Saturday, August 11, 2012

I'm Getting Somewhere

OK, people, I think I may actually be getting somewhere. I've spent hours on the numbers and draping this morning and finally squealed to Scott: "Eureka! Lord, I'd be lost without math." Whereupon he spit-choked his coffee.

I'd like to advise that, despite his fantastic spatial reasoning skills, he was of no help whatsoever.

Have a look at this:

My speculation is that the vertical piece (wrong side up) that follows the general length of the hardwood seam is the centre back. The pointiest part at the bottom tip  of that vertical line is the left centre back. The part that curves up to the right-hand side of the photo is the side seam leading to the arm seam (obviously, the entire front isn't done, I'm still knitting it). The part of the sleeve you can see is the front. Then, the diagonal bit on the left-hand side of the photo is the front left side of the surplice, the left wrap, if you will. Right now I'm making the front of the left side of the sweater.

In as much as something can be knit on the bias, I believe this puppy is.

Now, let's talk about some of the hideous features of this pattern (which I hope are contained within the instructions and do not spill over into the finished object):
  •  OMG, would it have killed Ms. McCardell (or her people) to put together a fucking schematic?? It's not like this is a shell with increases and decreases at the arms and neck.
  •  And while we're at it, on nature's most complex pattern, could we go with something more in the directions than: Right Half - reverse shaping from left half. There are increases and decreases on just about every freaking row. I. am. not. joking. One false move and you are making a thneed.
  •  The instructions refer to the sleeve edge and the side edge in addition to the centre back edge and the neck edge and the neck facing edge (fucking hell). Technically the sleeve and side edge are the same edge, but when you don't know how the thing comes together, that's impossible to know. By that logic, the neck edge and the centre back edge are the same.  In fact, a big part of the reason that I started draping the fabric is because I couldn't figure out where to do my next batch of increases. Sidebar: Let's assume I'm right about this. I consider this my crafting public service of the month. Maybe even the season. Cuz there's no one else I can find who's made or written about this pattern.

On my math-path (as I call it), I figured out that I've got another 10.5 inches or so to knit on the front left side. That will definitely make the front longer than the back. I have to assume that's the goal of the pattern, to allow for the cross-over at the waist. But that's about 5 inches of extra length over the back. I really hope this isn't going to mess me up.

Why am I so concerned, since I am following the instructions? Well, my gauge is not the same as that of the pattern instructions, of which I'm well aware. This suits me in terms of circumference. BUT: My vertical gauge is 10 stitches per inch rather than 11. You might think it shouldn't matter since I've knitted the entire sweater with that gauge in the same yarn.  However, the sweater instructs - at some points - that one knit to a certain length and at other points that one knit a certain number of rows. Since, all things being equal, my gauge will give me a longer sweater than the pattern's, I'm a bit concerned that the ratios for front and back may be off.

Egad! I love blogging and I love math!! I just figured out how to fix this problem. And I did it just in the nick of time. If you want the deets, let me know, but in short I figured out the difference in length of a variety of rows (my gauge vs. the pattern's) and I'm subtracting it from the part that directs you to knit numbers of rows (rather than the spans wherein you're directed to knit absolute length).

My one other concern at the moment is that this thing isn't going to fit. But I can't really do anything about it at this point. I need to finish at least one side before I can drape it on my dress form for confirmation. If the size is off (up or down), then I'll need to decide whether to frog it or to keep on and give this thing away. One issue at a time...


  1. Good for you. I really admire your perseverance in trying to figure this out. I think I would have given up and used the yarn for socks.

    1. Ha! Problem is, I have no idea of how to make socks :-)

  2. Eureka! That's great! It's always so reassuring to figure a pattern out!

    1. Esp. when, after knitting for dozens of hours, you still don't quite know if you've been following the directions correctly.

  3. I tried to understand this...I failed. lol! I'm so glad you are getting somewhere with this!

    1. Just wait for the finished object (she says not entirely sure how it's all going to come together, epiphanies notwithstanding).