Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Two Sleeves, Two Needles
Sometimes my laziness causes me to work much harder finding a work-around solution than I would've worked if I had just bitten the bullet. I kept reading the directions for Dark Victory over and over again, trying to figure out why I'd have to knit the sleeves flat. After all, the body is knitted in the round, and then there's a raglan yoke at the top - why would I want to seam sleeves when the whole shebang is going onto the same needle as soon as they're done?
But knitting the sleeves in the round presented another set of problems: I have to warn you, if you decide to knit Dark Victory - read the errata carefully, and trust yourself. Don't trust the math in the pattern - it doesn't always add up. So in converting the pattern to knit in the round, I knew that the increases (which have to be done while maintaining the rib pattern) were going to be wonky, and no amount of note-taking was going to ensure ending up with identical sleeves.
My solution? Learn that whole two-socks-on-two-circulars technique and do the dadgum sleeves in the same way. I read the tutorials, I watched a couple of shaky Quicktime videos, and cast on. After the initial craziness (At one point John asked if Snoopy had "helped" with my knitting!) I got it sorted out and now I'm whipping out both sleeves at once pretty well. I'd tried to understand this technique some time ago but this time it clicked - once I finally figured out that you're always knitting with both points of the SAME needle at any given time. That's key.
You can see above that I'm winging the increases. Every fourth row, I'm adding two stitches by either KFB or PFB, depending on where the increase is landing. When I've added four stitches, I start a new rib. It's not as elegant as I'd like, but it's going on the inside of a sleeve destined to be stored on the floor of a dorm room, so big deal.