Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Logical disconnect

Even though I should be working on some work stuff today, my brain is being uncooperative.

Instead, I finished up the front of my latest sweater, and joined the shoulders together using a three-needle bind off, as dictated by the pattern. That resulted in this:



This is my version of Parcel, by Carol Feller. The astute will notice that I am knitting it in a deep green - a step away from my usual palette of browns and reds. I liked the idea of expanding the spectrum of my wardrobe, allowing me to avoid ending up in a place where it looks like I'm just wearing the same things day after day.

Plus, this will give me something green to wear come St. Patrick's Day.

Part of my brain's uncooperativeness started up yesterday, as I was trying to force it into a productive place - which was a complete and utter fail - because I knew I was very, very close to finishing up the fronts. My brain was very excited about that, because once the shoulders were seamed, I could put in the neckband, and then I'd have a new sweater to block.

Notice the problem with that excitement. Look at that photo. Do you see it?

The thing currently lacks SLEEVES.

I'm not looking to add a vest to my wardrobe. I want a sweater, complete with long sleeves. My eyes work perfectly well, so looking at that proto-sweater, I can see right off the bat that it is not a complete sweater. Even before I had the shoulders joined, I could still see that the sleeves were missing, and therefore this was a ways off from being a sweater.

So what happened? How did my brain get so profoundly lost?

I think it's because the last two sweaters I've made - one that has yet to be blogged, since it has yet to be worn, and thus there are no modeled pictures to share - were both bottom-up construction, and in both cases I was able to make the sleeves first. Whenever possible, I like to do this - since I don't really swatch, just go off my own personal experience with different needle sizes, I consider the sleeve to be a swatch of sorts. I work it up, and I keep an eye on the gauge and the properties of the resulting fabric as I go. If I don't like what I'm getting, or if there's a sizing problem, I can stop myself and have a think, and pulling apart a sleeve is not as demoralizing as pulling apart a back, or the front and back in the case of a sweater knit in the round. Once one sleeve is done, I go ahead and do the second one, while the memory of the first is still relatively fresh in my head, which helps in making sure that they match fairly precisely, and then I move on to the body of the sweater, whatever that may entail. When I proceed in this fashion, finishing up the body of the sweater means I'm tantalizingly close to being done with the entire sweater - all I need to do really is reach into my bag of tricks and pull out those knitted sleeves and attach them to the complete or nearly-complete body, depending on the sweater's construction.

This sweater, though - the sleeves are set-in sleeves that are knit by picking up stitches from around the armholes, and then shaping the sleeve cap using short rows. No good way to knit the sleeves first with that construction method, unless you knit most of the sleeve, set it aside, then knit the sleeve cap later after the body and then graft the pre-knitted sleeve to the sleeve cap, but I think you'd have to be having a pretty major love affair with grafting to go that route.

So. Part of my brain thinks I almost have a new sweater, despite all the evidence to the contrary that my eyes are sending.

There's probably a commentary in there about my personality or attitude or something, but whatever. I'm not going to think about it.

I've got a couple of sleeves and a neckband to knit.

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