We’re entering the final week of the knit-a-long here at the shop, and I was lucky to be able to snap a quick photo of my progress on a handy dress form on Sunday. Needless to say, I was tremendously excited to bind off the bottom edge of the body and kept telling myself “hooray, all that’s left are the sleeves!”
Now, you may recall from my last post that I was a little indecisive as to how I was going to approach the sleeves. In the end I decided not to deviate from the pattern and knit them flat. Why did I make this choice? Well, for a couple of reasons. For one, this sweater is in reverse stockinette stitch (meaning purl on the right side, knit on the wrong) and I purl slowly in the round. Secondly, the cuff is in garter stitch (all knit, all the time) and garter stitch in the round leaves an obvious seam so that’s not eliminated by not knitting it flat. And thirdly, availability of needles. That last one probably seems surprising to you – I mean, I work at a yarn shop and I’ve been knitting for 11 years. How can availability of needles affect my knitting choices? Well, the answer is actually quite simple – for each technique you attempt as a knitter you have to have the right tools to do it well. I’ll explain in detail below.
When knitting small circumference items in the round you have the following techniques available to you: DPNs (the often-dreaded double pointed needle), two circular needles, magic loop, and small-circumference circular needles. I have learned (the hard way) that when purling in the round, the only way my knitting doesn’t ladder is to knit on small circumference circulars (generally 12″ as I find the 9″ too small to be comfortable in my hands). Since I only had DPNs and one long needle, I wasn’t really game to start knitting the sleeve in the round and then figure out halfway down I was going to have to rip it back. I decided that in the end, seaming was the much better option. Now I have successfully knit both sleeves to the cuffs (I also decided to switch from my initial plan of 3/4 length to full length), all I have left is the finishing. My plan for the rest of the week is to seam the sleeves, weave in some ends, and sew on some buttons. How are your sweaters coming along out in the wild? Post progress pics on our rav forum, I can’t wait to see the finished projects!
Next week I’ll be writing about finishing techniques, so if you have any requests leave them in the comments here or on ravelry and I’ll do my best to photograph and discuss!