Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sleeve shaping for Hild

It's a swatch! It's a blob! It's part of the sleeve of my first sweater!

Having decided to ignore the original pattern (only in two sizes, both way too big), I used a trial download of Sweater Wizard v3.0 to get a pattern based on measuring my favorite sweaters. Imagine my annoyed laughter when I discovered that the generated sleeve instructions were identical to the ones in Viking Knits #9, except for the much more detailed sleeve cap shape.

What I am supposed to do is increase steadily every 8 rows until I get to the cap, which is pretty wide to match the deep armscye. (I'm athletic, and have pecs and lats that make my armpits bigger than you'd think they are, so I want that.) If I do this, though, I'm going to get arms that are quite loose around the upper arms. I notice my commercial ribbed shirts seem to increase pretty regularly up the forearm, but then way more slowly on the upper arm; I also like what I know of armpit gussets, as nicely written up in this Yarn Harlot post. The idea's supposed to be to give men more room around the shoulder joint while not requiring a super-loose sweater... which is exactly what I need.

So, I'm thinking of playing fast and loose with this. Increase fairly regularly up to the elbow, then about half as fast until near the armpit, then do the rest of my increases in the last few rows (as if for a gusset, but continuing to form ribbing in pattern). I don't get many comments here, usually, but I'll ask anyway: does this plan sound reasonable to you sweater knitters out there?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

First, and possibly only, but we'll see

Did anyone wonder what I was swatching for? Probably not, considering that it took me over a month to knit the real thing (despite having lots of time to work on it last week). At any rate, it -- they -- are done, and it is my pleasure to introduce you to My First Socks.

Hello, socks!

Needles: #1 dpns
Yarn: Lang yarns, JaWoll color superwash (75% wool, 18% nylon, 7% acrylic)
Pattern: Wendy's generic toe-up socks, plus the pointelle lace pattern from the first Vogue Stitchionary centered on the top. Lace on socks seems like a nice idea, since the feet will always stretch out the lace -- no time-consuming blocking with every wash.
New skills learned: oh geez. Short rows, lace, provisional cast-on (not that I ever got it right), k1p1 ribbing (very enjoyable, I found), and tubular bindoff.

I modified one row of the lace pattern slightly at the beginning and end so that it wouldn't show any orphaned yarnovers in either place, but rather start and end the diagonal lines of holes gracefully.

The ribbing is p1k1, and the bind-off is the tubular bind-off. On the second sock I even managed to do it rather prettily. It's as if a single, tiny tractor tire had been driven around in a circle, leaving tread marks on top of my sock.

Short-row heel: quite a pain to knit, but they are what I'm used to in cotton. On the first sock, they caused one of my friends to squeal "ooh, it even has a line at the heel, just like REAL SOCKS DO!"

My cat didn't see the big deal, but my husband's cat REALLY didn't see the big deal.