The Plot Thickens

Last week, I showed you a cardigan in garter stitch that I thought was almost done – that post is right here. It soon became clear, though, that I’d been ridiculously optimistic about its completion.

(Interestingly, Tupperman’s story has been doing much the same thing to me. That’s another story.)

At issue was the seaming. As mentioned to you last week, once the knitting was done, I would just fold the sweater in half, then seam up the shoulders and neck, then seam the underarms and sides. It was a great theory, but once I folded the sweater, I saw the problem.

Actually, there were two problems and they’re both on the back. Here’s a close-up:

1/ First of all, the back has a little flange on each side at the side seam. On the left side, there are three green stripes between blue, and on the right there are three blue stripes between blue. That little tab doesn’t fit into anywhere when seaming up the underarms. Apparently, I should have added stitches from the top of that flange when I picked up the stitches for the sleeves. Oops! I had left the stitches live for the sleeves from the fronts and back, and my count came out correct without picking up anything from those bits. I was thinking it might be a gusset, but it can’t be.

I don’t really want a little flappy bit at each side seam.

2/ Have a peek at the collar and shoulder seams. That little Christmas tree shape should be sewn up. If you look on the right side of the image, it’s more clear that the back shoulder seam is too long to be matched to the front shoulder seam. It could be eased in – garter stitch does that pretty well – but my impression was that there was too much to ease. It might end up more like a gather, which isn’t a good thing at the shoulder. (Most of us don’t have puffy bits there. I don’t and I’m glad.) This likely happened because I just knit too many rows on the back for the shoulder, possibly because the movie was at such a good bit I lost count. (Feh.)

So. What to do? There were two choices.

1/ Frog the sleeves, frog part of the back to make the shoulder section shorter, pick up the sleeve stitches for the whole length and reknit the sleeves.

Not an appealing option.

Or 2/ Cheat.

Both issues are with the back, and I had live stitches on both edges of the back. Remember I told you about knitting upside down? Well, this looked like another great opportunity put that technique to work. I thought I’d take one row apart at the shoulder, narrow the back, delete the flange, then reknit the pieces together without ever unraveling the sleeves. My intent was to remove about 4 garter stitch ridges from the back. This would also fix another detail that was bugging me – the backs ended on the dark teal at the shoulder seam. The fronts ended at the bright turquoise in the contrast colour. By pure coincidence, the contrast colour ended at the same bright turquoise on the back, but the extra two rows of teal meant it didn’t look like the pieces matched when joined for the sleeve.

The problem with cheating? It would make the body of the sweater 4 to 5″ narrower in the body. That meant it wouldn’t fit me. It’s a trim-fitting cardigan, without a ton of ease. I wasn’t going to do this much work and end up with a sweater that didn’t fit.

So, I frogged the sleeves. I’ve fixed the backs and am knitting the sleeves all over again. I’m trying to be a Big Strong Knitter and just fix this – instead of chucking it into my knitting basket to fester for a year or so while I sulk about it – so we’ll see how that goes. Right now, I’ve finished those two shoulder wedges and am knitting down, knitting both sleeves simultaneously. I took advantage of the opportunity to rewind the yarn (again) and continue the colourway in order. The shoulder wedges are now blue.

It seems very fitting that I called this sweater ‘Compulsion’ in my Ravelry projects!

As consolation, I cast on a scarf for a Christmas gift, which I can’t possibly mess up. It’s in Patons Lace Sequin and I’m going to knit until it’s long enough. (Quite intellectually demanding, this project.) The colour is Amber, which is kind of taupe, because it’s for a person who likes taupe a lot. This is also a person who doesn’t like to handwash things and can’t wear wool, so the acrylic is the way to go. I’m liking the sparkles and will show you next week.

One thought on “The Plot Thickens

  1. I am not surprised at the rewinding and proper colour continuation, good decision even if a bit painful and worthy of a sulk! It is all now as it should be, I am sure.

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