Silver Threads

a knitting blog with occasional side trips

My summer of short rows

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Okay, fine (she muttered grudgingly), the Wedge Pullover won’t be finished in time for the state fair. Too many froggings and reknittings of the back, too much distraction by other projects—heck, probably too much blogging. Yes, yes, the whole point of this was a sweater that fits and that I’d actually wear, a sweater which uses this lovely blue merino yarn that’s been in my stash for almost a decade, but still…drat.

The original pattern called for wrap-and-turn short rows. I glanced down after doing one run of them, and winced: every single wrap-and-turn was a little pucker. Rip. For my next attempt, I tried Japanese short rows, as I’d heard they were practically invisible. Indeed, the first wedge, with knit-side short rows, was lovely. Wedge two,  with purl-side short rows, was another wince-producer. The instructions I’d found had been less than clear, and every stitch I’d picked up to close the gaps was twisted. I was able to untwist them, but they’d sucked up too much yarn and looked sloppy. Rip back to first wedge. On the third attempt, I had better instructions, and the second wedge came out wonderfully. Then at some point in the third wedge, I realized I’d dropped a stitch. Attempting to fix it, normally not that big a deal, failed utterly. I still have no idea how I managed to wreck the first and second wedges in the process. Rip back to ribbing.

The front has a challenge of its own: the crew neck. The neck shaping starts by binding off the center 16 stitches. But this is in the middle of a wedge and the rows are diagonal, so I’m going to have to stagger the bind offs to keep the bottom edge sort of level. Which is why this project is now staying home, to be knit in hermitic solitude lest I screw it up. So no, this sweater isn’t going to the state fair this year.

Lintilla and its short rows.

Lintilla and its short rows.

In other knitting news, Lintilla is coming along splendidly. (Guess what’s been distracting me from the Wedge Pullover.) It’s garter stitch with short rows. Yes, I’ve postponed a Color Affection Shawl indefinitely because I was sick of short rows, thanks to Wingspan and the Wedge Pullover, but I’d forgotten that Lintilla had them too until I started it. The short rows the designer calls for were leaving little holes. I couldn’t tell if her original shawlette had those little holes or if I was doing them wrong somehow, but it wasn’t a design feature I was interested in, so I abandoned her version. For this pattern, the classic wrap-and-turn technique has been working just fine.

And that’s how I’ve been spending my summer.

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