Friday, June 02, 2006


knitting a scarf sounds so appealing right now

Is anyone wondering why I haven't shown pictures of a finished Preppy Eighties Vest yet? Oh good, I'm so glad you asked. That means I have permission to start my bitch fest! The reason why is that I STILL HAVEN'T FINISHED IT!

I happily knitted along on one side of the front, changing colors and decreasing in all the designated areas, when it occurred to me that this was looking awfully long and there were still many decrease rows to go. Instead of continuing in stripes, I just finished it out with one color. Obviously my subconscious knew what I didn't want to openly acknowledge: it was going to be too long. I didn't want to cut my leftover yarn on stripes that would have to be ripped anyway, so I just kept going in brown. The pattern says to decrease until 8 stitches are left, then knit until the armhole measures 9.25 inches. Sure enough, I did knit until 8 stitches were left, but it came out to 10 inches! I tried the damn thing on and it is at least two inches too long! I don't think it's a problem with the pattern, which really is written exceptionally well. I just don't have a 9.25 inch armhole!

Here's a close-up. See? Ten inches!

This brings about some interesting (read: I'm tearing my hair out over here!!) challenges:

1. I need the armhole to measure approximately eight inches.
2. I need to decrease to 8 stitches within this measurement.
3. I don't know what to do to accomplish this.
4. My head hurts and I'd like a drink.

I think there are several ways I could remedy the situation, and since all of them involve a lot of ripping, I haven't actually tried any of them. I could continue to start the V-neck at the designated spot in the pattern, but do the decrease rows differently in order to decrease to the correct number of stitches by, say, eight inches instead of ten. The pattern calls for a K2tog on each right side row until 8 stitches are left. Could I instead knit three together on each right side row or could I K2tog on the right side rows and P2tog on the wrong side rows? What kind of slope would these techniques create and would they be a slope that would work on a V-neck vest? If one of these ideas doesn't work, maybe I could rip back some of the bodice and start the V-neck before the armholes, so that I'll still have ten inches of V-neck and only eight inches of armhole. I'm nervous that this will create a very weird looking vest, however. Like some 70's disco guy wearing his shirt unbuttoned three buttons too far. On the other hand, this is supposed to be a body-hugging vest. It might look good to have a deeper V-neck clinging to the girls.

My current plan of action is to knit up a couple swatches with my ideas from above (a K3 tog and a K2tog/P2tog) to see what the hell that would even look like. If those don't work...well, let's not think about that right now. Tomorrow's another day, Scarlett!

What advice do y'all knitters have for me? Note to self: stick to scarves.

I'd say any of your ideas could work... you might notice a p3tog or k3tog more than k 2tog, it'd be a little bigger bump but not terrible...
you could also change the location and frequency of your decreases, just measure how many rows it took you to get the right size armhole depth and count how many decreases to get to 8 stitches.. then make that many decreases in the shorter number of rows. Space them as evenly as possible if that's how they are in the pattern.

It looks great so far and this looks like one of those learning opportunities. You might check out this article in knitty by Jenna Wilson,
she has also written an article for knitty about sleeves and sleeve shaping that might help. She is pretty much a pattern writing wizard in my book.

Good luck and happy knitting!
Thanks for the advice, Fannie Pie! I will definitely check out that article!
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