Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hubby's Sweater: Making Peace

As I struggled with the two-tone ribbing over the weekend I asked Hubby why he has suddenly lost interest in his sweater. Why hasn't he looked at the new colors?

He explained he hasn't lost interest, he just doesn't understand it at this point. He said he can't look at a ball of yarn and visualize a completed sweater to know whether all the colors would work.

This made sense.

Then he ooohed and ahhhed over the ribbing and gave it pets. Which totally made up for his perceived lack of attention.

I finished the ribbing yesterday and am two colors into the stripes of the body.

Ahhh, relaxing plain old stockinette stitch. What a relief!

Two-tone two-step
How did I finally conquer the ribbing? you ask.

Well, it wasn't easy and a number of techniques were employed.

The traditionally, logical method of holding one color in each had was causing my hands to cramp. Not a good start. (I never got the hang of holding both colors in one hand, which might not have worked out anyway since I was switching from knits to purls. Anyone know?)

I resorted to the tedious method of focusing on one color, working those stitches and slipping the others. For instance, I would K2 tan, then slip the next three as they would be worked P2 charcoal. When I reached the end of the row, I would go back to the beginning (the beauty of working on circular needles) and work across with the charcoal yarn: slip 2, P3.

This was not a perfect fix.

First, it meant I was touching every stitch twice, which just seemed wrong. However, it was better than sidelining myself with sore writs.

Second, it was slow. But I comforted myself with the fact that I wasn't moving very fast using the two-handed method.

Third, and the nail in the coffin, it was hard to see mistakes. There was no visual clue from the different colors. So when I got to the end of the row and it wasn't falling out correctly I had to resort to trying to find my floats and counting stitches. Talk about slowing your progress down.

My third method was to just drop the color not in use. So I would K2 tan, drop it, pick up the charcoal, P3, drop it, pick up the tan.

Tedious once again, but at least I was only touching each once and could spot mistakes easily.

I had a bad habit of P2 charcoal instead of P3. Stupid, irregular, ribbing pattern.

But eventually, in attempting to get the yarn out of the way during my drop method, I fell back into knitting with both hands.

I don't know if my hands finally remembered how to do it, or having several rows worked gave me something to hold on to, or what, but it didn't make my hands hurt in the end.

And it was much faster. Ribbing errors aside.


Jumping Ahead?
As I was struggling with the ribbing, I debated the idea of skipping ahead and knitting all the ribbing at once.

I figured I could put it all on holders, then I could go straight to the easy part.

I haven't executed this plan yet. When I finished the back ribbing, I was so happy to start the easy part of the main body that I didn't look back.

I'm still debating it. But I know the further along I get, the less likely it will be to happen.

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