeves at once. I’ll knit them long enough to look good with the body, finish the body, and then it’s button band time. Let’s see how good my calculations are, and how well I can use the yarn.

Fingers crossed. πŸ™‚

Do-over pullover progress

The do-over of the old frogged sweater that I’d talked about earlier is coming along nicely. Like I wanted to, I changed the cable pattern for the new version. I’d used a uniformly twisting basic cable earlier — knit a few rows and then make a 3×3 twist on an RS row. This time I’m using a more slowly twisting cable — in every RS row, twist the same 3 stitches to the right by one stitch until the moved stitches reach the end of the cable column, then rinse and repeat by twisting the 3 leftmost stitches to the right again.

Here’s how one of the sleeves looks —

Do-over pullover

Do-over pullover — slowly twisting cable. The ‘edges’ are purl columns with a decorative seed stitch column amongst them.

Cables in the old one —

Frogged sweater

Frogged sweater — regular cable. (No close-ups because the sweater doesn’t exist anymore!)

I also didn’t turn the pattern around on the other sleeve (I did that in the old one), so the sleeves aren’t mirror images of each other. Over the years, I’ve found that I seem to like cabled sleeves better when both of them have the same pattern.

The hare and the tortoise

Yeah, except… there’s no hare, just the tortoise. πŸ˜› My knitting has been crawling along lately. I’ve either been immersed in other super-mundane things, or I’ve just been plain lazy. In any case, this is the progress I’ve made on the sleeves of the cardigan so far —

Slowest sleeve so far

For a while, I wore the piece as a wrist cuff and pretended I was a superhero, but now that it’s (sloooowly but surely) growing longer, I’ll have to go back to being normal. At least until I begin with the other sleeve. Hmm, now maybe that thought’ll make me get off my lethargic butt and finish this one.

Up, up and away!