The tide is high, but I’m holding on….

This is not a “Finished Object” post. It is more of an “Unfinished Object” post. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is a post about a garment which is less close to being finished than it was at the beginning of the week.

Ho-hum. I took the wise advice of a lovely reader and sewed the first “re-worked” sleeve into the body just to check the fit, and it was equally awful to my initial attempt. The fit around the shoulder and arm is just wrong and it’s going to need something major to make it right. I must admit, at that point, late on Monday evening, I was all for putting the whole project in a bag and hiding it in a cupboard until the end of the universe. However, fortified with biscuits and a good night’s sleep, I awoke on Tuesday knowing that I was just going to have to reformulate my plans.

Every girl wants you to be her man
But I’ll wait my dear ’til it’s my turn
I’m not the kind of girl
Who gives up just like that, oh no!

The Tide is High – Blondie version

Can you remember November? Way back then, my plan was to finish the Heather Sweater before the end of the month and then start December knitting my mid-blue wool into the Rivelin sweater. This was to be a quick knit and by the beginning of next year I’d be ready to move onto some as-yet unknown projects. I was so young back then, so easily assured that all would be well. November aged me dramatically.

Now we’re in December, the bright and sparkling month of the year, and I have a whole new plan. My new plan is to finish the Heather Sweater by Christmas and then have Rivelin as my Christmas Eve Cast-on. I reckon that will mean that my new knitting year will start around my birthday instead of at the beginning of the calendar year, and that’s okay – either way works well for me.

You may be wondering where I am going with the Heather Sweater, although you may notice that my photo includes one sleeve attached to the body and one sleeve cuff, so that’s a hint. I’m going to undo the seams and get the sweater back into pieces. Both sleeves will be unpicked right back to the cuffs and I will add 12 stitches distributed across the width of the sleeve before I start the lace pattern. That means the whole sleeve will be a couple of inches wider than it is currently. One big issue I have with the pattern is that on the body as you begin the armhole shaping, you cast off 6 stitches on the front and a further 6 stitches on the back, but the sleeve does not have a corresponding 12 stitches cast off flat to marry up with the body. When I originally worked the sleeves, I just cast off the 12 stitches and re-organised the gradual decreases up to the shoulder so that the sleeve head would be the right length to fit the armhole. Except it wasn’t and the whole armhole area was way too tight. So on my second attempt I worked the sleeve head shaping as given in the pattern and it didn’t work at all. With the extra 12 stitches it should fit my shoulder much better.

I am also going to rework the armhole section on the body pieces, adding about an extra inch in length because I think the armhole itself is too miserly for my tastes. On the back, I hope I won’t have to unpick too much – just to below the shoulder shaping, but I will take the front back to the beginning of the armhole shaping and improve the v-neck a bit too.

That is much more work than I really want to put in, but there’s something about this project which has me in its claws and won’t let me go. I wonder if perhaps I feel that not getting this one right means the Rivelin will also turn out badly; if I just put in the effort on the first project, it will guarantee a good result on the next. Then again, it may just be my stubborn nature and, let’s face it, that has let me down so many times in the past that even allowing myself a moment of listening to it puts the entire universe into imminent danger. I just hope the stormclouds gathering over Carrow Road (the home of Norwich City Football Club) are not a bad omen!

7 thoughts on “I’m not the kind of girl….

    1. Funnily enough, yes I have. On Monday night, my options were to throw it in the bin or leave it as a tank top, but I regained my commonsense by Tuesday morning.

    1. I think it’s a perfect storm brewed of strange instructions mixed with my desire not to follow them properly! I am not entirely sure why I am persevering.

  1. I find that lots of patterns go wrong around the armhole and sleeve cap. These days, if it’s just a plain set-in sleeve, I completely ignore the original instructions and follow my own tried and tested write-up from the one sweater that actually worked out! Obviously, it needs to adjust for the gauge, but I’ve done it enough times now to “feel” my way reasonably well, with minimal unpicking. šŸ˜‰

    Regarding your sleeves being too narrow: have you considered, rather than unpicking them almost completely, to knit narrow inserts instead? Once you sew them in, they will be completely unnoticeable. Speaking from experience here. šŸ˜†

    1. Hi. Knitting an insert for the sleeve didn’t occur to me this time, although I did toy with it when I was wondering how to make my Grape cardigan fit better. To be honest, I’ve been enjoying working on this so re-knitting large parts of it doesn’t bother me. If I felt I was done with it and wanted a quick fix, it would be a different matter, but I’m actually quite happy as I am.
      I agree about the armhole/sleeve shaping problem with modern patterns. One reason I never knit top-down sweaters is that they often look so odd around the shoulder area when I see people wearing them and I can’t imagine them being comfortable.

    2. I agree. A lot of yoked sweaters look like the yoke is being pulled completely out of shape. I think the thinking is that since it’s knitted, it stretches, and so does not need to be shaped correctly. Not true…

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