This yarn is getting tired

It’s been very busy… getting ripped out and re-knit. And again.  And yet again.  Not ALL the way back to cast-on, but far enough.

After that last time, I decided if I needed to rip it out any more, I was just going tostart with a new ball and keep this yarn as a last-ditch reserve ball lump.

But I think all the false starts have finally paid off.  (And that doesn’t even count the swatch-knitting with another ball!)  I’m <fingers crossed> happy with the way it’s turning out this time.

The front, showing the split funnel neck.

So what was the problem?  The main issue was trying to figure out how to make a subtle-yet-obvious seamline at the seamless set-in sleeve… uh, line.  Yeah, I know.  It sounds pretty backwards.  But knitters who knit in the round put in fake seams all the time, for a variety of reasons.  And most of the time, that’s really simple – just do a purl stitch at that point on every row, and that column of purls will sink into most stitch patterns and almost disappear, leaving a nice little line of demarcation.

The tricky part here is that the body of this sweater is in reverse stockinette.  Purls don’t disappear into purls.  And knit stitches stand out.  A lot.  That’s the whole point of using purl stitches (reverse stockinette, seed or moss stitch, garter stitch, whatever) as the background for cables – to make them ‘pop’.

Here’s a lesson that all knitters learn sooner or later:  You cannot change the character of knit and purl stitches, no matter how much you will it to happen.

I swatched, trying out lots of different one- and two-stitch options.  When I finally had one that looked okay on the swatch, I’d give it a go on the sweater – only to find that it did NOT give me the look I wanted on the real thing.   For a little while, I would live in denial, thinking that it would all magically fall into place after the next row or two.  I really knew this all along, but guess I just had to prove it to myself.  *sigh*

But I WAS going to find a solution.  (Our daughters came by their stubbornness naturally.  I always told them that stubborn can be a good thing – it all depends on where you turn it.)  I looked and asked, but no one I found had a good answer, either.

There is probably a better technique out there somewhere, and I may very well run across it just after finishing this sweater, but I did find a solution to satisfy my requirements:

The fake seamline. (Did you notice the dragon stitch markers?)

And the winner is… slip a stitch.  Yup, that’s all.  To be more descriptive:

Right side row: work across the front to the stitch before the marker; move yarn to back, slip st purlwise.  Slip marker, make 1 stitch with backward loop, move yarn to front, continue purling.  And so on, slipping the stitch next to the marker on the body side, and increasing a stitch on the sleeve side of the marker.

Wrong side row: knit the slipped stitch and knit through the back loop of the increased stitch.

Progress to date, laid out as flat as possible.

Only time will tell if it will continue to be the solution, or if I will need to rip again!

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