Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Third time's a charm?

Oh the saga continues. I am trying to finish the sleeves on my Gaia sweater. And I haven't been this frustrated in ages! Last week I spoke to Kali, a customer/friend/super adventurous knitter who is fascinated with learning new knitting techniques and designing her own sweaters. She's not one to follow a pattern - she's always trying to improve upon what she sees. She shared a recent success story with me for a top down short row sleeve that she'd incorporated into a sweater she just finished. The sleeves on the Gaia sweater are top down short row sleeves, but I wasn't having luck with them.

Kali gave me some tips on the ones she had just made, and sent me a youtube link,
which I watched faithfully that evening. I also watched this one for extra info. Because I love my Gaia sweater, I am determined to get the sleeves finished in a way that will not bother me. A little background...

ATTEMPT #1: When I followed the pattern as written, there was no way to pick up the number of
sleeve stitches called for unless I picked up 1 stitch for every 2 rows. I knew I wouldn't be happy with that, so I went with my normal ratio of 3 stitches for every 4 rows. I knit the sleeve cap, and as I'd predicted, because of the extra number of stitches, the sleeve was way too baggy by the time the short row shaping was finished. So I ripped it out.

Enter Kali, our discussion, and the youtube video. I picked up some great tips about tightening the pickup row (watch the video and see for yourself, and note the contrast color in my pickup row). I liked her method of short row shaping where she divides the stitches into 3rds. And I followed her instructions for figuring out the number of stitches to pick up... and it was almost exactly the same as what the pattern called for. So while I agree that the finished sleeve circumference is mathematically correct with that number of stitches, I still think it's too FEW stitches to pick up in terms of looking good. So it's right... but it's wrong.

ATTEMPT #2: Last night I tried again. I picked up 2 stiches for every 3 rows, thinking that this was somewhere in between a number I KNEW was too small, and one I had PROVEN to be too large. I knit the whole sleeve cap. And it's still too large. It fits really well along the top portion of the sleeve, but bags out around the armhole shaping. There's no way I could be happy with this.So this morning, the team here at Kyarns had a meeting of the minds. Lots of good suggestions were tossed about. It's so great to be able to share a problem and have so many different opinions about what to do to fix it!

And so tonight, in what will be ATTEMPT #3 (and hopefully the LAST ATTEMPT) I am going to rip it out, and pick up the same number of stitches I have now (2 for every 3 rows). Then I'm going to work 1 complete row before starting my short rows, where I decrease stitches at the bottom of the sleeve, in the underarm stitches and in the armhole shaping area. That's where it's way too baggy. Then, I will complete the short row shaping again, and fingers crossed, it will be a much better fitting sleeve. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Eunice said...

I have a sweater in "time out" as it has this same construction and I have taken it out 3 times. I don't like the way that it looks. It may become a vest! I will be watching how yours turns out.