So remember how I was gushing about picking up and finishing old UFOs? Yeah, my Hey, Teach! cardigan is doing very well to kill that enthusiasm. Oh, and the Valentine's Day socks, too. They aren't helping. Let me tell you about my knitting "woes."
My Hey, Teach! cardigan (or what I'm calling my Hey, Librarian! ) isn't actually that old. It was started in September but got put aside for socks in October, a sweater in November, and Christmas presents in December. I actually got pretty far on the sweater before it was put down. The back and fronts were all finished. I had even started on the ribbing at the bottom of the sleeves. All I needed to do was to knit the sleeves, block everything, seam, and pick up and knit the button bands and the neckbands. Putting it down like that makes it sounds like a lot to do but the bulk of the work was finished.
As written, the pattern calls for cap sleeves. Now, cap sleeves have the benefit of not very much knitting (so right now that looks like a distinct plus!). But I really don't find sweaters with cap sleeves to be very wearable because they don't keep my arms warm at all. I also don't like full length sleeves because my forearms get too warm and I'll just push the sleeves up anyway. So that means 3/4 length sleeves are the way to go. Another Ravelry member had already figured out the math for the 3/4 length so I was all set for my modifications. After picking it up again, I realized I had the wrong number of stitches on my first attempt at the sleeves. I frogged that, knit my sleeves and blocked everything. After that, I could see that I made a mistake in the lace pattern of the fronts. It was right across the bust line so the mistake would have driven me crazy. I ripped back and reknit. Blocked the fronts again then got ready to seam.
I seamed up the sides and got pretty good at mattress stitching (though the first attempt at it was distinctly NOT good). I realized having the sides sewn up made it difficult to set in the sleeves. Having it flat would make things much easier so I undid the side seaming. When everything was flat, I realized there was no way that my sleeves were going to fit easily in the shoulders. The sizes just didn't match up. If I decided to sew the shoulder and sleeve together, the fabric of the sleeve would be pulled too tight. I tried holding the sleeve together to see how it would be on my arms and they are fine until you get to the shoulder. At that point, they are a little snug. Ugh.
Yesterday, I decided to ignore the sleeves for the moment and to concentrate on picking up stitches for the neck band and button bands. I watched Chuck and Heroes and got all of that done. Well, until I decided I didn't like the look of the last bind off stitch on the neck bands. So I tore back the bind off and the last row. I slipped the first stitch of the last row, knit it and bound off in pattern. Slipping the first stitch seems to make the last bind of stitch look much cleaner. I'm happy I went back even though it meant more time dealing with fiddly things. While I was going back and finishing things, I wove in ends at the same time. One piece sweaters don't have as many ends. Just saying. After that was all done, I blocked the neck band and the button bands.
This morning, after blocking, I bit the bullet and decided to frog the sleeves and start them again in the next larger size. If they don't fit after all of this, I'm going to scream. Oh, did I mention I could only find one of the sleeves while I was frogging? Normally I try to do things two at a time so I don't get bored with knitting two of the same things and so that they will be the same length. Well, one of the completed but soon to be frogged sleeves was hiding under an afghan. I thought, "Forget it, I'll find it later. I'll knit them one at a time because if I don't feel like I've made progress on this thing, I'm going to throw it across the room!" I got pretty far on the one sleeve before leaving for work this morning. It would be great if I could block it tonight but we'll have to see.
I'll have to tell you about the Valentine's Day socks later. I don't know that I can deal with that much knitting angst!