Friday, October 19, 2012

Miles to Knit Before I Sleep...

... miles of stockinette, that is, to knit before I sleep.   The Roxborough Dolman, from Courtney Kelley, looks like a wardrobe staple.  It's easy, mindless, stockinette that gives you an excuse to have an Alias marathon in the evenings.  


But it did really get to my body.  I told my husband I can't play tennis until I'm finished with this thing because it's wreaking havoc on my wrists and arms. This is quite a statement since I don't really know how to play tennis anyway.   But, the running around and waving of equipment over my head will have to wait, too.



I had been working on this in between knitalong assignments for another project, leisurely knitting on it at night.  About halfway through, I checked my gauge and found I'd have to rip it back to the bottom ribbing and power through those microscopic stitches with a size 2 and knitter's death grip.  I have claws for hands now, but I also have a really cool dolman summer top.  And stripes!


There was only one more hitch: my bottom band was still not tight enough and, since I was using my smallest needle size, I would have to decrease stitches for the band.  I was not about to pick out 200+ tiny cast on stitches, one by one.  My only alternative was the unthinkable.  

I took scissors to it, and that was hard, but I've got a box of yarn waiting for fall, so I can be cavalier about these things.  I cut the bottom entirely off a couple of rows before the stockinette began.  It felt empowering to be the master of my knits.  I then ripped it back to the stockinette, inserting my needles into the first row of stockinette, which was certainly tedious enough, and began the knit 2, purl 2 rib.  I knew I needed to decrease my stitches by 12 to get a tighter fit, so I decreased 11 evenly over the first row of rib knitting.  (Since I was knitting down, away from the original cast on edge, I was automatically short one stitch.)  That was my only modification.   A little more nano-knitting and I was finished.



I used Knit Picks Comfy Fingering weight yarn in peapod and whisker, which are cotton acrylic blends.  They look really smooth as I knit, but I'm curious to see what a wash and block will do to the width of this top, particularly the ribbing.   I realize it's all wrinkled in these photos, but I didn't want to wait for blocking.


I'm glad I took the time to make this.  It was straightforward and looks like better than what I'd buy at Target.  I've worn it twice since I took these pictures, still un-blocked, and it's so easy to wear.   My only advice is to check your gauge constantly and try a tip Allyson of Holla Knits gave me: don't bother weaving in your trillion yarn ends when the garment has positive ease.  Just tie a few knots in them on the inside of the sweater and snip the ends to about 2 in.  Yes, it will look like weird 80's fringe on the inside, but it will only be cool 80's batwing on the outside.


(more on my Ravelry and Flickr)

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