Monday, March 16, 2009

Too Pithy?

When Elizabeth Zimmermann refers to her instructions for the Baby Sweater on Two Needles as pity she isn't exaggerating. Her pithy instructions are pithy indeed! Blown up to 200% they still only take up one page. And that includes the Gull Lace Pattern! And so reading through the thread on Ravelry is perhaps the only way to understand what is going on if, like me, you are a solitary knitter. And even with the the wealth of information there I missed the most important post! And even more embarrassingly, it was posted by someone I know. Knowing so few knitters in the "Real World" you would have thought I'd pay more attention to what she said. But apparently I breezed right by it. A couple of times. Lauren (Rav linky) had a lot of helpful things to say, but here is her crucial quote:

The pattern has you CO 14 stitches on the sleeves AND (my emphasis) on the body. For the sleeves she says to work 28 stitches plus 7 CO at each end, 42 in all. Then for the body she says to work 92 stitches “knitting up 4x7 sts at the cast-on sleeve-sts.” That’s the most confusing part of the pithiness, in my opinion, but it means to cast on 14 stitches under each arm and work them with the body. Then you’ll seam the 14 co sleeve sts to the 14 co body sts when you’re done.

Oh, Lauren, I wish I had read that through one sleeve and several inches ago!
So here's what the sweater looked like before I read that post and realized I was missing 28 sts in the body.

Yes, pretty good progress. But the sweater was looking more Newborn than 9 months to me. That's what prompted me to go back and reread the thread. Still, starting over is not so bad, really. It is a tiny baby sweater, albeit slightly bigger after adding in 28 stitches to the body! And anyway, the first time around there were no button holes, since EZ doesn't mention them until after the yoke is finished. And I think her 5" sleeves were a bit short for my taste. So I learned something from this and have frogged, rewound and cast on again! I still plan on making the sleeves in the round. So at this point I have moved the sleeve stitches to holders and cast on the additional stitches into the body. But I want to PM Lauren to make sure I'm not missing anything else before I boldy go on.

That's it for the night. It's late. We'll say where tomorrow takes me.


Megan said...

Wow! This is so pretty. Your pictures totally make me want to start making one. What a beautiful color. I will keep your advice in mind too. I have the book but always thought the pattern left something to be desired...

Lupie said...

EZ patterns can make you nuts but I feel they are worth the work. I was happy with the way my February Sweater caame out even with the pain it was to follow the pattern. I will make another someday. Yours is coming out so beautiful!