And it’s still not done…

Man, for some reason, this Cherry Root is taking forever. I’m about 3″ below the bust dart now and have about 6″ more of the body to go before it can be called an FO. I’m starting to feel like it may never end and I’m amazed how much yarn the bust dart ate up. My Green Gable took just under 3.5 skeins of the Cotton Fleece, I’m guessing I won’t get away with using fewer then 4 full ones this time.

It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been on Ravelry alot and not working as much on the sweater as I could be. I’m allowing myself to get distracted. My Yarn Snobs group is doing a knit-from-your-stash contest for February and I’ve been wondering what I’ll work on at that time. (Should probably get my current project done first.) Since it’s for the Snobs group, I was thinking it was time to break out some of my nicer yarns that I’ve been too afraid to use until this point. So will it be a lovely Tempest in Sundara Raspberry and MadTosh Twig sock yarns? My new CPH in MadTosh worsted? Maybe I’ll finally get around to my Cherry cardigan in Rowan Cashsoft DK. Oh decisions, decisions! I have a couple of days to figure it out, I just wish I were more sure of what I wanted to work on next.

Still truckin’…

So I need to tell a little story and make fun of myself before posting up pictures and progress on my Cherry Root.

Night before last, I measured my sweater and realized I was a mere four rows before where the horizontal bust dart needed to be placed. The one I had yet to do the math for and figure out how to do. The one I knew I needed but could not wrap my head around exactly where to put it because spatial things like that kick me in the rear–Sadly, geometry based maths and sciences and I are not friends; I’ll stick to algebra based ones that do not require rotating objects in my head. I kept thinking I had to start higher up in the sweater because I’m working from the top-down and it didn’t occur to me that regardless of direction, the dart is in the same spot because I’m essentially squeezing a bunch of rows between two existing ones. This clicked after almost a fortnight of pondering it and the placement and I was excited to get started now that this stupidly simple truth had revealed itself to me. I checked my stitch and row gauges and I was set. I started to plug the numbers in with the measurements I had taken before and everything was looking good. 3.5″ deep HBD which is 26 rows on the pattern, 13 turn points. Good, good, good. I counted the stitches to get the width of the front of my sweater. 77 stitches aka 15.4″. Good. I checked my “tasteful nipple distance” number, also absurdly known as “Bust point number” in more meek directions for how to do HBD. I did the math of how wide the bust dart would be from the side stitches and my magic number was….1″. Giving me 5 stitches, or 10 wrap points to fit in 20 rows if I did it every single stitch. My stitch increment for wraps according to the math? 5/13.

Craaaaap.

That was not what was supposed to happen. I checked my math. I checked it again. All the numbers were right. So I went to the Bust Line group on Ravelry to get help. Confusion abounded and for about 18 hours, I could not do anymore work on my sweater because I couldn’t figure the stupid bust dart out. So I made the executive decision to blow rasberries at tasteful distances and figured that if I wrapped every single stitch, I could move the narrowest part of the dart in 2 or 3 on each side to get the number of rows needed for the dart.

OK, so I was good to go again and I had 2 more rows to do before the dart needed to be started. I have to set this up by mentioning that on my sweater, I have three distinctive sets of stitch markers at work: teal ones for the side seams, an orange one for the beginning of the row, and star shaped pink ones to mark where the lace panel goes. I knit past the orange one once, and something in my brain got twitchy. I kept moving on and tried to ignore it. I passed the first teal marker and again, twitchy. I shrugged it off and kept moving. Got to the second teal marker and thought, “Man, this seems to take a long time to knit about 65 stitches for the back,” and that is when it hit me.

My poor foggy mommy brain played tricks on me the night before. I did not count all the stitches on my front panel, only those ’til the orange marker. Not the side marker, the orange one. The one that my brain decided was teal.

I recounted and found an additional 40+ stitches that had not been counted and all was remedied and made sense again. So I made a bit of an ass out of myself on Ravelry for no reason at all. Yes, you may laugh.

Though I will say, all the pain was worth the results.

See that? Like a glove. 38DDDs successfully skimmed across and my sweater shall ride up no more.It’s all smooth sailing from here.

It’s not soup yet…

But it’s getting there. Finally took my Cherry Root off of needles to try it on and it looks like I could go another 3 sets of increase rounds before the arm holes will be where I like them. So close, but no cigar, as they say. It’s also looking like I could have dropped the neckline a bit more, but I’m liking it where it is as well. I have some beautiful blue Cotton Fleece to make another of these, I may have to try for a more dramatic neckline on that one.

Just keep truckin’…

Neckline is dropped. Sweater is joined in the round and the first repeat of the lace pattern is finished. Tomorrow, I’ll take this off needles to try and and see how close I am to putting the sleeves on waste yarn. My arm hurts from patting myself on the back: the stitches I picked up for the collar are seamless with what was already knit. That has never happened to me before. My pick up work isn’t terrible, but you can usually tell I picked the stitches up. Today? The just melted beautifully into the existing work. I’ll have to remember what I did for the future.

Finally joining in the round!

After 5 1/2″ of flat knitting, I was able to join my Rusted Root for knitting in the round. (After adding back in the 38 stitches I left out in the beginning of course. I waited until after my son was in bed to be sure I wouldn’t be distracted and make a stupid mistake.) I only did the join round to get things established and the lace pattern placed. Starting tomorrow, this knit should go a lot faster and I will get a better idea of how it looks. I hope I dropped the neckline low enough; when I go to add the ribbing on, it will take it back up about 1/2″.

My son having been mentioned, he had a vendetta against my knitting today so I got very little done. Everytime I picked up my work to try and squeeze in a row while the baby napped, he’d come up to me and say, “Needles away?” and then ask to snuggle. *Sigh* It’s hard to be a mommy sometimes, but how could I resist that? In the end, the extra day or two it takes to finish my sweater will have been worth it.

Soon, my back/leg/nerve issue should be cleared up and I’ll have less time to knit anyway. I have a lot of housework to catch up on, including a very daunting pile of laundry. I do alright, but our kitchen and utility room floor cause me pain when I’m on them. Carpeting is fine, tile is not.

A good start

So far, so good on the first Rusted Root. This early on, everything seems to be going fine. Not sure about my decision to go ahead with the puffed sleeves, but they’re looking like they won’t be too puffy and hopefully not a huge problem. I can’t remember if I saw this on Ravelry or on one of the LJ knitting communities I watch, but puffed sleeves are not a chesty girl’s best friend. They can end up looking something like this:

puffPUFFpuff

It makes me giggle, anyway.

So hopefully, I will not be regretting the choice to leave the sleeve puffs in. I should have a better idea of how they’ll look in a few inches when I start feeling out where I want the arm holes to end and where exactly I’m going to drop the neckline to. That has to be my one complaint about the Gals patterns; they love these high necklines that are not flattering on me in the least. Following the lead of aruzin and good karma, I plan to drop the neckline a good 5″-6″ before starting the lace panel. This should be more flattering on me. Aruzin went one step farther to quickly increase the bust when she joined in the round after taking the sleeves off and I plan to do the same. I’m thinking of adding just over 2″ in stitches to the front of the sweater at that point. (In order to avoid the sleeves being way too big later on, when I pick up the stitches to knit, I’ll likely k2tog through them.) Unlike the other two, I plan to be even more ambitious and add a horizontal bust dart as well. Sadly, if I don’t, I’ll have another incident like the Green Gable and be unable to lift my arms without showing my entire belly. I’ve started doing the math thanks to Big Girl Knits and it looks like I’ll need 3.5″ of HBD in order to make sure that doesn’t happen again. I don’t think it will be *too* complicated if I do not psych myself out about it first. I know some have avoided adding them to this pattern thanks to the lace panel, but I’ve done a lot of reading that says you can add them to any sort of a pattern without it being noticed. So I’ll be daring and give it a try.

I’m enjoying Cotton Fleece much more this time around. For some reason, this color is a lot softer then the Rue and nice to the touch. The fabric it’s producing is much more skin friendly. I’m not sure which of these two is what CF is supposed to feel like. If this batch is, I could see myself using it more in the future and often. I live in a hot climate and they have a ton of colors to choose from. I can see myself with skirts and spring/summer cardigans in it. If it’s supposed to be more stiff and scratchy like my other batch, I’d never work with it again.

I’m starting to give thought to the other RR I’ll work on down the road. I’m not sure if I’ll leave the lace panel in, change in a different panel, or maybe substitute in a cable to it. If I like the shape, I’ll likely use it to make a cardigan down the line.

I’m always looking into the future when it comes to projects. If I can ever knit them all, I’ll start to have a “respectable” wardrobe.

Finally.

First FO of 2009 is complete. I finished my brother’s hat earlier this evening and felt much satisfaction in knowing I had a project that went as well as it could have. I’m a bit nervous that it will be too small for him, but I’m hoping it turns out alright and it fits. (I need to see if there’s errata for that pattern because the writer claimed that one skein each of the MC and CC would make a hat or the mittens, for the largest hat size, that is definitely not true.)

Now, I’ve cast-one for my first of 2 or 3 Rusted Roots with some serious modifications. Will post more about that later.