Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dandy vs. Manly Sketches

Friends and fellow knitters, I am writing to you from TNNA! The National Needlearts Association's winter gathering in Long Beach. I took a plane to get there (obvs), and that plane flew over Colorado, which was pretty. When I was not looking out the window, I decided to make some headway on Robb's new sweater! And seeing as I promised you updates on said sweater, with this post you can hereby consider yourselves updated.

Robb has put a lot of thought into what he wants. He would like a cardigan. He does not want fancy stitching. He would like the fabric to be tight knit, but not stiff. He picked the yarn and insists on a zipper even after I showed him the one other zipper I've ever installed in my life (a real massacre). All of that being said, there was no one pattern out there that covered all of these bases, so I've had to venture out on my own...I'm writing my own pattern, people! Let the 2011 knitting challenges begin!

The one thing we couldn't decide on was whether or not the sleeves should be set-in (as shown above) or raglan (as shown below). I thought the baseball-jersey style raglan sleeve would be "cute" on my man, but when I sketched it out, I found myself thinking it looked more "dandy" than cute. Granted, it could just be the way I drew it...the raglan man has a little more sass, don't you think? As a deciding factor, I went through all of Robb's sweaters and realized he doesn't own a single closed, the boy seems to know what he likes. Set-in-sleeve ho!

I've decided to follow the top-down set-in-sleeve formula in 10 Easy Steps from Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits. To do this, you have to start by taking some fancy-sounding measurements. Then you need to figure out how much ease you want to add. (In other words, how baggy or fitting you want it to be.)

Then you knit a swatch, figure out your gauge and you're ready to go! Oh, except you have to do some math to figure out, you know, how many stitches should be on your needles at a given time. To be honest, this math is NOT HARD. It just looks hard in the photo below because I made a mistake: I didn't add any ease to the crossback measurement. I sent Wendy an email the next day to confirm I'd made an error, and she informed me that yeah, it might look a little weird. The actual quote was that it would look "like a woman's sweater with room for boobs." Since Robb probably does not want a woman's sweater with room for boobs, I ripped out everything and cast on again.

Despite having to start over, I'm very much enjoying this experience so far! Somehow graph paper always makes me feel smart. It's like, whoa now, time to roll up the sleeves...she's sketching something on graph paper. And despite my constant eff-ups, I continue to sketch the pattern in pen. Call me confident (I guess?).

Well, hope you've enjoyed the man sweater update. I'm off to eat something deep-fried now... have a beer, maybe watch a ridiculous girly movie that I would probably never watch at home. I love business trips! Particularly knitting-related ones.


  1. OMG first Scott's an anesthesiologist, now you're doing *math*. When did my family get all smart-like???

    (Hi! You're a big dork, but I'm dorkier because I'm reading your blog on a Saturday night.)

  2. what sort of women's sweater would it be if it did NOT have room for boobs?!?

  3. my man boobs could fill it