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Progress is spelled g.o.o.d. July 26, 2011

Everytime I pick up this piece, I give humble thanks that I’m knitting with cotton!

Lately, even indoors with cool air surrounding, the heat, as many, many of you know, has been truly oppressive. I’d hoped to be finished with this right sleeve by today, but have been just too pitiful to do much more than a few rows here and there.

But I give thanks for what I was able to do, helped along by a cooler fiber. Stitch by stitch, step by step is not a bad way at all, in fact it’s the only way you can go in knitting. ;p

So it’s time for a little portrait – a reality check – to see if I still have confidence in this technique or if it’s time for a trip to the frog pond. (click on pix for larger version).

Up on the mannie, with a picture, there are less ways to “not see” the problem areas of a work-in-progress.

Both the tension and the characteristics of the fiber used come into focus. For instance, I see that my pick up around the armhole edge could’ve been neater. Although the pick up is made in the selvedge stitch area, there’s some uneveness and pulling that is not expected.

Glitch Patrol: once spotted in the wild, uneven stitches can be quickly fixed with the point of the working needle. Inserted into the larger loop, you can pull on one arm of it and re-distribute the bitty extra yarn along the row of stitches by “resizing” them until you’ve eaten up the excess. I got really fast at this the first few times I soared with two circs and there was an area in the middle of the row (where you switch needles) that was sporadically uneven.

I think the every-other-row uneveness is a function of the edge stitch I’m using (St st), my own tension, and using cotton yarn, which is less sproingy on the average, than wool. You can see (click on the pic at left) the variation: every other row begins with a slightly smaller stitch. What is even more interesting, is that where I’ve ended with a knit stitch and start with a purl (on the edge of the Right Front or the Left Back), the overall edge is slightly looser/bigger. I’ve even read that sometimes people get a completely different gauge on the RS & WS of their stockinette. So maybe I’m a lucky dog it’s mostly confined to the edges…

When you’re sewing in a sleeve, you can “ease” the fabric into a well-behaved, balanced shape or area. That is basically the linchpin of tailoring.

But when you’re doing this all-in-one in-the-round knitting technique, a really neat edged, stable armhole is key. Gonna have to work on that.

In the near future, that means that Sweater #2 waiting in the wings for its turn on the needles is going to become a sewn-in sleeve. It has armholes that won’t function the way I’d like them to without a fuss.

Heh. Back to the drawing board anyone?

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