At the Still Point of the Turning World
Residency is over, NOW what? (While I'm waiting for the answer, I'll get some spinning done....)

Monday, December 02, 2002


It's been a while since I posted. I've been hard at work on the Chocolate Squares sweater. All the pieces are knitted, the shoulders and one sleeve/side seam sewn on, and the collar stitches picked up and knitted in rib. Then--tragedy! The sleeves are 'way too big. I'd cast on the requisite number of stitches for the top of the sleeve and knit down, and now come to find the depth of the sleeve is 1.5" greater than called for by the pattern. For a moment I thought I'd gotten out of gauge and re-measured my original swatch--and the SWATCH is too big! Four-and-a-quarter inches in width, not four inches as it should have been if I'd been knitting to gauge.

(And yes--the body of the sweater is a bit too large as well.)

You have to understand, I'm a by-the-book kind of knitter. I ALWAYS knit a gauge swatch. And measure it carefully. Looking back on this swatch, I remember measuring it and thinking it was fine, but clearly I missed the mistake in gauge. I can only attribute this complete brain fart to a chronic state of exhaustion. Funny, though, I hardly ever notice how tired I am all the time, but I keep making mistakes in my sweaters--hence the impossibly-small collar on the Fascination sweater a few months ago, and now these enormous, bat-winged sleeves on the Chocolate Squares sweater.

The problem is not insurmountable. I can pin back some of the excess width on each sleeve and create a smaller sleeve cap. This will give a bulky underarm seam, however. Or I could re-knit the sleeves, which I really don't want to do. Or I could toss the entire sweater in the garbage and tackle something else. Tempting.

Truthfully, I was never very engaged with this sweater. My father wanted me to make him a sweater, sent me a photo of one he likes, and I chose this pattern because it was similar but not, as it turns out, very interesting to knit. In my foggy, tired state, I simply knit and knit and knit and never checked the dimensions of the emerging garment, or else I might have caught my mistake sooner. A bad combination of fatigue and boredom. Hmm.

It will only get worse, I'm afraid. I'm back on Night Float, which means for the next three-and-a-half weeks I will be covering the witching hour in the hospital, 8pm to 8am Sunday through Thursday nights. I never feel quite normal during my Night Float months, and yet I'm determined to get some knitting done. I'll just have to measure, measure, measure and check my pattern instructions constantly, I suppose.

What am I working on now? The Cabled Raglan Tunic in Black Water Abbey yarn.

The collar is a v-neck, so even my head should be able to squeeze through. Wish me luck.