Can someone force some dpns into my hands, please?

The AV sweater has been folded up neatly (with just a tinge of anger) and put away into a GAP bag, where all bad projects belong. You know those GAP bags – navy blue and completely nontransparent. There ya go, you will not see the light of day until I say so!

I received the two freebie skeins of the Merino Style. Just to clarify, I would have run out of yarn whether the skeins were short 3 grams or exactly 50 grams each. It just so happened that when I called KnitPicks for an explanation of skein underweight, they offered to mail me two skeins as compensation. Great, now I don’t have to place an order. Anyway, of course they are a different dye lot because I bought the original batch way back in February. They look close, but the new batch seems redder to me. I don’t know, don’t quote me on that until I take the wool outside and compare in daylight. However, not all is lost: my friend Alasdair has one skein of the dye lot I want and has agreed to trade! Woohoo!

So, now I technically have enough wool to finish the second sleeve. What to do next? I don’t know. Frogging and re-knitting is out, the yarn won’t be able to handle it, and neither will my sanity. Elizabeth and Emily from my Tuesday knitting group advocate finishing the second sleeve exactly as the first, then taking in some width on the sleeves, stitching a dart, and cutting off the excess. Sort of what I did in the picture, except permanently instead of just basting, and with scissor involvement. Diana approved (of course). All those decisions will have to wait. For now, we move on to new things.

Remember the Fibo? It is my modification of this beaded sweater (from Vintage Knits by Sarah Dallas):


I’m itching to select and purchase the beads so I can get started, but first I have to do the Maths to figure out exactly how many beads I need (since I’m modifying the bead pattern). I thought that this would be a pretty simple thing because at least there’s a size in the pattern which fits me and I wouldn’t have to worry about re-sizing… just re-beading. Right? Wrong!!!

  • The pattern is written to have armhole-to-hem length of 11.5″. Uhm, let’s try 13.5″ for some modesty.
  • The shaping was pretty decent, actually, but while we’re at it, I decided to modify it just slightly.
  • Of course I need to write directions for three-quarter length sleeves, but at least I thought the sleeve cap shaping would be all taken care of: I would just have to extend those capped sleeves. Right? Wrong!!!
  • The sleeve shaping is written to give that cute puffy capped look. Which is fine, but it means I can’t just extend them down, I have to rewrite all the shaping. Shoot me, shoot me now.
  • The non-standard raglan seam (you see how it doesn’t go to the corner of the neckline?), as far as my math skills can tell, is only there because of the puffy capped sleeves. With standard-shaped sleeves, it can’t be there. Total bummer, I really liked that accent.

So, to be perfectly honest, I spent a few hours last night working on this – TV off, complete concentration – and it was very frustrating. I mean, more frustrating than the usual pattern rewrite because here it’s not just changing row and stitch gauge (in fact, in this pattern I’m not doing that at all, my gauge is dead-on), and it’s not just adding an inch to the bust (again, not doing that here, just knitting the 36″ size), I am changing how the garment pieces look and fit together.

How complicated could this be? I HAD TO GET OUT THE PROTRACTOR! Are you following me? Evidence:

Oh shit. Can someone force some dpns into my hands and make me work on a simple project? Where I don’t have to fire up six calculators and get out my protractor and turn gray trying to figure out how to move the raglan seam so I don’t get puffy sleeves? Because I just had one of those, and I’m pretty much fed up with doing all the calculations and the writing, and not a lot of knitting. Pass me a sock, wouldja?


16 thoughts on “Can someone force some dpns into my hands, please?

  1. Stephanie

    Yep, you need a sock. Now, not just any sock, but a nice simple stockinette sock in some lovely cotton/wool and a basic pattern – no cables, no lace, nothing fancy that you’ll be tempted to rewrite, just a basic sock. I think a couple of days of thereputic sock knitting will cure what ails ya. Sorry that Fibo is also causing you grief, but I think it’s because you’re too smart for your own good. The rest of us just blindly follow the pattern as written – maybe add a little length to the body and/or the sleeve, but we’re too scared (and quite frankly not smart enough – at least that goes for me) to rewrite the whole darn thing. You, sister, are a brave, intelligent cookie, but you maybe just need some stupid knitting for awhile to recharge your batteries. Good luck and try not to use the protractor for at least a week, those things are dangerous! 🙂

  2. Diana

    ah, but altering patterns to perfection is what you do! They always turn out so nice in the end; all the effort is worth it.

  3. Judy

    What Stephanie said! Put down the protractor, pick up some nice mindless sock knitting, or even some halfway-involved sock knitting. Just this once follow the pattern, don’t try to modify it! Right now I’m working on the Feather and Fan socks from Socks x 3, and really liking the way they look. Just complicated enough to keep you awake. 😉

  4. LisaB

    At least take a little bit of a break before you restructure a new pattern. Your mind needs a rest (as well as your calculator fingers)!

  5. Purly Whites

    Oh that just sucks. It is never good when you get out a protractor. Go knit a sock. Come back to it in a few days and you’ll figure it out.

  6. June

    Sigh, Tuesday knitting group! I can honestly say that is the one thing I really miss about Hahvahd. Good people. Not enough of them blogging.

    Now – what you need is not so much a lesson in The Maths, but a nifty program that will do much of it for you. I like Sweater Wizard, myself, but there’s a lot of tools out there.

    (SW –

    Why do things the hard way?

  7. Colleen

    One thing concerns me about Fibo–the underarm area. Look how it’s almost gaping on the model. Are you going to lengthen the sleeve a bit there to lessen the tendancy to gape?

  8. Rebekah

    sounds like things are working out though, maybe perseverence really is the key. Although I’m horrible at that myself so I wouldn’t know from personal experience.

  9. Tara

    I just got a migraine when I saw all the graph paper and the protractor! Girl, believe me when I say that I totally admire your balls-out approach to knitting and your desire to make everything fit you perfectly. But DAMN! Knitting is supposed to be relaxing, so for now, go get you some sock yarn and remember to breathe….

  10. freecia

    Modesty? Nooo… The shoulder, sleeves, and neck is what makes the top so cute. IMO, a sleeve extension might not match the whole “spirit” of the top.

    Go with it. Think of it as a top to help rid you of “farmer’s tan” (or in my case, polo shirt geek tan).

    And don’t forget your tiny shoulders (you said it). I think this might fit just right. Do you have any regular cap sleeve tops? Do they look right? Your arms look good in Tivoli.

    Just being the voice of evil dissent. Go work on something else and see how the cap sleeves grow on ya.

  11. marichan

    Long time lurker… first time poster (love your site!). Protractor???? Graph paper??? I am so impressed by your skills. I can’t wait to see what you make of this sweater – but I agree with everyone else. Maybe some socks to clear the brain?

  12. Karma

    Once again, you are my knitting rockstar goddess. I love that you write about your planning and revising process as well as your knitting process.

    But maybe you do need something a little bit mindless for a couple of days? Well, you’ll know when you get to that point, right?

  13. paula

    You know, I really think that you’re at a point now, where you need to just design your own garments. Why take stuff that already exists and try to force it to your specs? Why not just take the silohuette as inspiration and do your own thing? You’re obviously good at it, and you seem like your headed that way anyway, so…

    But, that’s all easier said than done. Just ignore me or smack me or both. 😉

    The Designing Knitwear book I’m reading has extensive info on sleeve cap shaping and designing in general.

    And I second the motion about getting yourself a good mindless sock. Hehehe.

    In the end, though, I have all the confidence in the world that you’ll figure this out and that all this hassle will be satisfying when you finally figure it out.

  14. Betsy

    Quote the master:

    “4. Knit calmly. If I’m throwing needles against the wall and want the yarn to disappear, it’s time to put down my knitting, step away from the offensive pattern, and cool off. If this reaction happens repeatedly, the pattern is probably too complicated or (as has happened several times before) has more than just a few mistakes, so that I can’t catch them easily. Basically, if I’m not knitting calmly, I might as well not be knitting at all.”

  15. Jane

    Ooooo.. I love that top just as is – well, maybe minus the beads in that I’m not a bead-type person except for earrings & stitch-markers.. Maybe a little YO, K2TOG eyelet in their place? I’m heading for the ILL site to see if a library in this area has a copy of Vintage Knits they wouldn’t mind parting with for a couple weeks – or maybe I should pull out some of my OLD knitting magazines from the 50s & 60s?

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