How Many Sleeves?

There’s a regular “joke” in our house that goes something like this…

Ben: “How’s the knitting going? Are you nearly finished yet?”

Susan: “Quite well, Thanks Honey. I’m on the last sleeve”

Ben: “The last sleeve? How many sleeves are there? !!”

Ben walks away chuckling to himself and Susan rolls her eyes….

Then, of course there was that time, many years ago and early in my knitting career, when I was still very much a learner, that I was making a roll neck, chunky jumper. I was halfway up the “last sleeve” when I realised I was quite a way through my last ball of yarn.

“Oh No!” I thought, “Not enough to do the chunky roll neck. What shall I do??”

I rummaged in my knitting bag, hoping desperately to find an extra ball that I knew deep down, wasn’t there.

I found an oddment of the yarn, a scraplette that wouldn’t  knit more than a row, the knitted back, a knitted sleeve, the knitted front, another finished sleeve…

Hmmm…That’s two finished sleeves and what was on the needles?? A third sleeve!

Like the great big numpty that I am, I had used the yarn that should have been for the roll neck to knit a third sleeve! 😯

Needless to say, after some heartfelt cursing, I frogged the third sleeve and finished the jumper with yarn to spare! 🙄

So why am I talking about sleeves?

The Christmas break has given me lots of knitting time to whizz through my Lacy Top in Kidsilk Haze.

The first thing to say about this lovely pattern is that the first row is an utter bitch!

Cast on a huge number of stitches then repeatedly knit 5 and pass stitches 1,2,3 & 4 over stitch 5 (and a few yarn overs and other stuff too). In fluffy KSH, the first row took me over an hour.

I think I made it a little harder for myself too – I did a lace cast on (exactly like a cable cast on but you knit into the stitch like a normal knit stitch rather than, with a cable cast on, going “between” the stitch and the previous one). I was worried about the edging pulling tight and wanted some give – what I got was and extra loose edge…Ho, Hum….So long as I do all the edges the same it should be ok….

If you can get past the first, frustrating, stabby row, this is a pleasure to knit. The lace at the top of the garment does need some attention but isn’t tremendously hard once you’ve got the hang of the 4 row pattern (and two of those rows are purl!)

Here’s a lace close up…

I have to say, up close it just looks confusing to me – it looks much better viewed from a step back…

Again ask my readers, “Why sleeves???”

Well, I’ve knit the back, both fronts and two sleeves….

Look again at that Picture from Rowan Studio 12…look at the sleeves…

Those cute little short sleeves are two layers, the top one being 3cm shorter that the “under sleeve”. Two sleeves each side, in lace, with lots of decreases needed while “keeping pattern correct” (don’t you just loathe that phrase?).

Yep – I’d missed that when I chose the pattern. 😕

So for the first time in my knitting career I’m deliberately knitting the third sleeve!

I’m poised, like a panther ready to strike, waiting for Ben to ask me that question….. 😉

4 Responses

  1. josiekitten
    josiekitten December 31, 2008 at 9:33 am | | Reply

    Brilliant! I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he does! And at least your KSH mountain is decreasing (unless you’ve been topping it up in the sales?!) Happy New Year to you and the cats!

  2. Patsy
    Patsy December 31, 2008 at 5:41 pm | | Reply

    How wonderful, although I suspect that he probably won’t ask, men are so perverse (not unlike knitting -or cats)!!
    Thank you for sharing your knitting and your life, your blog is great fun and I look forward to reading more in 2009. Happy New Year

  3. Arianwen
    Arianwen January 1, 2009 at 8:35 pm | | Reply

    What a pretty colour! I always knit my sleeves at the same time, when making jumpers for the twins I often knit 4 sleeves at a time! knitting four sleeves would definately make Ben raise his eyebrows.

  4. Helen Cooke
    Helen Cooke January 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm | | Reply

    What a fab knit! I just love it, you create such beautiful pieces seemingly effortlessly too. You give me hope & ideas for if/when my knitting skills get better. I haven’t come across Kid Silk Haze before and you have rather piqued my interest there…I’ve only been knitting since last April so am still getting to grips with what’s out there and knitting terms etc.

    I had a quick look in John Lewis at the weekend and it’s just beautiful, so soft etc – I’m now in love with KSH! Unfortunately I then spied the price tag and needed a stiff drink! 8 balls for a shawl would have come to £58 hmm I may have to save up first, especially after hitting the sales!!…beautiful though. Thanks for a great blog.

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