Turning a sweater into an adventure

Tag Team Sweater Project update

To no one’s surprise, I’m not in the best shape on my Tag Team Sweater Project sweater. One week from today, I’ll be in Seattle, where I’m supposed to have a finished sweater. What I should have had by Monday, when my beautiful sweater body arrived from Anna (thank you, Anna!), was two sleeves to attach it to. Instead, I had one sleeve. One very wretched sleeve, plagued with ladders, which is a problem I’ve never struggled with before. (Except for that one time I attempted to knit a hat on four DPN’s, but that was sheer foolishness.) So instead of having one more sleeve to knit, I have two more sleeves to knit. And I also have a total loss of patience for knitting sleeves. The last thing I knitted before we started all this was Casey’s mitts, so I’ve been knitting nothing but stockinette tubes for as long as I can remember.

I can’t take it anymore!

I had originally envisioned being done with my four sleeves well before the appointed parts exchange date and had daydreamed about starting the yoke as a separate piece, with the completed sleeves and body grafted onto it later. So that idea was lingering in my mind, even as the sleeve due dates came and went. Since I can’t deal with the sleeves right now and am desperate to move on with the FUN PART — and after consulting Instagram and Michele Wang — I’ve decided to take the approach Felicia describes on her Craft Sessions blog. To wit: I separated the body into fronts and back and, as of last night, am working the phantom arms upwards from provisionally cast-on stitches. And just like that, this sweater went from feeling like a chore to an adventure! Wish me luck as I try to make great progress on it this weekend.


Speaking of Seattle next week, I don’t think I’ve officially announced this: I won’t just be at VK Live taking classes and making the rounds. Instead I’ve taken Brooke up on her offer to share her booth again, so the Cabinet of Curiosities is going to Seattle! What this means, most significantly, is lots of drive time to work on my sweater.

New at Fringe Supply Co

In shop news for the weekend, two new things have arrived: Taproot 9, which includes a Carrie Bostick Hoge shawl pattern, Lola, that made me gasp out loud, and … cookies! My favorite cookies (to put it mildly), which you can read all about on the cookie page. Also, great news, the wildly popular repair hooks are back in stock in all sizes, in both bone and ebony. So you can find all that and more at Fringe Supply Co.!

Have a great weekend, everyone! As always, I’d love to hear what you’re working on—

29 thoughts on “Turning a sweater into an adventure

  1. Good luck! I too find that changing up techniques can reinvigorate me when working on a large project.

  2. Dude! Have you considered knitting two sleeves at the same time on two sets of circulars? I am dying to try this. Here’s an example of what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4iD77aJCAw

    I had no idea VK Live was going to be in Seattle! I’m so excited to try and get there now.

  3. What a clever idea! I’m glad to hear that you found a way to make it work for you. I’ve got a sweater in time out … all it needs is the neck picked up and worked, but I haven’t had the time to sit down and focus. Maybe this weekend?

    Cookie, cookie, cookie, …mmmm….

    • I find that knitting two sleeves using either magic loop or two circular needles to be much quicker than using DPNs.

      • The first bit of decent weather in ages trumped most knitting this weekend. But, I did work on my textured shawl during a trip to an excellent brewpub. The shawl has been on the needles for a year and I got about halfway through the garter edge. Can’t wait to see how your sweater turns out!

  4. That is such a fantasmagorically gorgeous colour, that I’m sure any amount of agony will be worth it in the end. Keep the faith, Karen.

  5. It’s the weirdest thing, but the only yarn I seem to get ladders with is BT. I think it’s because it’s a bit more fragile, so I don’t tug it as hard as usual between the needles. So frustrating.

    Anyway, that sweater is looking lovely, and I’m excited to hear about the results of your adventure! If nothing else, you’ll have a great story to tell (and you can always wear that scrumptious hat).

    • I’ve wondered whether I was babying the Shelter. It did break on me once, when I was seaming my second Acer sleeve with it — right at the very end of that last sweater. So it’s possible. But once I realized it was happening and began consciously pulling harder, it didn’t really get any better. It’s so strange.

  6. I’m the exact opposite with laddering and dpn! Every time I use the magic loop method, I just see those little rungs on my ladder screaming at me! grrr I would love to use that method instead of dpns because it is so much faster, but the gap seems to be gigantic.

  7. Why don’t you order pizza and ask a few friends to come over and knit parts of your sweater with you? Then later, you can make another all by yourself. The most important thing is to have fun at your event….don’t be too tired knitting something adorable to knit. You are already great with or without the perfect sweater. :)

    • I like the idea of a pizza party with everyone knitting a different piece of the same sweater. Might have to try that sometime. But this one is now a one-piece sweater and I’m happy knitting the rest of it myself. It’ll be done whenever it’s done, but the Seattle goal is keeping me on top of it, so it’s all good.

      • I’m cheering you on! You can do it and I know it will be beautiful whenever it gets done. I work best under pressure and have burned many midnight oils getting things done….it’s fun as well! Good luck! Go you!

  8. So glad that you like the idea! It always makes it more fun for me. And by the end of the yoke I normally love the jumper so much that I just speed through the sleeves. Good luck x

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