Sunday, February 10, 2008

All the Sleeve a Girl Could Want

... and maybe more.

A cold front and big gusts of wind have driven away last week's ridiculously warm weather. That's fine with me. It's February. It's allowed to be cold. And warm weather is a serious threat to my sweater-knitting. My enthusiasm for knitting cozy wool pullovers dwindles quickly above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. But now we've fallen back into the twenties, and working on a toasty warm sweater seems just the thing.

So I've been able to buckle down with my needles and finish both of the sleeves for the Pine Bark sweater. I get very determined as I get near the goal line, and knit long and doggedly for the satisfaction of finishing each piece. I probably should have taken more breaks to give my hands and wrists a rest, but, you know, that would have slowed me down.

So here's my reward. All the pieces of Pine Bark are done, back, front, and both sleeves, awaiting only their neckband and seams. On the whole, I like the looks of it. In the doubleknit weight, it's pleasantly not-overly-bulky.

Of course, now that can I see how long the sleeves are, once they've come to life instead of existing only as a figment of my graph paper, my worry level is on the rise. (Maybe it's a barometric thing; I can't remember, does the barometer rise or fall when a cold front is coming in? Maybe my worry level follows the atmospheric pressure. Or maybe not.) Are the sleeves too long? Is the body too wide? Is the neck too baggy? Will the lumps from that stitch pattern block out?

Everything, of course, was measured and plotted to a fare-thee-well. But that hasn't always saved me. The last dearly loved sweater that I slaved over came out accurately to my planned dimensions, but they don't seem quite right, in the end, for the style. Sigh. But it shouldn't really hurt if I've built in too much ease on this one, as I'm going for more of a relaxed, boxy style. The neck and sleeves are the danger points. Too loose a neck might make it look just plain droopy. The neckband should let me adjust that a little, if need be.

The sleeves, though.... I calculated them based on my wingspan, less the width of the sweater's body. The big question is what will gravity do? With the weight of the sleeves pulling against the width of the shoulder, will they hang too long? I certainly didn't want them too short, but I also don't fancy having to turn them up when I wear the sweater, as it would rather ruin the effect of the edging I chose.

So I'm worrying. Is this what designers do? Plan things out, hope for the best, and then try to grin and bear it if the results aren't quite as expected? Or do they have time to knit several samples of a sweater until all the proportions click into place? Or does it just come easily with more experience?

Well, here's what I do. Worry worry worry!

1 comment:

Bess said...

Right - the agony of the Finished Product - and it's bad fit.

eilzabeth Zimermann said she just knit sweaters and gave them to whomever they fitted. sort of the dishcloth theory of fit.

Can't wait to see the sweater all sewn up.