Saturday, June 18, 2016

Oops! She Fumbles! She Recovers!

Remember when I said in the last post that you can't tell for sure how a sweater will be until you sew the pieces together. Welp, that goes double and triple for the current item under construction. Sewed Sleeve #1 on, no problem. Got sleeve #2 ready to pin and, um, let's just take a look, shall we?

That's #1 in place, fine and dandy. Here's #2:

Compare and contrast. One of these things is not like the other. If you said there seems to be a triangle missing from the edge of #2, you'd be absolutely right! This is what comes of knitting the first sleeve as a "swatch", then the body, then the second as an afterthought. You stop increasing too early and end up with two utterly different sleeve shapes. Sigh.

My life flashed before my eyes as I initially thought I would have to frog all. of. the. pattern. area. of. the. sleeve. and do it again with edge increases. And how would it look made with partially shrunken and frogged crinkly yarn and partly with new yarn? Or knit a whole new friggin' sleeve and shrink it?

In the midst of the Slough of Despond (where the frogs live), I realized that this is a gansey. (I know, brilliant deduction, Sherlock, but stay with me.) One of the design features that marks gansey construction is the arm gusset, a diamond-shaped piece in the armpit area that makes for freer movement of the fisherman's active arms. I could make a half-gusset, a triangle rather than a diamond, to add the missing shape! Counting rows and stitches of the missing area, I came up with this:

I sewed it to one side of the misshapen sleeve (easing to account for its non-shrinkage) and washed the whole sweater again.
This is in its pre-shrunken state. Notice color difference as well.
Now what do you think?

According to the trotting horse theory, it's game over and fix accomplished, all within the tradition! Anyway, it's in the underarm area, and anyone who is inspecting my sweater armpits can go sit on a fishhook.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Less Banging, and Some Homework

Not much to see here, folks. The Blaer banging out has slowed to a glacial trudge for sleeve reasons, as explained in the previous post. And when the knitting gets slow, the motivation slows down, too. When I just couldn't stand it any longer, I picked up another project, the one I neglected for my banging-out exercise, the Cornish Knit Frock. Much more gratifying, even the tight gauge ziggy zaggy neck ribbing. And whizz bang (relatively) I had banged out all the knitting of it. Bang into the washer; bang into the dryer, a little hanging about to finish drying, and here it is ready to sew up!

I have unraveled the swatch I shrank in order to have shrunken yarn to sew with, so all that's left is to put it together. I am a bit worried about potential fit. In spite of all my measuring and calculating and swatch-shrinking, the body seems like it is way too long. But the only way to know for sure is to get busy and see what happens.

This is the nervous part of sweater making. You can spend hours of your time and lots of your money, do your very dangdest to get it right, and still be subject to the whims of the yarn gods as to whether you will have a garment you will love, or one that you will give away. This is probably what separates us merely prolific knitters from the ace knitters of the world who can create an exact replica of their vision.

I've also got homework to do. My homework package arrived from the Net Loft in advance of the Fisher Folk knitfest in Cordova in 2 weeks.

There are swatches to make, needles to corral, seaglass to select, bits and bobs to use in my net necklace, and should I take a project of my own to work on in between whiles? There will be a 6 hour ferry ride over. On the 6 hours back, I'm sure I'll be working of my Fisher Lassie Gansey. But excuse me for now--I've got lots of work to do!