Friday brought an unexpected stretch of knitting time when George suggested that we take a spur-of-the-moment trip into NYC to the Cooper Hewitt (National Design Museum) to see the extreme textiles exhibit. I was more than willing, even though I had hoped to finish sewing a pair of pants that day, and we took off.
I managed to knit the entire trip, coming and going, four hours of knitting and daydreaming as I watched the Hudson River go by. It was pure heaven. I finished the last shoulder just 5 minutes before we pulled into the Poughkeepsie Station.
Unfortunately my sparse knitting time over the remainder of the weekend consisted of frogging and reknitting – not what I knit on the train but earlier problems. This project is not that complicated, it is rather simple really, but still it has been plagued by simple errors. The good news is that I have now gotten quite comfortable dropping a stitch or even a section of stitches down multiple rows and reknitting just one section, even if decreases and patterns are involved in the section in question. I always knew it could be done but I approached dropping a stitch INTENTIONALLY with trepidation. I would rather just unknit the whole part of the sweater back to the mistake and start over. I really can’t say why this bothered me so much. I have no problem cutting knitting and putting in a steek, or cutting a sleeve and lengthening it above a cuff lets say and grafting the pieces together. Why this fear of dropping stitches? Am I afraid that once the dropped the stitch will run on and on and I will never catch up? Rather neanderthal of me don’t you think. No more!
The sweater did not automatically take the shape shown above. When I finished the front I proudly brought it into the house and looked at it next to the back and I COULDN’T FIGURE OUT HOW THEY WENT TOGETHER! The pattern clearly said to sew the front to the back at the shoulders but I certainly couldn’t match them up. It was late and I was tired so I opted for one of my favorite problem-solving techniques: going to bed.
When I looked at the back the next morning it was clear I had made a mistake when finishing the shoulders of the back. You can easily see the mistake in this photo:
As you can see, I cast off for the shoulders from the armscye edge not the neck edge. Hmmm.. Now I was probably tired when I read the instructions because they really weren’t that obtuse. In fact the English translation of the French pattern is pretty good. The problem is the pictures and diagrams aren’t included in the translation and I wasn’t looking a the actual pattern book, just the translation. And I was tired too remember.
So I reknit the back neck opening and shoulders. No problem really. I ended up with what you see here:
Now technically I should not need to block a ribbed sweater, and in fact most of the sweater does not need blocking, but that neck edge was rolling all over the place, and those narrow shoulders, well they were rolling up like jelly rolls and twisting like mad. I could see myself doing something stupid. So I blocked them, and sewed the shoulders together with the pieces on the blocking board.
Normally I enjoy sewing shoulder seams. You would think a two stitch shoulder would be easy – yeah! It’s short! But that is precisely the problem. Your first stitch is your penultimate stitch and it is hard to keep that little seam looking neat and finished. Remember, that when seaming, you usually lose the outer two half stitches in the edge, but here that is half the seam. It took me a little bit of effort to make it look pretty. Of course it may have been a waste of time because once I pick up stitches for the neck and the armband there will be precious little to see – just a little point at the center of the shoulder. Well, at least it will lay flat and smooth while I pick up those stitches.