Monday, March 16, 2009

A weekend full of progress

Although I didn't take pictures because they would just be boring, I did get a lot done this weekend. I had several events to go to that were knit-friendly, so I made progress on several different projects. I'm at the heel of my second Caribbean sock, I'm into about the fourth increase row of the feather & fan chart for the Hemlock Ring blanket, and I made progress on both the sleeves and the front of my sweater.

I cast on the sweater front because we were going to see Coraline and I needed something easy to knit, and I thought managing the two balls of yarn for the sleeves would be problematic. I was also in the increase section and I didn't want to go past where I needed to increase in the dark. This turned out to be a good decision, since it turns out you can get a whole lot of stockinette accomplished during a movie. I have maybe three to five inches of the front knitted (I did cast on and knit the garter rows on the hem before we left for the theater, but that's maybe only an inch.

I did work on the sleeves, enough to discover that over the decrease rows I did end up with substantially more length than I was supposed to have. I expected this to happen. The instructions are to work the decreases and then work even until the sleeve is a certain total length. According to the diagram, there should be about two inches of even knitting between the decreases and that certain length. I only had about an inch to go. Kind of a big difference!

I am definitely going to have to compensate for this somehow during the yoke, and I think I will do this by eliminating the first diamond at the start of the yoke. I'll do the one decrease row that happens at the end of that diamond, and then work the rest of the yoke as written. I think that take off about an inch of length to get me in the ballpark of where I need to be. I hope. I hope it doesn't affect the look of the sweater too terribly much.

I will also need to take this into consideration when I knit the sweater front. There's decreasing and casting off and all kinds of stuff at the top that will have to get done in a certain amount of space. However, I'm not too worried. My biggest concern is the front not matching the back, and since the yarn on the back is still attached, I can add a couple of rows if I need to. I like my sweaters to be long (waist-length sweaters never look good on me, I really need them at the hips or lower) so I'm not fretting over this too badly. Much. Really. (I deserve every worry I get for going ahead without worrying about the fact that I didn't have row guage, even after I realized my stitch guage was also too big. I really should have tried it on smaller needles. I probably could have saved myself a lot of fuss. Oh well...I've got a total of about 30 inches of sweater knitting that I don't plan to rip out until I have to, so nothing to do but forge ahead. I hope I am not being intolerably stupid, but if I am I will always have the "well, it was my first" excuse for why the thing looks like it was made for an ape.)

I also did some spinning this weekend, and I finished off the sparkly purple batt from Butterfly Girl. Tonight I plied it, and it's soaking as I type. Before I go to bed, I'll hang it up. I ended up with a lot more on one bobbin than the other, so I wound the remainder off into two center-pull balls. I was just going to do one and ply from both ends, but the singles broke at a spot that approximated the halfway mark, so I just went ahead and made two balls. I have about 250 feet (not yards) of yarn if my reckoning is correct. I'm going to use it on the end of a scarf or something like that to give it a little pizzazz. It's largely thinner than my previous attempts although there are some spectacularly uneven bits. It was a fun experience.

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