Thursday, March 11, 2010

Schleppy Sweater: Back to the Calculator

Schleppy ribbingCan you make a mistake while knitting a sweater you designed yourself?

Which is to say, if you alter a published pattern on the fly and it isn't a mistake, doesn't that mean altering a pattern you cooked up yourself isn't a mistake either?

This is the question I was struggling with yesterday when I realized I'd worked my ribbing for 1.5 inches when I meant to work it for 2 inches.

When I first realized my mistake what had happened I figured I should go with it. But then I remembered all the ribbing at the waist and elbows was also planned to be 2 inches, which meant I had to double back to ensure all the ribbing matched.

Fortunately, I'd only worked 5 rows of stockinette stitch, so it wasn't a big loss. I've decided I'm going to work the ribbing for my beloved 15 rows, which is what I always work on my socks. I'm pretty sure 15 rows should end up working out to 2 inches anyway.

Facing Reality
The second Schleppy Sweater disaster yesterday occurred when I finally sat down and typed up the pattern.

This forced me to come to terms with the fact that the numbers I had for my Raglan shaping were all wrong and were never going to work.

On the bright side, I'm only 10 rows into the sweater. Plenty of time to regroup. At least I wasn't stubborn enough to knit the damn thing before I admitted my error.

I know just what happened.

When I did the math, as instructed, I would have had 24 sts left at the back neck, which is just a hair under 5".

That didn't seem wide enough, so I decided I would leave 30 sts, but didn't also add 6 sts back into the sleeve tops (as instructed).

Then I figured out the interval for my Raglan decreases based on the body numbers. Since the sleeves are supposed to follow the same progression I did not double check them. Nope, big old blind spot of denial.

However, when I was typing up the pattern I had to look at the numbers and say, "Those decreases aren't going to get me to that number on the sleeves." I would have 12 sts left on the sleeves, not 6, and that seemed to wide.

Fudge It
I tried to find ways around it.

I debated binding off more stitches on the sleeve underarm. That seemed silly because then the flat spots wouldn't match up.

I debated just reducing the number of stitches in the sleeve in general. That was bad on two fronts. First, I would have to rework the increases. Second, having 2 inches of ease on the body and 1 inch of ease on the sleeves struck me as goofy.

In the end I had to suck it up and rework the numbers based on 24 sts left at the neck.

The good part is this means my decreases will be every other row, which is apparently traditional. The weird part is now I don't have to bind off any underarm stitches.

Since I was tweaking things, I also redid the front neck shaping. Well, I had to anyway since it originally based on 30 sts. I realized my original numbers would have eaten up all the front stitches and collided with the Raglan shaping. I tried to make it so that I'll have 6 sts left on the front (3 on each side). I won't know for sure whether it worked until I get there.

Neckline Worries
The neck opening will be wide enough.

I hope.

Between the stitches on the back and the stitches on the sleeves it should be fine.


I mean, that's what the math says anyway.

Not that you can trust numbers.

Photo Note: I made The Guy in the Art Department take this picture with his iPhone because Boss Man is out of the office today. It's a pretty gloomy day, which is why it's dark.
And, hello, can you see why I'm concerned about the small circumference?

1 comment:

  1. This is why I'm starting with a hat--so much less to screw up. Thanks for the comments on my blog. I'm thinking maybe you could use a dog sitter. My kid is available. Just sayin'...