Friday, August 1, 2008

Back to the drawing board...

Did you ever have one of those projects? You know, one of those projects that no matter what you do or how careful you are, you find yourself knitting and tinking and knitting and frogging and by the time you are finally finished, you have knitted at least two complete garments with only one to show for it? Enter Lucy two. This great pattern is beautiful when knit, but it has caused me a bit of a headache. (In no way the fault of the pattern!) As I was knitting the two fronts for this sweater, I cast off a few stitches for the neck edge, and then decreased several stitches up the neck edge. just as I would do if knitting by hand. My machine knitting mentor, Joan, suggested that short rowing the neck edge would be a smoother line for the neckline and would be easier to pick up for the edging. So, when I started the backs, I thought I should try short rowing (which I had only done once before). The backs worked out beautifully and were easy to do - until I took them off the needles and realised I had forgotten to wrap the stitches and there were big holes between the rows. That's alright, I thought, I will just rip them back to the beginning of the shaping, and rehang the stitches and do it again. There's only a few rows. So, I pulled out the rows, knitted about six rows by hand in waste yarn so that I could hang the stitches, and did it again. Then I thought I had better do the same with the fronts, even though there were a few more rows to deal with. So, I ran a knitting needle through the row right before the cast off, pulled out the knitting, reknitted a few rows by hand on waste yarn, hung the stitches again and redid the necklines. When I was working on the purple front, though, I must have forgotten to place the weight near the neck edge where the short rowing was happening, and when I took it off the needles, several stitches were pulled and/or dropped. Frustrated, I put it to the side for a bit, did the sleeves, and soaked and blocked them and the one correct front. Looking at the backs, now, though, I realised that I had 27 shoulder stitches on the fronts, and 30 shoulder stitches on the backs... Yikes. So, insert knitting needle again, frog back, knit by hand, hang the stitches, redo the neck edges. Then I realised that the purple front was ok in the short row stitches! All I needed to do was the ten rows of straight knitting from the neck decreases to the shoulder. So, I inserted a knitting needle, and pulled out the offending rows. I was about to knit a few rows of waste yarn by hand, rehang the stitches on the machine, and then knit the last ten rows, when I thought, why don't I just knit the last ten rows by hand - it makes as much sense as trying to prep this for the machine. Ok, So I have all the pieces reknit, everything is looking great. I take the three pieces down to soak in the sink and bring them out to block them on the ironing board. Now, take a look at that damned purple front. Check in particular the location of the armhole and the neck edge. Do I do a good job when I decide to screw up or what?!!!

Just to show the pieces are all there! Here are the two (correctly shaped) back pieces!

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