Friday, October 2, 2009

The Purple Sweater Saga

You know when you are knitting something that you would really rather not be knitting, it seems to go on and on and on, well that would be this sweater. To start with I had trouble getting the right gauge so I ended up knitting for the small size with the intent on ending up with the finished pieces measuring for the large size. This is not a problem, it just means you have to remember to cast on for the small size and knit for the length of the large and so on. The back knitted up without a problem. It knit up a tiny bit bigger than originally intended but not enough to worry about. The front knit up quickly since you only knit 5" and then you start the neck shaping. I worked on the right front first and it took me a few days then I moved on to the left front and worked on it for two days while working at the booth at the fair. They both seemed to knit up fine. So far so good. The next step was to join the fronts to the back using the 3 needle cast off. This is were things got a bit tricky. I have learned the hard way the importance of always double checking you have your pieces on the correct side with the right sides facing. So when I was figuring out which front piece was the left and right, I laid them on top of one another to find which edge was the shaped side and which side was straight. That was when I realized that the front I had knit last was a good inch narrower than the first piece. To say that I was shocked was an understatement. I counted the stitches thinking I had cast on the wrong number of stitches. No, they both had the same number. After a few more attempts of matching the fronts together and getting the same result, I did what I think any other knitter would do, silently had a melt down at the thought of reknitting one of the pieces and quickly folded it all up and put it away until the next day and worked on my sock. I pulled it out again the next night hoping that by some miracle things would work out fine this time. I matched the pieces up again but this time I pinned both sides together and they matched, with no stretching. Well except for the ribbing but it was much closer. Go figure. How is this possible? I have no idea. All I know is that they appeared to be the same size now and that was good enough for me. I unpinned the pieces and moved on to joining the seams. The bind off itself was no problem until I noticed that my stitch count was not even on both needles. Did that set off any warning bells? Nope. Continued on to the end of the row and then realized that I had dropped a stitch half way across the row. Sigh. Pulling out the 3 needle cast off isn't the end of the world, just a little awkward when you only have two hands to deal with three needles and two lives stitches each time you pull out a stitch. This actually went ok and I picked up the stitch with out dropping any other stitches or getting them twisted. Once that was fixed and the other shoulder seam completed all I had to do was pick up 130 stitches around what would become the arm hole and start knitting the sleeve. I lost count of how many times I picked up stitches only to have too many or too few. I know, I know, I should have taken the time to mark the half way point of the arm hole and then divided each half in half again and marked that and then divided the number of stitches to find out how many should be picked up within each section. That would have been the smart and faster way to do it and I will probably do it for the next sleeve but for this one I thought I could eye ball it and I would be fine and I was....eventually. So for now, all seems on track with the sleeve. I am hoping that by the end of the weekend the sleeves will be finished leaving only the boarder to knit.

While downloading the picture I gathered enough nerve to measure the fronts again. I went in search of a tape measure or a ruler and couldn't find any. Should I take that as a bad sign. Please, cross your fingers for me :)

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