Day 12: Impediments to Progress

Alright guys, I definitely did some knitting today, just not nearly as much as I’d have liked.

I got exactly 14 rows done, which would be a very successful amount if it were on the entire yoke, but it’s not. It’s just on one sleeve.

Ok, let’s back up. First of all, I did cast on the sleeve! That, at least, was a great success. As I mentioned, I decided to knit the sleeve in the round rather than flat, and I did in fact remember my double pointed needles so that I could start working on it.

And actually, I made a few slight modifications to the pattern while I worked on the sleeve.

I know! I modified the pattern on my first attempt at a sweater? What can I say, I like to live dangerously.

But really, it was the smallest possible modification. As I said in yesterday’s post, I’m not a big fan of seams, which is why I chose to knit the pattern in the round. The thing is, the way the pattern is written, there’s an artificial seam running down the whole of the sleeve anyway, and I was not about that.

So I simply didn’t knit the stitches that made the artificial seam, and instead just knit them straight as I was doing for each round. This became a slight problem, however, when it came to the decreases, which in the pattern are on either side of the seam. I had to decide if I was going to put the decreases right next to each other, at the beginning and end of the row, or if I would knit one, decrease, and decrease again with one stitch remaining at the end of the row.

I ended up putting the decreases right next to each other. I thought it would look kind of odd to have a couple of pattern stitches between the decreases. Ultimately, though, it probably didn’t matter all that much because there’s going to be more than 10 rows of straight knitting between each decrease row, so they’re not going to be too noticeable.

I also spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out the math on the decreases for the sleeve. The pattern said that, once I did all the decreases, I’d be at 50 stitches on my sleeve. But no matter how many times I did the math, and no matter how many times I double checked that I was looking at the right size, I just was not coming up with the right number at the end.

Then, finally, I remembered that I’d cast on 2 fewer stitches than the flat knit sleeve called for, because I wasn’t going to need those two extra stitches for the seam. And THEN the math worked out.

So, why didn’t I get as much knitting done as I wanted? My wrist and arm started hurting.

I know! Horror of all horrors! It’s a knitter’s worst nightmare!

I started getting these sharp pains up the side of my right forearm, that reached up to my elbow and even caused pain up into my bicep.

I tend to get these when I use double pointed needles, particularly these specific dpns. I don’t even know what the brand is that I’m using, all I know is that I ordered an entire set of them for like 5€ while I was living in Paris a couple years ago, and the material is just as cheap as you’d expect at that price point.

They served me well enough for a while, but they are officially causing me problems, so I know that I need to get rid of them.

Part of the problem, though, is just dpns in general. Particularly when I’m knitting on anything larger than a size US3 (the sweater is on a US6, for the record). Getting better needles isn’t necessarily going to solve all my problems.

My solution to this is going to be learning the Magic Loop Method!

I’ve been resisting this for quite a while because it looks finicky to me (not that dpns aren’t finicky in their own right, of course), and because I’ve always been able to make do with my dpns. Not anymore, though.

So, by the time I write my next post, you’ll be hearing from a knitter newly proficient in the Magic Loop Method! Wish me luck!

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