Last we spoke, there has been knitting. I know I am still quite surprised myself. I’ve been able to fit in more knitting time lately, which has been making me feel better. Does anyone else have that feeling when you are about to go to bed and realize you have not knit at all that day? I’ve had quite a few of those days lately and it has not been an enjoyable feeling. After work I’m normally too tired or have too much other things to do to have the time to knit. With some magic of time management and doing things through the day as I can, I’ve been able to fit in more knitting time. Granted it’s not a lot of extra time but as we all know it adds up. Slowly but surely, I was able to get through a repeat or two of Rhinelust which is more then halfway now. I just want to say for the record that this pattern is gorgeous and fun to knit. If I’m completely honest there is one part of this I do not like doing that much, the twisted stitches. There are a lot of those in this pattern and yes it does really make this pattern pop. I am just finished with repeat 8 of 10 total repeats for this section, then after that I will just need to knit a bit of decrease chart and then the ending of the shawl. I am still just on the first two balls of yarn, even though I got 3 for insurance. I might be able to get that done really soon and there’s a reason for that. I have time again, which is something that I have been lacking lately. I decided a few weeks ago to take some time off of work and today is day one. I am able to relax and enjoy some time, not to mention get some serious knitting done. I am already getting ready to knit on the next thing. Though looking at how the weather is going to be getting much warmer here, I don’t think hand knitting a sweater would be a good idea. Machine on the other hand would be, even though I have had some issues doing it. Keep in mind these are me errors and not the poor machine.
It’s time to talk about what happened a week or two ago. So I have been making a sweater on the machine at about 8 stitches to the inch, something I would not do by hand. This yarn was going to be another longfellow, but I decided against it. I liked the tension of 8 and so I went with it. I could have done a longfellow on the machine at 8 but more math was not a great idea and then I could do it at 7, but wanted a pullover. So I am doing a shawl collared pullover. So I did the math, following a little loosely from the Knitters Book of Sweater patterns, but it only went down to 7 stitches per inch, as any sane knitting would stop there. But the machine doesn’t care, so I pressed on. I successfully made the back and blocked it to make sure that everything would be good. The back blocked beautifully and so I pressed onto the front. I made a mistake here or there and when I finished the v-neck I pinned it all together and tried it on. My calculations for the v-neck were off and it would not have fit a collar and strangle me in the process. So the entire front was re-knit, but I decided after seeing some pictures of sweaters online, to do a more shawl collar. Those adjustments were made and then I had a nice front and back. The sleeves were next and I used what I thought would be a good increase rate and did all of the calculations and proceeded to knit both sleeves, one right after the other. I wanted to get it done quickly so I could wear it before the weather got too warm here, so I blocked everything and seamed the sides, shoulders, and started on one sleeve. I tried it on after each piece was sewn, the body was good, super happy with that. Then the sleeve looked good, a little funny, which should have been an indicator that this was where I should stop, but I pressed on. Once the sleeve was decently attached I tried on the sweater and I got a sinking feeling. The sleeve looked like I was trying to make a flying sweater, or to fit someone who had a bit of extra (in the not good way) on the upper arm. I had to stop and stare at it and I showed my mother. She commented if I was making a sweater for older people and I just looked at her and had to laugh.
What I found out was the increase rate I would have used for hand knit sleeves and what I remembered being a good increase rate was wrong. At least it was wrong for this sweater, so I had to go back to the math. I re-calculated the number of stitches and rows I would need and then decided to change from every 3 rows to every 6 rows. I did the sleeve last night and immediately sewed it up with no blocking. Low and behold it looks like a proper sleeve. I might have gotten away with 5 rows for the increases but I think 6 will do just nicely. So now I just need to rip out the other sleeve, which is unpicked from the body, then re-knit it. I think that will take me about an hour to do, then a little bit to seam everything. This will give me some time to think about how I want to make the neck, since the normal ways will not work on this sweater, even though I could do a machine hem neck. But I don’t want that, I want ribbing with short rows and make this comfy thing. But I think I have an idea that will work, will just need some more hand work after but I think that this will work just nicely.
As for the next project, I am still on the fence. I might still do a sweater for those nights that it is a little chilly or maybe not. I might work on something else that is more, heat friendly when you are knitting. Maybe another scarf or shawl, something not too complicated but still fun. I have some time to think about that, but for now I need to get Rhinelust done and do this sleeve. Wish me luck.