December 11, 2002

Sleeves mean I'm 3/4 through. Oh yeah.

It's interaction time! I've now started on the sleeves of my husband's cabled sweater and need to make single paired increases at both ends every few rows until I shape the sleeve cap. I cannot do fully-fashioned increases for these particular sleeves because I must "reconstitute" the pattern after each increase, so the increases must be right next to the selvedge stitch. Further, the sides of the sleeves are in 4/3 rib, so there will be some times when I'll need to create a purl stitch and other times when I need to create a knit stitch, and we'll have to take into account that the stitches lying next to the increase will also vary - sometimes there will be a purl stitch and other times there will be a knit stitch. I once did a cabled sweater with seed stitch that required the pattern be continued this way when making increases, and I used the old knit into the same stitch/purl into the same stitch twice method. It looked like crap! So I ask you, talented reader, to suggest an increase that will look snappy on this type of pattern. It doesn't have to be invisible, but all I'd like is that it look good, create no holes, and not be a pain in the arse to seam. Ideas?

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6 comments to this entry:

good lord girlfriend that would make me crazy. well i have recently been using the pick up loop between/below stitches on left hand needle, knit into back of it w/ right hand needle to increase and have found it more invisible than i expected. i believe you could purl into back of it for same effect. alternately, what about making the selvage stitch the increase and just cable or knit casting on a stitch at the end of the row each time you're supposed to increase? not sure how it would look at very edge, but that will be hidden in seam anyway? and then pattern would just slowly expand outward instead of a hiccup? those are my two retarded suggestions. i am braind dead!! :)
I'm having a hard time picturing what you're describing--are there increases throughout the sleeves? If there are, I was going to pipe in with the M1L, M1R-type increase as Carolyn suggests. However, if you're really just talking about the "seam" stitch, the Tricoter girls suggest (in their mens' sweaters book) that you knit the first and last stitch on all rows, even on the wrong side (or purl side, I guess) to create a good selvage for seaming. If you did that, would the increase that you're avoiding work? I don't know. I tried. I just think it's amazing that you pick up on stuff like that.
Hmm...I think that strand increase will definitely work, Carolyn! And there are several different ways to do it for purl and knit. I'll take a look at my reference books. Thanks, Janet. I wasn't really clear in my entry, so I just modified it to clarify that I will be doing single paired increases at both ends every few rows. When I increase evenly across a row I usually do the horizontal strand increase (or make one) because it won't be hidden in a seam. But I like the suggestion to use this increase next to the selvedge, too.
Question: you call sleeves being 3/4 done? I always thought of it as 2/3. Maybe I was basing it on yarn amounts? Or adding in sewing as another stage. I don't know anymore. I'd prefer to think of it your way, of course. Anything to give yourself that feeling that everything is coming together. (Especially if hubby is anxiously awaiting the finished product, right?!)
Oh, dear - this is why I always make sleeves in the round, with no seam to worry about - the first and last stitches are always knit, which forms a "rib" all the way up to the armhole. I really cannot stand sewing up sleeves.
Patricia, your comment has given me a little light bulb to go off in my head. Thank you!! Actually, Alison, I think your way might be better. I cheat a bit - I say 3/4 because I'm doing both sleeves at once, but it's 3/4 of the actual knitting itself (front, back, 1 sleeve and 1 sleeve = 4). I consider darning, blocking, sewing and finishing as another 4 step stage in itself because sometimes it takes me days and days to do all that. Particularly darning and weaving; when I do that, I usually straighten out my stitches to make them look good, and make sure all my selvedges are as nice as possible. I spend hours doing that sometimes. Then I block. Then I sew. Then I finish (facings, bands, hems, etc.). It's only when I'm putting on those last finishing touches that I see a completed project on the horizon. How complicated I make it, no? :-)

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