Friday, January 23, 2015

My tiny armpits

Making good progress on the Northshore cardigan.  In case you ever wondered, this is what something 19" tall looks like:

Once I got to that row, I took a measurement and found I'd overshot the 19" mark by exactly one row.  At 19" you're supposed to start doing the arm shaping...normally I would've just done it with the next row, but the instructions were to stop at 19" on a WS row, and I'd just finished a RS row.  Rather than wanting to add ANOTHER row before getting to start the arm shaping, I decided to undo the previously finished row (140 stitches wasted!), and then redo the row beginning the arm shaping.

One of the things about the instructions that had completely confused me was that you're supposed to "reduce 7 stitches beg next two rows" (or something like that).  Um, so is that like reduce 3 stitches on either side this row, and then reduce 4 each side on the next row?

That doesn't make sense when I could do it all at once - the diagram even showed straight lines cutting in from the sides to indicate it wasn't a step-shape reduction.  So what the heck, I started my row right the right side, binding off the first 7 stitches, continued on through the pattern as instructed, and started my bind-offs 7 stitches from the ooooooooh!  NOW I GET IT!

If you start binding off the LEFT side of the pattern, you're going to basically walk yourself off the edge of the Earth.  Bind off at the END of a row, and there's no knitting back once you turn the work - you have bound off those stitches!  Doh!

Here's the right side reduction for the first of the two rows...

I'd seen where one knitter had recommend leaving live stitches for all these points, rather than binding off - suggesting putting the live stitches on scrap yarn or something, and then when it's time to seam all the pieces together (back panel, front panels, arms), you can just tidily kitchener stitch the edges together rather than "sewing" all these bound off edges together.  I really like that idea and wanted to go with it, but since this is my first cardigan/sweater type thing, I was already having so much trouble with the concepts of binding off over multiple rows, so I just figured I should follow the instructions.

Now that things are starting to make sense, maybe I'll find a point further up in all these bind-offs where I'll do the live-stitch trick.  So far the bind offs have really been in the armpit area, so it's not like the rest of the world should see them anyhow, riiight?

And speaking of armpits - seven stitches bound off from either side of the back panel for under the arm?  Just how tiny do they think our armpits are!?  I'm sure this'll work out...there'll be more of this area coming from the front panels, and I'm guessing some of the diagonal bind-offs I'm working through now will also taper into the armpit area.  We shall see!

Another helpful tip that came from a friend on Facebook is one I really would like to factor in on this pattern, but I think I'm juggling too many new concepts at the same time to pull it off.  She suggested picking a part of the cable repeat, and plan on that being at the very top of the shoulder - I guess so it matches up gracefully with the front panels and hopefully looks seamless along the top edge.  Then you're supposed to backtrack the length of the cable repeat (multiplied however many times needed down the height of the arm indentation), and use that to plan where the arm shaping should've started.  Umm....ok, I understand the concept, buuut I'm not certain I could pull this off.  I reminded myself that this is my first wearable/fitted shirt-type knitted thing, and I accepted from the get-go that it wouldn't have to be 100% perfect (even though, yes, there's a LOT of knitting hours going into it!).  So I'll tackle Mary's suggestion with some future project....when I can refer back to my experience with this one.

Now that the arm shaping is reducing the overall width from 140 stitches to something like 121 stitches across, I should really start flying through this faster, right?  ;-)

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