sweater knitting

If at first you don't succeed...

You might have spotted this WIP before as I’ve shared it online a few times now. Sadly though, despite much ripping and a moderate amount of swearing it still remains a WIP rather than a finished object.

In my planner for the end of July I had optimistically pencilled in “share Soldotna resolution”. This was going to be a perky, uplifting little blog post about how I overcame my issues with the neckline, came up with a pleasing solution and possibly even modeled it for you.

Sadly none of those things happened. I ripped back and ended up going back a bit too far. I sorted that out and tried a 3 stitch i-cord bind off. That rolled something terrible so I tried a 2 stitch i-cord (on smaller needles). It still rolled. I decided to embrace the rolling and knit several rounds of stocking stitch. That looked terrible on me. I thought I would try a few rounds of garter stitch (on smaller needles). And eureka…

...only joking...it still didn’t look right.

So after several hours of cursing I did what any sane knitter would do, threw it in a corner and cast on for a simple, soothing garter stitch blanket.

It’s too hot to knit much this week anyway. There’s going to be a bit of heatwave here in my part of the UK and I will have no need of a colourwork yoke sweater, no matter how cute the short sleeves are.

At least, that’s my argument and I’m sticking to it.

In the meantime i’m hoping that inspiration strikes, from somewhere.


When knits don't go to plan

Soldotna Crop.jpg

Sometimes you knit something and it’s love at first sight. It fits well, you can block it, weave in the ends and call it done. Other times - not so much. This latest project - the Soldotna Crop definitely falls into the latter category.

I love the yoke, I love the length (it will look fabulous over a navy dress I have) and I love the colours. What I didn’t love was the super high neck line that felt as though it was a polo neck. I’m not quite sure where I went wrong - as the original sample definitely doesn’t have a high neck but I know since posting about it on social media that a lot of other people have experienced the same problem.

Yes - I know I should have read the very helpful comments on Ravelry project pages first but since when did I ever do things the sensible way? It seems that knitters, being the creative bunch that they are have found a few different ways around the neckline problem which generally fall into the category of:

  1. Ripping out the neckline ribbing and working an i-cord bind off

  2. Ripping out the ribbing and adding a few more rounds of stockinette to allow a relaxed, rolled edge

  3. Ripping out the ribbing (and a tiny bit of the yoke) and working the ribbing a little lower down.

Either way - the astute among you will have realised that some ripping is required. There were some super organised types (who did read and plan ahead) who started the sweater with a provisional cast on, anticipating such a problem but I’m ignoring them (joke - I am of course secretly envious of your foresight).

So, armed with my trusty nail scissors I cut off the ribbing and ripped back. Of course, I had reckoned without the cunning short rows at the back and so I ended up having to pull back a bit further than intended. But, with only a modest amount of swearing I managed to get the neck stitches back onto waste yarn and there they currently sit awaiting my attention.

At the minute I’m erring towards an i-cord bind off, but time permitting later on today I’m hoping to try it on and make a decision - probably,

And now for some sleeve zen

I'd just like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to contact me yesterday after my "knitting at sporting events" mini rant yesterday. It really seems to have struck a chord with many of you and I loved some of the stories you mentioned in return.

Several people mentioned the wonderful lady who knits at US hockey games and who often appears in photos and news feeds. She was roundly criticised on social media for knitting during the games but, here's the thing - the team players think she is wonderful and leapt to her defence. Have a look for her on Twitter where she is @PensKnittingLady - surely a modern knitting hero?

In calmer news today I am cultivating a state of zen-like sleeve knitting. My Windswept sweater now has the sleeve stitches picked up and I'm attempting to whizz along with my mini circulars despite the best attempts of end-of-school-term chaos to throw me off course.

Nope, I absolutely don't want to spend two hours painting a cardboard box yellow for you school disco fancy dress outfit but thank you for asking. Instead you can go as Charlie Bucket (check shirt and scruffy jeans) as you have been doing every other year.

My cunning plan is to get both sleeves to the point where the decreases start and then magic loop them two at a time - we will see how that goes.

I doubt that this will be an FO this week, but for next Friday - you never know.

Nearly there

Fuelled entirely by caffeine and a desire to meet my revised stash dash goals. 

This morning I am determined that the body of the Windswept sweater will be off the needles and then I can dig out my trusty short circulars for the sleeves. I have learnt long ago that sleeve knitting and I can never really be firm friends and the only way that I can battle though them is to treat them like a plain vanilla sock and knit them on small circulars.

It's very strange when you think about it. Give me a lovely sock yarn and small circs and I'll merrily knit on them until the cows come home. Give me a sleeve on small circs and I hate and loathe knitting on it. I think it's the twisting and the untangling that comes along with having a sweater body attached to it. No matter what I try to I always seem to end up wrestling the rest of the garment as I try to knit.

A while ago I heard the Knitmore Girls talking about sweater knitting and I'm pretty sure that Jasmine mentioned that she knits the sleeves of sweaters right after the yoke and sleeve separation has happened. At that point there is hardly any sweater body to get in the way so you can knit the sleeves unencumbered and then go back and do the body,

That sounds like a fine plan and one that I wished I had remembered at the time. 

Next time... next time.