Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesdays.
My sweater back is done to the armholes, so I tried it on my dress form. It was too big.
I was mad at it, so it went into time out. Oddly enough, that didn’t help — it was still too big. I mentioned the size problem to Smokey. It took him about five seconds to say, “Couldn’t you just run a line of stitching up the side and cut off the extra?” It took me about two seconds to say, “That could work!” This has the advantage of being a lot less work than re-knitting the entire back and also has the possibility of achieving a completed sweater that fits. Happily, City Tweed is not superwash yarn, so the whole sewing-and-cutting thing is doable, I think. Feel free to shout out tips from your own experience in the comments.
Rather than continue to knit extra stitches on each side that I would just cut off later, I figured I would decrease down to the proper number of stitches at the beginning of the arm scythe, hence the calcs above.
But when I ran over the calcs again to be sure they were right, I came out with different numbers. So I tried again. And again. And decided I needed to let it sit for a while. (Yeah, numbers were my profession, but the problem here is a conceptual one, not an arithmetic one.)
Wait. If it has been my portable/sweater-avoidance project for several days, why it is not further along?
Well, I cast on 114 stitches on a US#7 needles, using the adult size hat pattern in Ann Budd’s Knitter’s Handy Book of Knitting Patterns. For some reason that escapes me now, I knitted four inches of hat before deciding that that was the wrong pattern. I wanted to make a beanie-style hat, and the pattern has a rhythm of decreasing that causes the top to gather. Not what I wanted. Frog and start over, this time on fewer stitches so that I could use my regular method of decreasing.
Long story short, I knit and frogged and reknit more times than I can remember, for various and boring reasons. Now the hat is on its correct path and will be done soon, amen.
Have I mentioned that Tuesday is knitting and House day? H&I does a nine-hour marathon of House every Tuesday from 10 AM to 7 PM, and I am glued to the TV for most of that time. Never mind that I watched the entire series on Netflix several years ago, and never mind that I dropped in to the Tuesday marathons the last time through about halfway into the series; I love that show and would happily watch all eight seasons a couple more times. Sarcasm and genius are my bag, amen.
Some weeks I try to get things done during the commercials, other weeks I just sit in my knitting chair and imitate a knitting couch potato. Some weeks — like this one — I write my “Unraveled Wednesday” post during the commercials.
Anyway, that is my Tuesday. Amen.
I gave up on the rest of my non-fiction reading and returned the books I had started but not finished. I generally do not care for non-fiction unless it is as readable as good fiction, but, given the recent conversations on diversity and acceptance in the knitting community, I knew I needed to educate myself. I sampled The Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B. DuBois, Thick: And Other Essays by Tessie McMillan Cottom, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria” by Beverly Tatum, and White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. All excellent books, and I learned some stuff; I am not proud of not having read them fully, and I am compelled to admit that fact.
The only non-fiction book that I will read cover to cover is Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer. I pride myself on being a good writer*, but I am learning that there are a
lot lot of ways to improve, among them avoiding the use of italics.
My book group is participating in the National Endowment for the Art’s Big Read; the book chosen locally is Station 11, which I picked up from the library yesterday. After my slog through non-fiction, I am
really really looking forward to an actual novel. In addition to my group discussing the book, we are planning to attend a Big Read event: Dr. Michael Osterholm talking about his recent book and infectious disease prevention. Smokey may even go with us; he had a class from Dr. Osterholm when he was in public health grad school. The doctor is a nationally known expert on epidemiology and a good presenter. It should be both educational and fun.
* Ironically, my writing style is probably well-suited to non-fiction. A novelist I shall never be.
I am not generally a fan of dystopian fiction . . . but I really enjoyed Station 11. I’m on the wait list at my library for Dreyer’s English. As a fan of italics (for emphasis, y’know), I’m sure I will feel shame. But. Oh, well. And you are such an adventurous knitter!!! (Fearless.) (I’d put that in italics if I could figure out how.)
Since it’s a rectangle right now, why not just bind off one side until you have the desired width, and go from there as per the pattern? Then you’d just have one flap to cut off, and no calculation to do.
A friend of mine always sews her sweaters together on the sewing machine. She said she ran out of yarn once while sewing a sweater together and the machine stitched side lasted longer. I don’t know whether she used zigzag or straight stitching, but it was in the late 1960s.
(As an English Lit major and fan of books on writing, I have learned that different writing styles are appropriate for different media. Italics and underlining have their uses.)
I’m with Tamar on the knitting advice. No math required. (But I’m the kind of masochist who would frog the whole thing and start over)
Enjoy Station 11 – I did!
I am with Kym on the wait list for Dryer’s English – my shame moment will come with the exclamation point over usage that I am wont to do (!!)
As for your sweater – I think cutting off what you don’t want will absolutely work! Good luck on those calculations… sometimes knitty math is easy, others it just boggles the mind.
Oh NO! darn the knitting demons! Cutting off what you don’t want? Brilliant But I’d be scared
I am currently knitting my first Fair Isle cardigan with steeks, so cutting knitting doesn’t sound (quite) as scary as normal. I’m not sure about the knitting math required, though. But the suggestion above about only having one tab to cut off sounds theoretically sound. I’ve never done it before, but logically it makes sense to me, at any rate. Good luck!
I have no knitting/math advice (since I am neither: a knitter (wannabe?) nor a mathematician! However, I’m sure you’ll work your stumbling blocks out and I’m rooting for you!
It is always good for us readers to venture forth – to try out different authors; I rather liken it to listening to different conversations. I often abandon a book…that doesn’t mean I won’t think about the topic nor return/seek other’s thoughts …just not on my agenda at the time…
Knit and Read on!
WOW. Impressive graphing skills!
I have no tips to shout out, but I am sending you successful sewing and cutting vibes. I wish I had nine hours of House to look forward to on Tuesdays. Even one hour of sarcasm and genius would be welcome!
I have no suggestions for the knitting sweater woes. I admire your fearless approach. And after all, it is a sweater. If your solution solves the problem you will have learned a great deal. I feel no guilt about abandoning a book. There are so many to read and sometimes the time for a book is not right. Let us know how you come out on the sweater and the hat.