Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Insurmountable Sweater!

Look! Sleeves!
Last post, I mentioned how I was teaching myself how to knit "two at a time." I figured it out and got most of the way through my socks.* Even though I rarely suffer from "second sock syndrome",** I do suffer from "second SLEEVE syndrome." Hell, I have even been suffering from FIRST sleeve syndrome. My first bout of the ailment happened when I was making the Rayne Wrap Cardigan for my sister. It took me FOREVER to finish the first sleeve, and another FOREVER to finish the second. For that sweater, the sleeves were the last things I had to finish, so if I really had a big problem getting through them, I could have given up and turned it into a vest.

I have a confession to make. I've been ignoring the fact that I've been plagued by this sleeve syndrome again. This time, I have been battling it for about nine months. How embarrassing! I've been avoiding confronting the problem, even to the point of taking it "out of sight out of mind" by burying the sleeve in a project bag at the bottom of my knitting basket. It's not my first battle with this particular sweater. I've effectively been working on it for 19
The sweater as it has been finished to-date.
It has been completed up to the armpits.
months now. The sweater? My "World Champion Cardigan" (aka the Ruby Red), which I started soon after the Yankees won the World Series in 2009. I got up to the arm holes last September and started on the first sleeve. I've been working on it off and on for the past nine months. I only got halfway up the arm since then.

Yesterday, I decided to come out to myself and acknowledge the problem. In doing so, I have also devised a solution. I have frogged± the first sleeve, cast on and finished the cuff pattern of the second, and started to work them two at a time!!! This not only ensures that they will get done at the same time, but also that any increases, lengths or design characteristics are consistent between the two sleeves. Hopefully this will get my rear in gear to finish this blasted sweater under the two-year mark! I'd like to give myself the ultimatum of not starting any other projects until I finish this one, but we all know that's not going to happen. I've got waaaaaaay to much gorgeous sock yarn waiting patiently in my stash.

And for your viewing pleasure: my recently finished Haleakala Socks.
Of course, the day after I finish them, it is around 100 degrees outside!

*I got about three rows past the heels and one of my needles snapped in half. I had to transfer the socks to double pointed needles and finish them one at a time. 

A particularly dire case of SSS.
Ironically, this comes from Felicia Lo, the woman
behind Sweet Georgia Yarns, which 
I have used twice in my sock-making career.

**Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) - An affliction for a lot of knitters who often finish the first sock of a pair and do not complete the second. Symptoms include: wearing mismatched, handmade socks; unfinished objects (UFOs); occupied DPNs; and multiple half-skeins of sock yarn. It is often treated by two at a time knitting, and/or public ridicule by fellow knitters. 

± The knitting term for quickly unraveling a project after finding a mistake or being frustrated/unhappy by the results. You might be asking what amphibians have to do with knitting. What do you do when you unravel knitting? Rip it, rip it, ripit, ribit, ribbit. A relative of the also popular, but less dramatic, "tink" - literally knit backwards.

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