Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I nearly reached this milestone on Saturday. I'd sewn the front and back pieces together along the right-hand shoulder, I'd marked the stitches I was supposed to pick up along both sides of the neck shaping. On Saturday morning, I'd picked up every stitch I was supposed to and everything was going absolutely swimmingly for the 13 rows that form the neckband. I cast off loosely as per the instructions, pinned the neckband and left shoulder, and prepared to put it on to get my first real idea of what the jumper was going to look like.
And couldn't get it over my head.
So Saturday afternoon was spent carefully putting in bright orange acrylic safety lines for the live stitches on the front and back pieces, and then frogging the whole neckband. Just like the last time I had to frog part of this jumper, the task was made more difficult by the fact that the jumper is effectively knit in two-row stripes but of the same colour yarn. Still, it got done, and then Steve and I sat down to try and figure out what a sensible next step would be.
Step one: I checked my gauge, which was still the same as that recommended in the pattern.
Step two: I measured the circumference of my head. It's just under 23 inches which is not abnormal.
Step three: I tried to find a way to make my cast-off even looser. The easiest way of doing this appeared to be swapping one of the 3 1/4 mm needles I was knitting on, for a nice chunky 5mm needle.
Step four: With the help of Steve and a calculator, I worked out that I would need to add an extra five or six stitches in order for the neck to comfortably stretch around my head. This would give about an inch extra when flat, and stretch to about two or three inches extra.
Step five: I decided where the best places would be to add my extra stitches. I picked up two extra ones along each side of the neck on the front piece, and then added one at each end of the live stitches for the back piece.
As you can see from the picture, it worked. I feel so happy. I really like the way it looks, I like the way the colours have worked out, I like the way the neckline sits, I like the length, and I'm still absolutely gobsmacked when I look at all those little stitches making up this great-big jumper and think "I knit each and every one of those."
My plan for wowing the ladies at knitting was sadly scuppered as Anna at Web Of Wool is a bit under the weather at the moment. Still, I'm sure everyone will be just as impressed next week, and who knows, if I get really bored I might have finished a sleeve by then as well!