September 25, 2004

Now I'm annoyed

Oh, I had grand plans for this weekend. Grand plans, I tell ya. Not to do with going out, socialising, or finishing a chapter of my thesis, of course — to do with knitting. I was going to finish the second sleeve of Cabaret tonight, block it overnight, and sew the sweater together Sunday night, resulting in a complete, beautiful work of art on Monday.

Or not. It turns out I’m having some issues with needle sizes. You see, the pattern calls for 4.5mm needles for the garter detail at the cuff, and then switches to 5.5mm for the main knitting. And I swatched, and got gauge, surprisingly enough, with the 5.5mm. Great! I picked up some Addi Turbos in that size at the SnB the week before last and got going. I even checked my gauge a couple of times — spot on, amazingly enough.

And then, today, I’m approaching the end of the second sleeve and I make a small mistake with the final shaping, so I rip back several rows, and to confirm where I am when I pick up the stitches again I compare this sleeve with the first one. And they don’t match. The one I’m knitting tonight is an inch or two longer than the first one.

Hmm. See, I know I knit the same number of rows for each, so they should be the same length, right? I check the gauge — the first sleeve is at a tighter gauge than the second. Ominously, it’s also at a tighter gauge than the body… oh dear. I start to get the feeling that I messed up the needle sizes, so I pull out the other two sets of Addis I have, to check them. (I only have three sets — shouldn’t be too hard to keep straight, hmm? Well, yes, apparently). It turns out that I don’t actually own any 4.5mm Addis, just 4mm, 5mm, and the 5.5mm I’m using on the sleeve. And, if you recall from the beginning of this already overly long saga, I was supposed to knit the garter bands with a 4.5mm needle. So what the heck was I doing all along? I was using Addis… I must have been using the 4mm, I guess, unless of course I used the 5mm. I see no way to tell, really. And that still doesn’t explain why the sleeves are different — I think I must have switched from the 4mm to the 5mm instead of the 5.5mm, for no particular reason.

Confused yet? The upshot is I have one finished sleeve the wrong size, which I think I’m just going to keep the way it is, and one almost-finished sleeve that I’ve now frogged completely. Arrgh! I have to reknit that sleeve, hoping that I’m right about using the 5mm needle, because if I’m not then the sleeves still won’t match and I’ll have to rip out the other sleeve and reknit it! I certainly won’t be getting this sweater done this weekend. And now I’m irritated and confused, which is not what knitting is supposed to do!

But I do feel better now that I’ve shared my pain at great and very boring length. It’s so nice to be able to rant… sorry to inflict it on you!

Tomorrow I’ll restart the sleeve. For tonight, some sock knitting seems in order, to calm my frazzled nerves.

Posted by Aven at September 25, 2004 11:09 PM

You make me feel human! I make stupid mistakes like that all the time.

Posted by: Jacqueline at September 26, 2004 02:08 AM

Oh dear! This calls for a glass of wine, some good music (jazz or blues for me)just sit, breath deep, relax enjoy the music. Then begin again the next day. Either that or going to the beach works for me.

Posted by: Paula at September 26, 2004 09:04 AM

You and I must have been in the wrong cosmic knitting space yesterday. I had to rip back almost the entire back of my entrelac coat. It hurt, but I know it was the right thing to do.

Sorry to hear it happened to you too. I found chocolate helped ease the pain.

Here’s to speedy re-knitting.

Posted by: Steph at September 26, 2004 10:27 AM

Sorry to bring this up but, since it’s a raglan, you should make sure the sleeve and the body match cause you don’t want to do both sleeves over again.

Posted by: Joyce at September 26, 2004 11:24 AM

Arrgh! How frustrating. Let’s hope you only have to reknit the one sleeve, and not the one that is already finished, too.

Posted by: alison at September 26, 2004 10:03 PM

Oh no!

I hope that the ripping isn’t too painful.

The sweater is gorgeous. I hadn’t been impressed with it in the magazine, but your version is wonderful. And I love the color.

Posted by: Lydia at September 27, 2004 07:15 AM

ARGH! Isn’t it frustrating to see how we mess up sometimes!? Hugs to you, how’s the sock going? ;)

Posted by: ~Jo~ at September 27, 2004 11:14 AM

I completely sympathize! I’m having sleeve issues right now too. Mine are too big and one is in a yarn that really can’t be ripped out. Someone needs to write a book on how to knit all sleeves in the round at the same time on two circular needles like my socks. I’d buy that book…

Posted by: Laurie at September 28, 2004 01:51 PM

I knit my sleeves at the same time on one needle to avoid sleeve mis-match. Maybe that would help next time around?

Posted by: Monica at September 29, 2004 11:08 PM