Like the dinner guest who was a witty conversationalist at the start of the evening and now, after one too many glasses of punch, is zombie-staggering across the living room trying to do the dance to Bad Romance, this sweater has evolved from ‘Charmed’ to ‘Downright Annoying’.

We all knew it was bound to happen and, sure enough, I’ve had a bit of a hiccup with my sweater-knitting plans. It’s all to do with the sleeves.

EZ’s instructions call for you to cast on at the cuff with 20% of your body stitches, and then increase every 5th round up to 33%. I thought this would create a steep angle on the lower part of the sleeve, before hitting the stitch count and knitting straight, which would give you quite an old-fashioned sleeve shape. So I decided to increase every 7th round instead.

But then, as I reached the elbow, I worried that as the cuff was quite narrow, I wasn’t increasing fast enough to accommodate the width of the arm, so I ripped back (in hindsight, I really needn’t have worried).

I knit again, this time following the instructions and increasing every 5th round. I hit 33%, finished the sleeve, put it on the boyfriend, and realised it was enormous (which he was diplomatic about, but clearly not keen on).

So I ripped again, taking it back to a more reasonable width (about 29% of the body stitches). I am knitting this sleeve for the third time. Once was tedious. Twice was annoying but inevitable, barring a major accident with heavy machinery. A third time and I am almost comatose at the prospect.

If I was going to start from scratch, I would slightly increase the width of the cuff, and then space out the increases more widely, up to about 30%. But I think I can salvage what I have. I’m almost at the elbow, so I’m going to knit straight for several inches and then do another set of increases or two at the upper arm, and that should give a good fit. Luckily the boyfriend is around to try it on as we go and of course once I’ve got it right, knitting up the second sleeve should move a lot faster.

All of this wouldn’t matter so much if I wasn’t aiming for the skiing holiday deadline; I’m supposed to be on the second sleeve by now. Unfortunately I’m out for several evenings this week (not to mention the fact that I’m still trying to sort out the next episode of the podcast) but I really need to try and pick up the pace. Fingers crossed I can make some headway and that I’m able to start on the yoke at the weekend.

Ach, who am I kidding? 3am knitting, here we come…

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3 Responses to Hiccup

  1. Marie says:

    I remember that I had to knit and then rip off 3 times the first (and only) sweater that I knit for my husband (I foolishly thought that since he wasn’t technically my boyfriend anymore, there was no Boyfriend Sweater Curse to worry about – God, was I deluded). First I realised that the front was somewhat wonky; then that the armholes weren’t wide enough; then that the sleeves didn’t fit, because I’d knit them in a different size without even noticing.
    When I eventually finished it, I was exhausted and bored out of my mind – because, to top it all, my husband chose a very fine yarn and a pattern that consisted of miles and miles and miles of stocking stitch…
    He admired it a great deal and said he loved it – but then he wore it exactly twice, because according to him, “it is too warm”. (WTF?!)
    And that’s when I decided that from now on I would knit him only gloves and hats and scarves in big, chunky yarn (it was either that, or divorcing him on the spot)
    So… I’m right with you :)

  2. Sandi says:

    Our first Christmas together I made my husband a sweater. Merino/mohair blend in a mid blue/mid brown tweedy yarn. 5 strand twisted cable front, reverse stockinette everything else. He was out of town for 2 weeks and I did NOTHING else the entire time except knit this sweater. Christmas morning he shakes the box and says, ‘But I don’t need another sweater.’ No, but you need another wife. It fit, He wore it at least 6 times, it was also too warm (also WTF? We live in New York, not Florida). I had, three times before, been a victim of the sweater curse (Eric, Ray and Bob) but no one had told me the curse existed. Just garrote me with my Addi Turbos. 30 years later I have never knit him anything, ever again.

  3. Anja says:

    EZ’s percentage system creates sweaters with deep eighties armholes and narrow cuffs. Just the thing back then; not so stylish now. I reknit an entire sweater because of it. Definitely needs an update!

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