As usual for July, I’m in state fair panic mode, which means I spend my evenings knitting rather than writing about knitting. But I pause for a moment for an update on the Aran Wrap Cardigan.
The sleeves have not been fun to knit, although I admire the cleverness of the design. You pick up stitches around the armhole and use ever-longer short rows to shape the cap before finally knitting in the round down to the wrist. You alternate double decreases on the top and underarm moss stitch panels to narrow it. Unfortunately the designer doesn’t say what decrease(s) will best accomplish this. I finally decided on centered double decreases, both knit and purl. These sleeves alone justify my purchase of the mammoth Principles of Knitting, since I’m not sure I own any other book that has instructions for a purled centered double decrease!
I finished the left sleeve and was less than thrilled with it. These sleeves need to end on the 12th round of a 24-row cable pattern, which has no relation to the length of my arms. In addition, the sleeve flared at the end because the cables spread out, and the whole thing looked sloppy. But as I was working the right sleeve, I thought to try knitting the last repeat of the cable pattern on smaller needles. It hasn’t fixed the problems entirely, but this is definitely an improvement.
The left sleeve, worked on 9s, is softer, looser, and not all that neat. The cuff doesn’t flare all that much in the photo, but trust me, with an actual arm and wrist in it, it just drapes limply over the hand and promises to trail and snag on everything. For the right sleeve, I used 7s for the last pattern repeat. Even in the photo, you can see the cuff is narrower; when I measured it, it was a full 3 inches less in circumference than the left sleeve. To minimize flaring, I used a gathered bind off over the cable-y parts of the cable pattern, switching back to the traditional bind off for the flat areas. I hoped that using smaller needles would also shorten the sleeve a bit. It did—you can see it a bit in the picture, since I tried to line the sleeves up precisely—but only by about half an inch. Hey, every bit helps.
Having ripped back 24 rounds on the left sleeve, I’m now reknitting it to match the right sleeve. Then just the bottom third of the body remains, which would be a nice, relaxing knit if only those August state fair deadlines weren’t looming.