15 January 2008

Sorry, I'm Allergic to Humble Pie.

Fair Isle/Icelandic Yoke/Variously-Named Sweater coming right along. I was almost finished the second sleeve last night when I tried it on and was puzzled that the upper arm was so baggy. Turns out while I was mindlessly knitting last night, I also neglected to count my stitches and just kept merrily increasing every 5 or 6 rows... so instead of 48 sts from the elbow up, I had 54... which, at 4 sts to the inch, makes a good bit of difference (1 1/2", to be exact). So I had the fun fun task of ripping back a good 7" of sleeve last night and starting to re-knit -- with no increases whatsoever.

As I get closer to finishing sleeve #2 and the point where I join it all together and start the yoke, I'm a bit nervous. I've been perusing the collection of EZ-based Fair Isle/Icelandic Yoke sweaters on ravelry. The examples with pictures break down as follows: a few are excellent, the vast majority are fine and a couple are downright awful in terms of fit. I won't call anyone out on that -- in case they read this and cry all night -- specifically on here.

The good examples are similar to each other in that they have smooth transitions from plain sweater to patterned yoke. The yokes lie flat and beautiful on the shoulders and are worked up in proportion to the wearer. The sweaters are also the proper size and fit for the models.

Similarly, the bad examples have common characteristics: noticeable, distracting puckering at the bottom of the yoke; a yoke that bunches up on the shoulders or leaves a weird puffy-sleeve effect where it joints the sweater (puckering again); and overall neglect to fit the sweater to the body of the wearer. The last bit is negotiable, since people have different preferences on how to wear their clothes, but there are some basic ground rules (i.e. if you don't have a body like Nicolette Sheridan, you probably shouldn't try to dress like Edy Britt. Similarly, wearing gigantic bags does not flatter any body size -- unless that's the only thing that fits).

A few people noted that they went up in needles size when working the Fair Isle section -- my guess is that this is to makes sure they work it loose enough that it does not pucker. As much as I hate to say it, it appears our friends the GAUGE SWATCH is going to make a repeat appearance. That's the only way to know whether I knit differently in this Fair Isle pattern.

There's a reason why people wrap/wear protective gloves with wrist support when training with a punching pad. My skinned knuckles and bitching wrists attest to this.

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