What is this wadded, folded red object?
The red top-down pullover, of course. I’ve finished both sleeve caps. They were worked onto the body rather than seamed on later, and were done both using the short-row method described in the pattern. More or less. There was some fudging and work-arounds to maintain the lacy rib pattern, and I ended up having to do an extra row after pick-up because try as I might, I could not pick up as few stitches as were specified without leaving unsightly gaps and puckering. So, I picked up an appropriate number (mid way between my chosen size and the next one up), then worked an additional row of strategically placed decreases to slim the count down to the pattern’s number. That means my lacy rib starts one row after the seam instead of butted up against it, but unless I point that out, it’s not noticeable. (Oops. I just did.)
Why is it all folded up? Because now that I’m in the post sleeve cap arm section, I am knitting both sleeves at the same time, using the two-circ method. This will guarantee that they are both the same length and configuration.
I often do the same thing for socks, mittens, or other things that come in identical or mirrored pairs. I even knit cardigan fronts side by side when working flat, for the same reason. You can barely see a pink stitch marker attaching the two sleeves together in the center, just above the working needles. This is a small trick I stumbled on that has eliminated hours of grief for both two-circ and flat production of side by side pieces. Securing the two pieces together in a fixed orientation helps me keep on track, knitting both items in the same direction and minimizing the “Drat! I just loaded everything onto the same needle” mistake.
The red top-down pullover is growing at a good pace. I’m finding the Cascade Yarns UltraPima to be a very easy cotton to knit – easy to keep tension, non-splitty, and fast to work. I’m averaging about 3 inches per evening.
The true color is rather more tomato than fuchsia, but you get the idea:
The pattern is of the type I haven’t seen for quite a while. It’s not written for new knitters. As I warned before, if you are intimidated by things like “repeat as for left, reversing shaping,” or if you have problems calculating back to add panels of an established pattern to newly cast-on stitches, you will want to sit down with this one first, making plenty of notes and figuring out what is meant before you plunge on ahead.
One extra hint – the increases and decreases in this piece happen at long intervals, for the size I’m working in one case every seven rows, in another, every 14. Keeping track of that can be a pain, but I use one of my Stupid Stitch Marker Tricks to do it. I have a marker indicating the first stitch of the round. I take a contrasting color marker, and advance it one stitch away from the first-stitch marker on each round. When seven stitches have accumulated between my first-stitch marker and my counting marker, I am ready to do my decrease. I find this method more immediate and less difficult to forget than using tally marks on paper, counting stones, or a stitch counter gizmo.
But I’m past the tricky bits now. I’m into the section below the empire waist, where the “skirt” area is slowly increased to make a baby-doll A-line silhouette. Easy. The next tricky bit will be the sleeves, which I intend on making shorter than the original.
On yarn consumption, I’ve just wound and tapped into Skein #3. I figure one more after this one on the body, then possibly 1.75 to 2 per sleeve. I’ve got plenty and should not have to dip into the odd-lot extra skein in my mixed dye lot bag.
I’ll post more on expat life this week, once I’ve retrieved the pictures from family cameras.