So, there are several mistakes in this sweater. And I’ve decided to take a friend’s advice and fix them another time, so that the sweater is never really finished, and therefore the curse can never take effect at full potency.

What have I done? Well, I misread the instructions when I joined the body and sleeves, and set aside 10% of my stitches for the underarms – but that applies to the yoke sweater; for the seamless hybrid/shirt yoke it should only be 5%. Luckily I spotted this and corrected the stitches at all four points under the arm. Or so I thought. Actually I missed it on one sleeve, where I’ve set aside 12 stitches (which isn’t even 10%, I don’t know how they got there), whilst the other 3 points have 9 stitches. Of course I only realised this after approximately 10 hours of knitting, when I finished the raglan decreases and realised the sleeves weren’t equal.

I did not cry. I did not down half a bottle of gin. I did not break anything. I did get the boy to try on the sweater, and the 3 missing stitches (or rather 3 extra stitches, since I had to halt the raglan decreases early on one sleeve) are pretty un-noticeable unless you go looking for them. He didn’t seem to mind anyway, and so as long as he doesn’t look or feel like a chump I think I’m safe.

The now superfluous 3 stitches were fudged away with some extra decreases so that the sleeves match for the shirt yoke.

And then.

The problem, as anyone who has knit this sweater will know, is that EZ’s percentage system sort of stops running halfway through her pattern ‘recipe’. When she does the shirt yoke, she gives figures and stitch counts for her sample, but doesn’t explain why they apply, or how they would be re-calculated for different gauges/sizes.

So, EZ ends up with a shirt yoke of 35 stitches worked for 44 rows and then halved for the neck opening, and then worked until 22 stitches for the back remain, and then you do the other side of the shirt yoke and graft the point where they meet.

I have a shirt yoke of 28 stitches and absolutely no clue.

So, I spent a large proportion of yesterday evening doing maths. I have two pages of scrawled figures to show for the mental aerobics I put my brain through, which resemble nothing so much as a round of Numberwang. Luckily the boyfriend was on hand to check it over – maths forms a large part of his day job – but I still kept getting muddled. I expect a 7 year old would have been able to work it out but maths has never been my strong point and I am inordinately proud of the B grade I attained at GCSE, after which I promptly forgot as much of the tortured experience as I could get away with.

And then.

I realised that a) I was making this more complicated than it needed to be and b) my body stitches were not equal either. Sigh. The two extra stitches have been added to those set aside for the front of the neck and I’ll incorporate them into the neckband.

What I have finally worked out, with a lot of help from Zimmermania posts on Ravelry,  is that the two sides of the shirt yoke and the back of the neck should each be one third of the remaining body stitches (or approximately 10% of your magic number).

Once I had that sorted in my head things went a lot more quickly. The yoke is now finished, the sweater has been tried on and it fits!

But I’m not quite there yet. I still need to graft the back of the yoke, pick up and knit the neckband, graft the underarms and weave in all the ends. Plus I need to smooth out the lumps and bumps with some sort of blocking (as one of you helpfully suggested, steam will be a lot quicker/easier than wet blocking). But I still have tomorrow evening, so I think it’s possible (translation: see you here at 3am Saturday morning).

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One Response to Numberwang

  1. Sharon says:

    Fudging is good :) Much better than reknitting for something that really makes no difference at all in the grand scheme of a sweater. I am really bad at counting, so I often find myself in the midst of such situations.

    Thanks, too, for the detail about the shirt yoke. I’m filing this away for when I finally get around to knitting the seamless hybrid!

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