November 12, 2004

Complete Neckband - Check! (Here, have a margarita.)


I finished the neckband* without flubbing it up again!
[Passes around margaritas.]

That's right. I finally got around to knitting the neckband again, and second time was the charm. Best of all, all the ends got woven in and I didn't create any crater-like holes while doing so. But! Before you scroll down this entry in the hopes of finding finished Pull Poncho dancing pictures, you'd better cool your jets. Even though I've completed the neckband, I've just barely started sewing the sleeves onto the Pull Poncho. Literally. This is what I was doing about an hour ago:

It's the beginning of a seaming party!
[Refills everyone's margarita glass.]

A few finishing notes are in order for this one because i) the schematics of the pattern are lacking [unless the width of a sleeve cap and the length of an armhole aren't important], and ii) the instructions do not indicate where to mark the armholes for sleeve placement. Even if it is a Pull Poncho, I don't want my armholes down to my hips. So this is how I placed my sleeves:

1) I measured the top of my sleeve. It is approximately 61 cm wide. I divided by half and rounded down to 30 cm.

2) I calculated that 30 cm at a row gauge of 15 rows per 10 cm square equals 45 rows. So starting at the shoulder seam, I counted down 45 rows and used a split ring marker to indicate the beginning of the armhole. I did this for both sides of the shoulder seam.

3) I joined yarn at the shoulder seam [note: I split the yarn and used only one strand to avoid a bulky seam] and worked down. As the top of the sleeve has 68 sts, I'll need to sew 34 sts to 45 rows along the armhole of one side of the sleeve seam. (I used the other half of my sewing yarn to work the opposite side.)

4) Sewing 34 sts to 45 rows means that there is a two-three ratio between the stitch and row gauges, so on every third stitch of the sleeve I took in two horizontal bars of the armhole instead of one horizontal bar. And I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have a happy little seizure when I made it to my marker at the very last stitch of the sleeve seam. I felt like I had hit a bulls-eye with a nice even seam to show for it.

[Excellent references for sewing in sleeves with straight cast-offs: Nancie Wiseman's Book of Finishing Techniques and Katharina Buss's Big Book of Knitting.]

All I need to do now is join the rest of the seams, weave in ends (without creating any crater-like holes), and then I'll be a-fringing. A pitcher of margaritas will be required for the fringing, of course.

*The photo above doesn't seem to properly reflect the actual size of the neckband. People, this neckband can only be described as The Incredible Giant Neckband of All The Land. I tried it on after I (successfully) finished it off, and wearing it felt almost neckbrace-like without the "Hello! I can't turn my head" feeling. Not unpleasant at all, thanks to the softness that is the alpaaaaaaaaca. But there will be no chance of my neck getting cold when I wear this Pull Poncho, I can tell.

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32 comments to this entry:

It looks absolutely beautiful, I can't wait to see it finished. (And a margarita sounds fantastic, although it's only 10:25 AM in New York.)
Your scientific approach to seaming the sleeves into the armholes has shamed me - I usually just kinda wing it. I will now adopt your much more practical methods! And thanks for the tip of using a lighter gauge yarn (or splitting the yarn itself, as you mention here) for seaming when working with a bulky yarn - I did that recently with a Rowan Ribbon Twist sweater and it worked really well!
I'm finishing up a mini poncho from a Phildar pattern for my nephew (of course, they call it a "cape"), so I'll think of you and yours during my own little seaming party tonight. Having switched over the Becky-ish swiss darning method of end weaving with my last project, I am finally over my hatred of weaving in ends. It's like magic to watch those critters disappear! Although even that excitement is not enough to make me pick up intarsia again. No sirree bob. The bad news about finishing the baby poncho is that afterwards I have to go back to Sleeve Island again, probably until the end of the year. Send the coast guard after January 1, will 'ya?
Mmmmm. Icy cold. On the rocks. No salt. Frosty goodness! Pitcher? Did someone say, PITCHER?
Looking forward to your dancing pics! Yes, I love my copy of Big Book of Knitting... great, great reference book.
cant wait to see it done! I figured youd lick that neckband one way or another. oh yeah and I will take the margarita :)
Buss's Big Book of Knitting LOVE that book. Of course I always say that when you reference's my way. Pull Poncho's neck looks good, I like the way the cable disappears under the neck fold. Very cool. hurry!
That poncho looks fantastic! So far, I have withstood the ponchomania but I can feel myself starting to give in after seeing so many pretty ponchos around on the blogs...
Yes, been there with the neckbrace turtleneck! My bulky Phildar sweater from last winter was like that until I adjusted it to be a few inches shorter. And when my students were making the Cape Mod ponchos from Stitch n Bitch, I strongly recommended that they reduced the height of the turtleneck. Of course, none of us were using that fabulously wonderful Plaid yarn! Can't wait for the dancing photos.
I can hardly wait to see it finished! And of course the action (dancing) shots will be spectacular! Did you say "pitcher"? Please pass it my sounds to good this morning to resist!
I'm lookin' forward to seeing the FO, too - that sweater is on my To-Do list. I just wish Plaid wasn't so expensive around here (I love the dark grey!)...although Patternworks has a sale on all the colors I *don't* want, LOL... I have a good substitute yarn though...D.Bliss Cashermino Chunky that I got on sale for $6/sk...that works!!! ;-) magaritas! The more salt, the better! Here's to you doing MATH with a pitcher of margarita! I would've just winged it, be upset that my sleeve doesn't look good, rip, wing it again, etc. *Cheers!*
That's right: A PITCHER! I'll be fringing while I dance on the table with a lampshade on my head. Hee! You know, I wish I could wing it, but I don't wing well; I end up ripping out and redoing (sometimes several times), so I don't mind taking a few minutes to figure out how I'll work it. It allows me to zip through the seaming more quickly. Re my neckbrace-like neckband: I had considered making it shorter the second time I knit it, but for some reason the chunky enormousness of the neckband works with the Pull Poncho, which is all big and swingy. If this were a more fitted sweater, I think the neckband would need some tuning down, though...
Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. I wonder if you'll ever knit something and I'll think "eh, that's not so hot". Somehow I doubt it.
"If this were a more fitted sweater, I think the neckband would need some tuning down, though..." Or risk looking like that cartoon of Rizzo at the beginning of the movie 'Grease.' Heh. Good neck warming idea for a poncho, though - a poncho's swinging around enough in your way, I wouldn't want to add a dangly scarf to it.
Looking fabulous, Becky! I just caved in to the Patternworks sale this very morning and bought myself a cartload of Lavendar Mist Rowan Plaid. You make it look so good!
I am in awe of the knitting goddess that you are! This looks so awesome! Being a sweater virigin, my head is swimming with all the there something you recommend as a first-time sweater project?
I just love it when I seam well. Congrats on a beautiful seam.
Let me see...a first time sweater project. How about something from Debbie Stoller's Stitch'n Bitch? Pinup Queen and Howl and Cowl are among my favorites.
So very pretty, and the cable work is amazing. I'm not very cable capable myself.:-) I am totally up for a margarita no matter the time.
wait - what is the becky-ish swiss darning method of end-weaving?? sounds interesting... loooove the fabulous poncho and can't wait for pics of the finished product!
oh, it's gorgeous! congratulations... now i'm rethinking my turtleneck shrug. i was going to make it a mock-turtleneck because of my fathead and not so long neck, but maybe I'll keep going because it just looks so nice (i *think* it looks like the same k3p3 rib). thanks for the armhole tips -- i am going to try them on the bootleg fibonacci sweater that i've been avoiding. enjoy the party!
lookin' great! you are so funny with the cool your jets. my reading pace had just sped up in the hopes of a fo. too funny. i am just loving how that yarn knits up. looks wonderful, becky!
I'm really looking forward to see the finished sweater!
Wow - I am so impressed - all the calculation that went into the sleeves - sometime you'll have to write an article for Knitty on how you do all this crazy, complicated math! It looks awesome and I can't wait to see the finished pictures.
Becky, is it you that coined the phrase "sleeve island"? I just realized how many different blogs I've seen using it, but I've never thought about where the phrase came from. Personally I have always called it sleeve hell (but sleeve island sounds nicer)! Your pull poncho looks lovely, but I'm getting warm just thinking about that turtleneck. Can't wait for the dancing pics! And thanks for reminding me about the Big Book of Knitting. I have it around my house. Somewhere!
Better be a big pitcher of Maggies, cuz I'll have one too. Lookin' good - can't wait to see it all fringed out!
I'm like Froggy - I was totally crossing my fingers for an FO pic!! Aren't we greedy little readers? Your neckband looks superb, and that yarn looks SO YUMMY. I cannot wait to see the finished poncho dancin' around!! I'd like a peach margarita, frozen, if you don't mind. I'll start another pitcher!
Pull Poncho Perfection - well worth the extra attention! I love Nancy Wiseman's book too.
Hooray for a complete and non-crater-creating collar! Lookin gooooooood. As you say, at least your neck won't risk getting cold...:) So, despite being nowhere near a seaming party here chez-fishie, can I come for the Margaritas anyway? Can't wait for the Whack Rabbit dancing shots!
thanks for single handedly being the reason i just broke down and ordered plaid (hehe). came to see if you had updated, saw the cozy purply neckband (that is my favorite color of plaid) and then ran across a plaid sale and just couldn't resist. next time must wait for bloglines to update, lol.
I came up with "Sleeve Island" back in April because 1) I was knitting three different sleeves at the same time (yawn!), and 2) I like to watch Fantasy Island reruns. Hee hee! Re the plaid: If it's on sale, don't even think twice. Scoop it UP!

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