This week has been all about knitting sleeves. One sleeve. Over and over again.
I’m knitting the Rocky Coast Cardigan in a heavy worsted shetland wool. I had to go down a couple of needle size increments to get gauge, knitting it in size 9 needles instead of 10.5, as the pattern calls for. This has worked fine for the body of the cardigan, but when it came to the sleeves, I had to make some changes.
Sleeve attempt #1: I knitted several inches of the sleeve in size 9 needles, the same I had been using for the rest of the cardigan. Then I decided to test the sleeve on my own arm. Tiiiiggghht. Soooo tiiiiggght. I’m not supposed to be knitting a compression garment. Having decided this…I continued to knit for a couple more inches, just in case was having a fat day or something. No such luck. Oog. Soooo tiiigght. So I gritted my teeth and set down to the ripping back. Rrrrriiiiip. Grumble. Rrrriiiiip. Grumble.
Sleeve attempt #2: What have I learned from my first attempt? Gauge doesn’t necessarily work the same way on a piece knitted in the round. Add to that the fact that I was using smaller needles and thicker yarn than the pattern suggested and I had a recipe for trouble. On sleeve attempt #2 I picked up additional stitches on the underarm to give me a wider diameter. Then I knitted a few inches. Still too tight. @#$%!
Sleeve attempt #3: After ripping back, yet again, I finally did what I should have done after the first rip back. I added a lifeline. Next, I decided to pick up needles in size 10 and try knitting the sleeve with those. At last, success!! Unfortunately, I had not been paying sufficient attention tot he cable pattern and had accidentally repeated one part of it over and over instead of maintaining the variations that create the wavy cable. Crap! But I’ve been working on this so long! Surely I don’t have to rip back again! You know, I kind of like the look of this alternative cable pattern. It doesn’t clash with the body cable pattern. It just looks…simpler. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with simple, or with taking artistic license with a pattern. Who’s to say I can’t change the sleeves to suit myself? I can do both sleeves this way and they’ll match and it will look like I did it on purpose. Excellent solution. I then proceeded to knit several more inches in this new pattern. The next day picked up the sleeve and sighed. That looks dumb. Riiiiiiiipppp.
Sleeve attempt #4: Thank goodness I put in a life line. I started over, this time knitting the cable pattern faithfully. Victory!