Monday, May 28, 2007

We all have to take a break sometime...

Today is a knit free day. Sad but true. My wrists and fingers have gone all tingly and declared a strike! And I'm really tired. Really. I won't tell you how many hours I slept last night. The number is so high it is embarrassing! And what a shame as today is bit cooler. Oh well, at least I can write a little something.

So, Arietta. I'm sure there is a very good reason that designers always begin with the back, but as I have stated before, I prefer to start with the sleeve. I think of it as a giant swatch with less investment. Here's about a third of my first sleeve (two complete repeats; 9 out of 20 increases.) I have to say, I really am happy with my color choices!

And here's a close up of the stitch definition and the color changes (remember you can click on the photo for an enlargement):

It has been a bit of a challenge, working with 100% cotton. First, I am used to slightly larger needles so the work is a bit slower going. Second, I am used to the elasticity of wool and wool blends. Third, this cotton is drying out my fingers A LOT. I need to find some of the Knitter's Balm or whatever it is called. And of course, there isn't much mindless knitting in this. You need to stay focused all the time. Even in the purling, you have pay attention for those occasional knit stitches. They creep up in the single color parts, between slipped stitches, but not all of them. Only the ones that become completely boxed in.

Some things that I have found helpful:

  1. If you decide to use different colors than in the pattern, it helps to change the colors of the chart. If you can't Photoshop it, as I did, you can easily remake it in Excel.

  2. I drew a big, black vertical line down the chart to mark the original starting stitch.

  3. I found that by placing a marker at the ends of the original stitches (with the increases growing out from the markers) it has helped me to keep my place in the chart.

  4. I did the math against the chart and already wrote out where the increases will happen and, at least on the XL, they all occur at the same 5 places: rows 5, 13, 21, 29 & 37 (i.e. increase 1, 6, 11, 16 all occur at row 13; 2, 7, 12, 17 at row 18, etc.)

All this has helped me keep my place.

That's it for now. I'll keep you posted...


Ayelet said...

I like the idea of the sleeve as a giant swatch - I might have to adopt it :)
Great color choice on this sweater.. I'm looking forward to see how it turns out

Pennie said...

awesome design, looks lovely
enjoyed reading your blog and good luck on your adventure of travel

Orlop =) said...

OMG, that's fab. You are such a knitting genious.