Persuaded by my eldest daughter, I entered my Ithilien Brocade Jacket in the state fair. There’s just one teeny little problem with that… it’s not finished.
I am writing this on August 22nd, and entries have to be checked in by 6:00 p.m. on September 9th. It’s just possible that I may be able to finish it in time. On the other hand, it’s just possible that I have lost my tenuous grasp on knitting reality. Frankly, I wouldn’t take bets either way. It could get interesting.
On to the bump. I was knitting merrily along, at the spanking rate of one round about every 45 minutes, when I noticed that there was a little hitch at the join of my right needle. I’ve been using – and loving – the 3mm KnitPicks’ Harmony circular needle I bought last summer for this project. But I saw to my horror that the needle was coming loose! I could push it back together, but it wouldn’t hold. I immediately emailed KnitPicks’ customer support, and was gratified with their prompt reply and almost immediate shipment of a replacement needle. Under the state fair deadline, I decided to forge ahead. The glue I tried didn’t hold, and then the next day, the needle completely let go.
A couple of dozen stitches slipped off, but I was rather bleakly expecting that to happen, so kept my cool and picked them back up without much trouble. I rummaged around and got out the 3mm ends of my (25 years old or thereabouts) Boye interchangeable needles. I have used these TONS, and the only real complaint I have is that somewhere in the intervening years, they’ve changed the threading – so my old set isn’t interchangeable with replacement tips and cables. Progress, I guess. Anyway, I thought I’d just transition to those and be off again.
Uh-oh. The bump:
See that? I’ve circled the nasty thing. I’ve never had a problem with that before, but then I’ve never used these smallest of needle tips, either! The bump at the connection is evidently microscopically larger than the needle itself. (Compare that to the smooth join in the picture above.) If I hadn’t been feeling under the gun, I would have just laid the whole thing down to await the arrival of my replacement Harmonies. But I pressed on, only to discover that all of the pushing action I had to do to get the stitches to move along also unscrewed the needle. The arrow is pointing to the place where I would find a stitch dropped in between the sections, trapped by the screw threads.
I struggled with this for a couple more days, completing maybe one or two rounds a day, until my rescue finally arrived in the mailbox!
So now I’ve been able to make more progress.
I’ve been pleased with the way the seamless set-in sleeves are coming along! Here’s a back view:
And a closeup:
The orange plastic thing that you see is a locking stitch marker that I used to prevent pulling at the edges; I put the live underarm stitches of both the sleeve and body on waste yarn for grafting. The white dotted line is a dental floss ‘lifeline’ at the underarm, which is acting as my measuring point. You can see the paired decreases on both body and sleeve immediately above that. Then I worked even until the last few rounds, where I just started the sleeve cap decreases. Those decreases will create an increasing curve until I reach the top of the sleeve cap, when I’ll continue with the body and shoulder shaping, not forgetting the neckline shaping, front and back.
Then, all I have to do is decide how I want to handle the collar, knit it and its facing, cut the steek, rip out the bottom facing and work a couple of rows in bronze seed stitch, then do I-cord edging all around (double on the front edges and including buttonholes) and sew on the buttons.
Guess I’d better go get busy again, huh?