Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Brought down by a sleeve??

If you're not a knitter you might want to skip this post. It's full of jargon which I may or may not explain. Instead, why don't you go look at this for a while? His stuff is pretty cool.

The sleeve of this gansey is giving me more trouble than the whole rest of the sweater combined did. I have unknitted, recounted, reknitted, recounted, sworn, and unknitted again so many times I'm afraid my yarn's gonna break. I unknit rather than rip out (called "frogging" by those who use the lingo--for "rippit, rippit, rippit"--adorable, no?) because I can't guarantee finding all the stitches I need to put back on my needles when I get it down to the point where I want to start over.

It shows in the picture and the drawing that the pattern on the sleeve mimics the one on the body, and that it stops a few inches before the end. I'm supposed to go back to stockinette stitch for a while before I end with some ribbing at the wrist. She never says this in the instructions. If I follow the instructions the way they're written, I'd have pattern all the way to the ribbing. Since she doesn't say how many to make, I don't really trust the line drawing (it's written for all sizes), and the photo doesn't show the sleeve very well, I have arbitrarily come up with the number 10 for chevrons on the sleeve.

Also? When I finally decrease the stitches enough that I have as many as she wants me to before I change to smaller needles (she says to decrease 2 stitches every 5 rounds for the size I'm making), I have 1 3/4 more inches of sleeve than I should. I'm torn about how to fix this. I could either go back to the tenth chevron and decrease more often while doing the stockinette stitch or I could take it all the way back to the end of the underarm gusset and decrease 2 stitches every 4 rows, the way she instructs for the smallest size. I think I should probably do the latter. It would create a gentler line than the former, which might have this funky falling-off-too-quick look to it. But it means taking out an awful lot of what I've been doing for the past week and a half.

I realize that for a lot of you this all blahblahblah yarnspeke and I apologize for that. I'm thinking with my fingers, here, trying to set out in print what my options are for what to do next. Whatever I choose, sleeve number 2 should be a lot easier. I hope.

Oh, hey! For Marnilla, who wanted the pattern I'm using--I found out that for $5.50, Interweave press will let you download the Muted Musician Gansey pattern from their website. Click right here if you're interested. And good luck with the blasted sleeves!

Edited to add: I got tired of unknitting, so I'm only taking it back to the tenth chevron and then decreasing faster. I'll see how that looks before I decide to go aaaaaalllll the way back to the end of the gusset. That was a lot of work I don't really want to redo if I can avoid it.

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