June 27, 2006

Celia Splash

Today, I caved. I cast on for the sleeve of Celia. Celia is a wonderful crisp linen knit in Splash with a lacy texture. It is cool enough for the sauna that pretends to be office, which is really just a foyer pretending to be an office. I counted the lights in the 30’x30’ space of pretentious-ness. It has no less than 16 lights. That’s almost one every 2 square feet. I can get sunburned if I forget to put on spf 80 in the morning. Moving on….

I cast on for the sleeve, because I lie to myself that a sleeve is very small, almost like not working on it at all. Plus, a sleeve will let my get a “feel” for the gauge, pattern, yarn and what-not. So I cast on the 63 stitches indicated for the smallest size, because I am always the smallest size, sometimes smaller.

I confidently work the one inch in pattern and ending after working a wrong side row. (A wrong side row is simply that, the wrong or back side of the work, or in this case shirt.) I bind off the 3 beginning stitches on the next two rows as directed. I’ve got my now reduced 57 stitches and am feeling pretty high and mighty. I’ve been knitting since I was seven, this “intermediate” pattern is piddley to me. P-I-D-D-L-E-Y.

Then I began the decreases for the raglan sleeve. (The raglan sleeves in this picture is where the color changes on the shoulder.) But Celia was feeling vindictive. She was out to me the new meaning of intermediate pattern. She was out to show me, not only that I was illiterate, but that my grasp basic math skills were more than shaky.

Follow me, if you will along the path Celia had laid out for me. The sleeve pattern is has 6 rows. This means that each row has a different set of stitches which after six rows will give me my whole pattern. It look likes this when written out: “Row 1: Blah, blah blah. Row 2: Blah, blah, blah. Row 3: Blah, blah, blah. Row 4: Blah, blah, blah. Row 5: Blah, blah blah. Row 6: Blah, blah, blah.”

My directions for the decrease read-in layman’s terms-“knit two stitches, reduce by knitting two stitches as one, knit in pattern until the last four stitches and reduce by knitting two stitches as one, knit two stitches.” Got that? Every time we use this decrease we loose 2 stitches. This means that if I were to use this decrease after my 57 stitches I would have how many? 55! Bingo.

So from my 55 stitches, we now read: [Repeat decrease row alternately every 2nd and 4th row] 7 times. (Decrease as described above). So are we 1.) decreasing On the 2nd and 4th lines of the pattern for seven repeats of the pattern? 2.) Or are we actually alternating which line of the pattern we are repeating on for seven repeats? 3.) Or are we decreasing 7 times in all ( line 2, 4, 2, 4, 2, 4, 2) for a total of 3.5 repeats of the pattern?

Because I know that raglan seams are straight lines I can knock out number 2, which would turn out rather jagged. I also can knock out number one because I have a handy diagram at the bottom of my directions that say this sleeve is only 7 inches long and inch (from 3 paragraphs back) plus seven repeats, plus the directions continue seems to be a lot of inches. So I default to the third choice. My gauge for this pattern is 24 stitches = four inches in width and 38 rows = 4 inches in height. This tells me that I should have six stitches per inch. (I do.) And 9.5 rows per inch. (err, what?) I have 33 rows= four inches. mmmmmm. Yes, I believe I am the first person to have the width in gauge, but not the height.

Splash is a beautiful aqua color and not at all teal like the camera wants to make it.

But I forge ahead to see if any of this will make sense later down the line, which sometimes happens. I am left with 41 stitches after all my decreases. Because remember, we had the first decrease which told us how to decrease, plus the 7 decreases with 2 decreases each. 16 removed stitches = 41 stitches left. Okay.

Directions: Work decrease row every 4th row 5 times. Bind off remaining 17 stitches. Err what? I have 41 stitches and if I ignore what row to decrease on and quickly multiple the decreases per row (2) by the number of times decreased (5), I get 10. 41 minus 10 does NOT equal 17. In fact, it equals 31 which is 14 too many. Also, if I actually read the directions I get another 17 rows (=1 ¾ inches) which does not make my sleeve 7 inches. Trust me that one quarter of an inch will matter-remember, I’m not on gauge height-wise anyway.

So I have email Cat for help because it was her that inspired me to get this pattern book and use this yarn. I hope she can help my defunct knitting. But if anyone else has knitted this or has inadequate math skills, please email me. I need help.

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