Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nice Save

Yesterday I grafted the shoulders of the baby sweater and knit on the neckband , then discovered that one front was a good inch longer than the other front and the back, just the width of the ribbing. I considered the options and didn't like either of them. Option 1: Ravel the neckband, un-graft the offending front and ravel it down an inch, re-graft and re-knit the neckband. Problem is, the stripe pattern would no longer match across the center opening. Option 2: Cut off the ribbing, pick up the live stitches and knit back down to the bottom. The stripes would then match across the center front. Problem is, I've never done that before. Gulp. But that would definitely look better in the end, assuming I could pull it off without the whole thing coming undone.

So I put a lifeline in the middle of the brown stripe, where the ribbing started. I was too chicken to cut in the row of stitches right below the lifeline, and thought maybe if I raveled from the bottom, I could just use that yarn to knit back down. But as I pulled the ever-longer end of yarn through stitch after stitch, the twist of the yarn got more and more untwisted and worn-looking. So finally I bit the bullet and cut -- though in two steps, coward that I am. The original ribbing piece first, which the cat ran off with, and then the second piece, here:

Then I ran a small circular needle through the stitches with the lifeline, and pulled it out. I had been very careful to put the lifeline through, so that was far easier than I had anticipated. Then I began to knit in the other direction, down. The switch is in the middle of this brown stripe; can you see it?

I can't! Hurrah! And I've learned something new, always a good thing.

Here's my assistant, Glenna:

I learned to knit in Brownies at age six. We made potholders for our mothers. I've been knitting ever since, though I'm no expert. I love to knit socks -- most of the time you can just go round and round and don't have to think.

Looks like the kind of day I like: sunny, not too warm, not humid. Yaaay!

learned something new
fresh slicing tomatoes ready to eat
smell of bread baking


Leslie said...

That sweater is so cute. What a great save, I bet you're thrilled. But what is a 'life line'?

Susan said...

A lifeline is something I learned about when I learned to knit lace (which I don't do much, as it requires long periods of paying attention). You run a length of contrasting yarn (NOT MOHAIR!) through the right 'leg' of every stitch (speaking stockinette stitches here) in a row of stitches. Then you can either ravel back that far without the whole thing coming apart, or, as in this case, you can cut the piece just below the lifeline and pick those stitches up without dropping any and knit back down. There must be a tutorial somewhere here on the web -- I'll look for one. I should have taken step-by-step photos and I could have posted a tutorial here. But I was too nervous about whether it would work to think that far ahead!

Susan said...

A quick Google check shows lots of videos of putting a lifeline through the stitches on the needle, but I can't find anything (even at Ravelry) about putting one through stitches in the middle of the fabric. It's exactly the same concept, though. This sweater is in sock yarn on size 2 (American) needles, and it wasn't hard to see the right leg of the stitches, even in the dark brown stripe. If I can see it with my bad vision, probably everybody can!