Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Why you should always follow the written pattern and not try to change it

I haven't posted in awhile because I really felt like I had nothing to post about. I'm still hard at work on the Gentle Rose, despite plans to be finished by now. It came of trying to knit the sleeves in the round, and finding that I really wasn't liking the result: the decorative rib wasn't turning out right, and I tried to lengthen it first, and then looking at the dimensions, to shorten it. Then I made a mistake just at the beginning of the rib, doing two K instead of a K-P, giving the rib a decidedly funny look in one spot. Added to the fact that the sleeve would have fit both my arms in it, I just couldn't in good conscience keep it as it was. I wanted to take it off the needles and start with less stitches, to make it less like a circus tent and more like a sleeve, and also fix that bit with the funny rib, when I had an insight. 

In this particular pattern, the rib builds up from 2 to 4 to 6 and so forth, until the whole row is ribbed. It makes a nice pattern on the sleeve when it's sewn together. You're supposed to increase the rib every right side row, which I hadn't been doing since I wanted to shorten it. It looked really sloppy though, and I was a bit unsure that I was actually doing it right, since translating things from flat to round is not my strong point. So I decided to do it  on flat needles, like it called for. I probably could have stuck it out and recast in the round, but I want this cardigan done, not sitting around waiting for me to muddle through it and frog all over the place. 

I'm really pleased I switched. It's looking great, and I feel like I have a lot more control over the work than I did in the round. I'm still not sure about the size of the sleeve when it's closed up, but I have used a smaller size, so hopefully I'll be able to make it work. Now it won't sit on the sofa anymore taunting me with how bad it's looking, and I feel like I'm back on course, so it should be done in a few more weeks. I've given three months to this thing near enough, and while I'm loving knitting it, I can't wait to wear it.