Saturday, February 12, 2011

(Just like) starting over

I'm over my lost weekend with the green Lopi yarn and it's time to start rethinking the Shalom sweater.

Frogging was a disaster.  Apparently Lopi is pretty apt to give in and fall apart when you tug on it with any force, and it clings to itself fiercely, so reclaiming the wool I used was not an option.  I might have enough left to finish a 3/4-sleeved sweater with, but there's no way to be sure, and I really want this sweater to work.  Off to the LYS, where I purchased 2 enormous skeins of Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool, then home to wind the yarn into balls and crunch the numbers.

478 is a lot of yards to wind.  It took at least an hour before I was ready to start swatching.  The yarn called for #10 needles but the pattern called for #10 1/2, which is what I used.  

Before blocking, my swatch gave 4 stitches to the inch, and the same was true after blocking.  Using Elizabeth Zimmermann's percentage system from Knitting Without Tears and my favorite yoked sweater (not a cardigan, so I added 4 stitches for the button band), I calculated that I would need:
  • 88 stitches for the neck
  • 186 stitches for the chest
  • 60 stitches for the arm circumference at the underarm
  • 15 stitches at the bottom of the underarm (to be cast on after placing live arm stitches on waste yarn)
  • 45 stitches for the arm to be placed on waste yarn and picked up when working the arms.
That was the easy part.

The number crunching got ugly after that.  I had to ask for help from an expert (thank you, D) and consider several courses of action before deciding that I would work the pattern as follows:
  • Cast on 88 stitches
  • Follow rows 1-7
  • Complete row 8 as given; 142 stitches
  • Follow rows 9-19
  • Row 20: k5, m1, k2; (m1, k4) until 7 stitches remain; m1, k2, m1, k5; 170 stitches
  • follow rows 121-131
  • Row 32: k5; (m1, k4, m1, k3) until 11 stitches remain; (m1, k2) twice; m1; k5; 217 stitches
  • Follow rows 33-44
  • Row 45: k20, place 45 sts on waste yarn, k87, place 45 sts on waste yarn, k20; 127 stitches
  • Row 46: k5, p to first armhole, cast on 15 stitches, p to second armhole, cast on 20 stitches, p 15, k5
  • work in stockinette stitch with garter stitch border until desired length; knit 9 rows of garter stitch; bind off all stitches (note -- no waist shaping!)
I have not yet decided how I am going to work the arms -- I have seen several designs that I like and I want to try on the body before I make a final decision about that.  Also I want to get this yarn on my needles and get to work!

1 comment:

  1. And this post explains why I am not a knitter! There are a lot of other things I don't do, too, and I'll come up for reasons for them also. Good luck with all that--it looks impressive!