Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Arwen Progress

Slower than my liking, since I really want to wear this, but proceeding apace. Back is done, left front is done to the neckline, right front I'm on the second half of the sleeve. I stopped at the neckline because (a) I want to do the hood in one piece, and (b) I wanted to make sure I had enough yarn for the hood!! Seems to be going fine in that department.

I am a little worried that the cotton won't grow as much as I anticipated - the smallest size looks a little small! Should look fine as a form-fitting hoodie, so I'm not worried about being able to wear it - just not quite the look I was aiming for. But better than 4" past my fingers like my Mariah!

I've been altering some of the pattern as I go along. Some changes have worked, some not so much. For both sleeves I added an extra 4 short rows, then took out 8 rows in the middle - this effectively increases the slant on the "sides" of the sleeves, which means I got to decrease the cuff circumference without changing the bicep measurement (or having to fiddle with the sleeve placement). I chose 8 rows, because that was the repeat of the cable pattern, so I can have an even number just like the pattern. It was supposed to drop the cuff from 10" to a little under 9", but unblocked my cables are coming out wider and shorter than the gauge on the pattern. Hopefully a little water will fix that right up - right now my cuffs are about 8" around (which isn't a bad fit actually - mostly need the length for the front bands).

I also decided that I wanted live stitches at the leading edge of the knit-on sleeves, so that I didn't have to try and mattress stitch the whole underarm seam (I do fine with mattress stitch on columns, but since these sleeves are knit side-to-side, I'd have to seam head-of-stitch-to-tail-of-stitch, and I haven't quite got that skill down!). My goal was to graft the cuff to have it seamless, then do a three-needle bind-off of the underarm seam.

Attempt one (left front and sleeve): provisional crochet cast on with waste yarn. Result: fine for the sleeve portion, disaster for the cuff. I couldn't sort out the stitches at the bottom of the cuff because of all the twisting that happens with the cables. Something got majorly messed up with my unzipping, and I ended up with strands of yarn that weren't attached to stitches, and too few stitches, and no idea what order they should have been in. The only thing that saved that cuff is that the cables meant it couldn't unravel from the bottom up! I forced a graft between that mess and the trailing edge of the cuff - not like you can see it at 200 meters from a galloping horse in any case ;). Black also helps hide many mistakes!

Attempt two (right front and sleeve): in progress. Figure-8 cast on with main yarn. You can see I've got a circular needle hanging onto the bottom stitches - with that needle there, I'm hoping to avoid all the tangles and confusion of the last attempt. Will let you know how it turns out after the next 40 or so rows.

Once I get to the top of the hood, I'm thinking of trying to photograph a tutorial on grafting rows with knits and purls (I didn't find any online explanations for that back when I was trying to do it to Mariah). Hmmm, I could probably do it already with the cuff... I'll see if it's clear enough! And if I can show enough detail with black yarn!!


RenoAddicts said...

Looks fabulous; can hardly wait to see the completed sweater! It's one that's on my "to do" list as well.

The J said...

I just deleted my first spam comment!! Isn't weird I'm excited by that? (If spammers can find me, other people must be able to too!)