And the needles just keep on clicking…(plus a fit tip)
Dear Stockinette Project,
First of all, I still love you. I have always loved you, from the moment your beautiful purple, shiny yarn met my fingers, from the second we cast on together for this new adventure in our lives. You have been, and still are, so beautiful to me.
However, I am frustrated, and even a bit impatient, with this particular stage in our relationship. I know you are trying…yet no matter how many hours I spend with you, we seem to be going nowhere. I knit and I knit, for weeks on end, and yet it appears that we are still at the same 14" length.
What more can I do? I've spent time watching movies with you–romantic comedies, so that we might charm each other with laughter; scary thrillers, so that we might cling to one another in the darkness when the killer is on the other side of the door; action movies, so that we might find that heart and needles beat faster as one. You've joined me in all life's mundane joys: waiting in the doctor's office, visiting with friends, sitting on park benches while the dog romps in the grass. I've even gone with you on long walks at sunset. And still we are at 14"…
I thought perhaps you might feel unappreciated, so I bought you pretty stitch markers. I've lovingly posted blog photos of you on basil plants, on lilies, and now, even on the hanging chives basket on the front porch! I've lavished my favourite project bags upon you, my best knitting needles…and still, we are at 14".
I am at wit's end, my darling project. We need to move on to the next stage in our journey together, we need to discuss the subject of…armhole shaping. Yes, my dear knitting, it is coming to that. I fear we must give up on our dream of a hem that falls past my hips, and continue realistically on with the work of making space for arms, and shoulders, and the other necessities of life.
I think we can get through this together. Please do not think for a moment that I am suggesting anything as dreadful as a trip to the UFO bin, or worse, the horrible fate of being fr-gged. No, dear project, I will stay faithful to you…but it is time to face facts. We do not have forever together–autumn is coming, and I must soon turn my needles to a warm cardigan for the cold–but there is still time. We still have August.
I'm here if you want to talk.
Your loving knitter,
I hear a lot of knitters say they prefer to knit top-down sweaters "because you can try them on as you go." This has always puzzled me greatly…why can't you try on bottom-up sweaters as you go, as long as there aren't seams involved? You don't even have to put the stitches on waste yarn, if you have three more circulars in the same size as the needle your project is on.
First, check to make sure that the lengths of the four circular needles, when added together, are a few inches greater than your hip measurement. Ready? Good! Next, mentally divide the stitches currently on your (single) circular needle into four sections. Go ahead and knit the next round, switching to a separate circular needle for each quarter-round. Think of how a sock looks when it is one four dpns–it's the same idea, except with four circulars holding your stitches! When you are done knitting onto all four needles, spread the stitches out evenly along the needles, and step into the top as though it were a skirt. Pull it up to the proper height, and presto! If you like, pin the top to whatever you are wearing, using the cables of the circulars to help anchor the pins. I find that it really helps to quickly weave a contrasting thread in and out (using a yarn needle) of a round at the waist of whatever I am knitting, so I can more accurately place the garment on myself. And finally: A full-length mirror is your best friend in such fitting adventures! I've been the one standing on the toilet, trying to be high enough to see the hem of my new knitted top in the mirror above the sink…not fun.
I hope you have a cool, breezy place to sit outside and enjoy the summer weather (with your favourite knitting project, of course!).
Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. You can find her blogging here on Knitting Daily every Thursday. Want more? Visit Sandi's personal blog, wiseheart knits. Or, if you're on Twitter, you can follow her: sandiwiseheart.