Wednesday, May 02, 2007

PNB Sweater: First Sleeve

Admire this, if you will.

It is the first sleeve of my forthcoming Phildar Nautical Button Sweater.

You may be thinking there's plenty wrong with this. Clearly, the tension is a tad inconsistent. Not all the stripes are exactly the same width. However, I must tell you that the very existence of this sleeve is something of a triumph, given the amount of measuring, ripping back and re-knitting it entailed. I am proud to say that it measures exactly 26cm wide, 57.5cm in length not counting the rib, and 16cm in length from the start of the raglan decreases.

The bloody sleeve, it was a nightmare actually. I worked my way up and down every size of needle in my collection. It turns out I can get the required horizontal gauge of 17.5sts to 10cm on just about any size needle there is (how? I wish I knew), but as for achieving the correct vertical gauge of 28 rows to 10cm - well, that was a very protracted process of trial and error.

I eventually concluded that I'm going to knit this sweater on 3.25mm needles for the main body and 2.75mm for the ribbing (that's 0.25mm smaller than the pattern recommends). I need to tell you that knitting heavy, aran-weight cotton on 3.25mm needles is really hard work. My wrists ache. Surely 4.5-6mm needles would have been more predictable for aran-weight yarn? I can't believe Phildar designed a pattern that makes you force thick, heavy cotton through such disproportionately small needles. If you are wondering, yes, the fabric is dense and even a bit stiff. But sod it, the sleeve is, at last, exactly the dimensions specified in the pattern so I am just going to go with it and see what happens.

I know one thing, I need to rest my wrists before I attempt the next piece. It might be back to socks for a little while for me.

1 comment:

Aberdonian said...

I know exactly what you're feeling! I think I'll gather our complaints and contact Phildar as it is such a nightmare.

It's not as if we're inexperienced knitters who don't know what they're doing!