Sweater Underway

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m's sweater

The "requested" holiday sweater is underway! I'm a little iffy on the size - afraid it might be a tad too big, but the next smallest size would be too little. But, it could be that my gauge will run just a slight bit off, making it perfect. I swatched originally on 10 3/4's, which is what the pattern called for, and the tension was a bit loose. I ended up dropping to 10's. (Hmmm. Now I'm feeling like I should go recheck the gauge carefully since I can't remember why I went to 10's and not a 10 1/2! I know I thought it through at the time. I know I did a swatch on the 10's and it worked. But as I typed it in here and realized I'd taken a jump, my heart started beating too fast. It does look little bunched up on the needle, but I think this is a rib/cable combo that really will need some blocking at the end to keep its shape.)

I got started and immediately ran into a problem. The pattern, from the British Knitting magazine was wrong for the two row ribbing pattern. It's wrong for both the left and right front. Neither is right, and neither is wrong in the same way. I compensated, and set off knitting. But, alas, I didn't think far enough ahead and figure out how the ribbing needed to line up with the panels above it that make up the body of the sweater. So, after 4 inches of ribbing, it seemed clear the flow was off.

I grabbed some graph paper and plotted things out. Indeed, my correction for the ribbing had caused problems. So, I had to start over. But, the plotting of the first 21 rows was really helpful. There's not a good photo of the front of the sweater, so I didn't realize there is only one cable on each front, a few columns of ribbing, and then a large stockinette portion (much like Ribby). Plotting helped me get an overall sense of what was going on, which was a good feeling since I'd been feeling like I was knitting a mystery sweater trying to sort out some of the directions.

Now, I'm off and running. It's knitting up super fast, and the big bulky cable is just that - big and bulky, but cool. The rose colored Rowan Chunky (that's been sitting in our stash for at least 5 years) is working up beautifully. I'm hopeful all will go well from here on out! So far, it's going so smoothly and seems to be one of those patterns that your mind keeps saying, "Just one more row." So I've been knitting it instead of the other project I had been working on in the evenings. I told M this morning that the good thing about it going so quickly is that if it's too small, I'll know. I can have it, and I'll have to regroup and replan my holiday knitting. Of course, the bad thing about it going so quickly is that I'm not good about saving things, particularly when the recipient already knows so it's not a 'surprise' that's coming. I'm hoping to not let her get a good look at it from here on out so that there will be some level of surprise.)

In other bags... I've been working on the sleeves for my Must Have Cardigan. They're coming along, although I feel they've got a long way to go! My Ribby Cardi is languishing waiting for me to give it a steam and then piece it together before tackling the bands, collar, and zipper insertion. (I am going to try to sew it in by machine. Any strong warnings against it?) And, I have two shawls in the closet still waiting to block... the Flower Basket Shawl and my Falling Leaves from first of the year. Ahhh, it's all about process for me. I'm trying to get more into "product," but once I'm done with the knitting, it's easy for me to let something lie for weeks or even months before taking care of the final details. After all, my Oriole Vest that I made last year has been hanging on a hook on my closet door ever sense. I have maybe three ends to tuck in... Crazy.

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Go for the zipper on the machine! Every project I say I'm going to give it a go and end up on the couch sewing it in by hand. For me, part of it is just the process, I enjoy the hand work. But really, I need to give it a try and get over machine sewing of knits phobia!


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