Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sleeve Issues

(Yes, I really do like to be this organized)

One of the things contributing to my lack of blogging is the lack of publicly documentable progress. One of my projects is 'under the radar' and the other is a test knitting project, and I'm not sure what the proper netiquette is for revealing that sort of thing. Given my background in National Security (which is not random at all, so I didn't mention it then), I decided that 'twas best left unmentioned.

The test knitting was not without issues, and one of them was entirely mine. It comes from reading directions and then doing them. Except I'm dealing with two sets of directions, and if one set gets applied to the other item ... then it comes about, after the passage of time, that one will look at one's knitting and say "Oh. No."

As did I, one day not that long ago. SSK. K2tog. Not K2tog. SSK. I quickly ran through my options. Ignore it? Not on a test knit. As a gift, sure. For myself, no doubt. But I would have done it differently in either of those cases anyways. Frog it? Time consuming. Working down the column of stitches? BINGO!

Since I didn't discover the Issue until halfway through the second sleeve, and the issue only involved the first sleeve, my first act was to Identify the Offending Sleeve.

The sleeve being identified (ablative absolute construction), I proceeded to finish the second sleeve, then discovered that some smaller issues had arisen and 5 rows of frogging were necessary on both sleeves. Easy peasy. So, I hit 'start' on the timer, frogged the last 5 rows, picked up a few oodles of stitches, and observed that I had spent 2 minutes in the repair effort.

The next thing to do was to allow the offending column of stitches to unravel. With great encouragement, it did so in less than a minute. As it ran, I gathered up the decreased stitches on a dpn. (That reminds me. Do NOT try this with one long circular needle. Magic Loop may work for some things, but not in the OR. It's akin to doing a heart transplant through three little incisions.)

Then, I pulled out a crochet hook, repressed my natural aversion to the tool, and spent a minute picking up the stitches, working the decreases with the proper slant. That took less than 2 minutes.

Easy, right? I even improved on the technique, by picking up the 'decreased' stitches on a dpn BEFORE unraveling the other column of stitches.

And I was so delighted with myself for noticing that I hadn't unraveled far enough to get the last increase (or first increase) on the first column of stitches. I muttered slightly, but the times involved were so insignificant that I didn't mutter much. Then I realized that I was making the same error on the second set of stitches. Oops. Fortunately, I realized that before I started any constructive repairs.

The finished sleeve looks lovely. My SSKs are gorgeous. The moral of the story could be: If you want perfect SSKs, work them as K2tog, then unravel the knitting when you're just about done and fix it with a crochet hook.

But not you, Rachel. That would be avoiding the whole issue, wouldn't it?


twistedinstitches said...


Oh you know me too well!


Shan said...

Hee hee!