Denial in Black

After seaming the black blob of a sleeve, and setting it in the cardigan, I had to admit that it really is just a big black blob. The sleeve is much too large and baggy.

And I’ve no one to blame but myself.

I knew from the schematics that the sleeve width was larger than I’d usually knit for a fitted sweater. And I knew that although my gauge was correct as knitted, that the yarn would grow when washed. I did knit the sleeve with one less decrease, though two stitches didn’t exactly make much difference. (Yes, I knew that too.)

But I didn’t want to bother to recalculate the sleeve cap. I did consider picking up stitches around the armscye and knitting the sleeve downward, but again, I’d have to take the time to figure out how many stitches to pick up.

I rationalized my madness by deciding that a little more ease would be fine. I didn’t need to have them be skin-tight. Plus, I didn’t think the sleeve looked baggy in most of the finished projects on Ravelry, as long as the sweater itself was not knitted with a lot of positive ease. So what if the sleeves were a bit loose – how bad could it be?

Heh. I found out.

It’s not a great look to have 3″ of positive ease in the sleeves, when the rest of the sweater is fitted. If it were just the width around the biceps, it wouldn’t be too bad. But the entire sleeve cap is too wide, and it really looks like I’ve stuffed a large sleeve into a small armscye.

Well, of course, now I not only have to spend the time to recalculate the sleeve cap, but I have to reknit the entire sleeve. Not to mention that I had nearly a third of the second sleeve knitted already – all the way through all of the increases.

So I guess I’ll be joining Margene and Claudia in the “how many times does a knitter need to learn the same lesson” corner of the room.

If I hadn’t already gotten so much of the second sleeve done, I’d probably be tempted to knit the sleeves top-down. But even with ripping out a few inches to eliminate the unnecessary increases, there’s still quite a bit done already. I guess I’ll just finish that one up following my new calculations and see how it fits.

The bright spot is that I had more than enough yarn, so I can probably (hopefully) just finish up the sweater without frogging the Black Blob of Denial (TM). I’d rather not have to reuse superwash wool that’s already been washed – I’m afraid the gauge would be unpredictably different from the rest of the sweater. If I do need to reuse it, I’d rather use it for the buttonbands.

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8 Responses to Denial in Black

  1. Nora says:

    You could have gone for the “leg o’ mutton” sleeve, I suppose!

  2. Anne says:

    Sigh. That seems depressing. At least you only did 1 sleeve, right? Because slow learner that I am, I probably would have knit both and had to redo two.

  3. margene says:

    Ugh…that de Nile thing is always a bite.

  4. Chris says:

    Ah, the three-armed sweater – always a hit!

  5. Cookie says:

    At least, it’s summer and you can knit outside where there’s sunshine. Right?

  6. Good point about not wanting to reuse the superwash, I didn’t realize that.

  7. Carrie says:

    bummer. how do you like to recalculate the sleeve cap? I mean, obviously you don’t or you would have done it originally, but what method do you use? I’m forever playing with the gauge to achieve an in between size (why designers assume that large women come in 4-6″ increments I don’t understand) so I often have to recalculate it and haven’t found a satisfactory method yet.

  8. Carrie K says:

    Big Bad Blob.

    Mean of it not to fit better. Honestly, do knits expect us to do ALL the work? Over and over? Evidently.

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