Saturday, August 3, 2013

Harriet's Jacket KAL Day 3: Counting and Measuring and Counting Again

With the first sleeve done, it's time to begin the body increases. Everything will get a little odd looking for a while and you might feel you're knitting a trunk warmer for a baby elephant. Take note that whatever method you chose for increasing on the sleeves, it's time to stick to kfb (knit into the front, then the back of the same stitch) for the body increases. I experimented a lot with different types of increases here, but eventually determined that the best looking was the good old bar increase. The little bump that it creates blends in perfectly with the garter stitch ridges without distorting the forty-five degree angles down the front and back.
For a short while you'll continue working in stocking stitch.

Here you can see my pink start-of-round marker with my two white increase markers on either side. Look closely and you can even see the little bumps on either side of the "seam stitches", the lines between the bar increases. This photo shows me just starting to work the garter stitch ridges that are supposed to begin at the top of the shoulders. See?

Before starting those ridges, there's an instruction to measure from the start of the cuff. This is a good place for me to explain how I measure. I try never to use a measuring tape. They're too flexible to be accurate. I like to use this.

It's portable, but at the same time rigid enough to allow for more accurate measurement. With circular knitting, I like to dangle the working end of the piece slightly off the edge of a table or the sofa, allowing the top to form a flat surface for measuring. Note that the word "approx" appears in the instructions. Be reasonably accurate, but don't obsess.
Today I plan to work all the way to "the great divide", the point at which I'll start shaping the neck opening.

This part of the project involves increasing by 4 stitches every second round. It's tempting to keep knitting away happily, not bothering to take periodic stitch counts. Best not to fall into that trap. Even experienced knitters slip up. The mind wanders, an increase is forgotten.... A good plan is to make a little chart for your increases and check off your stitch counts every now and then. Believe me when I say that it's hard to count too often, even when the knitting seems simple.
Mid-afternoon, I bike over to Old Farm Fine Foods for some goodies.

Local squashes.
Fresh cheese curds.

I bike home (all downhill!), have a little dip with some crackers and a cup of tea, and send James out to remove a peony from our back garden to make way for an oakleaf hydrangea. I contemplate doing a bit more knitting this evening, perhaps over by the lake while I watch the sailboats. Life doesn't get much better than this.
Another beautiful Harriet's Jacket has emerged in progress. See here for what can be done with handspun. Lovely! I'm inspired to improve my spinning skills. Can't wait to get my hands on my new wheel, due to arrive soon. Do you spin? Have you ever spun for an adult size garment?