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Thursday, August 19, 2021

When Pink Lemon Solves A Problem

Punchwork cardigan

I've been working on my Punchwork Cardigan again and I was running up against one of the reasons I prefer knitting sweaters top down more than bottom up.  I had finished the body of the cardigan and had started the first sleeve, but I always worry when I do this that I'm not going to get the sleeves quite right.  Even with a schematic (this pattern has one, but not all patterns do), it's hard to tell exactly how and where the sleeve will sit in the underarm area.  Not knowing this makes it hard to know how long to knit the sleeve.  I tend to have to add some length to sleeves, but it also depends on the designer and I don't think I've ever knit a sweater from this designer before.  I could have started the sleeve with a provisional cast on and begun the knitting above the ribbing, then when the sweater was finished I could go back and add any needed length and the ribbing, but I didn't think of doing that at the time.  

 Then Monday afternoon I had an idea!  By using the pattern numbers for the sleeve stitch count (not including any underarm stitches to be put on a holder), all I had to do was start knitting the body again where the pattern called for joining the sleeves and beginning the yoke.  As I got to the sleeve places, I used a provisional cast on for those stitches and was able to knit the entire row without any actual sleeves!  The sleeves in this pattern are stockinette so I don't have to worry about a stitch pattern looking funny from using a provisional cast on.  I'm now just working along on the yoke decreases, following the pattern, and it's working perfectly.  Once I finish the body up, I can pick up the sleeve stitches and the body stitches that were held for the underarm and knit the sleeves down for as long as they need to be.  (I have already frogged the original sleeve attempt.)

I can't believe it's taken me this long to figure out that I can do this.  On a highly patterned sleeve I don't think it would work, but for plain stockinette stitch, it's perfect.  (I'm currently feeling pretty pleased with myself.)

Have a great weekend!

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