Knit 101: Time to Tackle Armholes

It’s been a while since my last Knit 101 update, mostly because I didn’t get a lot of knitting done over the summer. It’s just too tempting to be outside when the weather is nice! And it’s hard to have a lap full of wool when it’s 90 degrees out. But we’ve had some cool days recently, so I’ve been picking up my needles more often in the hope that I’ll finish my Killarney Tunic in time to wear it this winter.

As you can see, the back is coming along well. I’ve made decent progress, and I’m really happy with the quality of my knitting so far. I’ve made visible errors in other projects, but I think this sweater looks pretty good!

The back of my Killarney Tunic. The easy part is over—now it’s time for armhole shaping.

The back of my Killarney Tunic. The easy part is over—now it’s time for armhole shaping.

The pattern says to work the ribbing/stockinette portion until the piece measures about 20”, but I’m sitting at 18” right now and stopping here. I’m a short person (5’3”) and this is a long top, as you can see; I want it to be tunic-length but not down to my knees! Leaving off a few inches should get me to the overall length I want.

This tunic is designed to be long, but since I’m pretty short (about 5 inches shorter than the model), I’m reducing the length a bit so that it hits me in a more flattering place. | Photo by Harper Point Photography

This tunic is designed to be long, but since I’m pretty short (about 5 inches shorter than the model), I’m reducing the length a bit so that it hits me in a more flattering place. | Photo by Harper Point Photography

I also used this pause in my knitting to check my tunic against the schematic and make sure I’m on track. The piece should measure 19¼”, according to the schematic, and I’m pretty much meeting that across the board. Success!

So now that I’ve finished with the bottom portion of the back, it’s time to move on to the next phase: shaping the armholes. I’ve never knit armholes before, so I’ll confess that I’ve been stalled at this point for about a month because I’ve been too intimidated to go on. Every time I’ve pulled out my knitting, I’ve read through the next steps in the pattern and felt so overwhelmed that I quickly put it away again.

Time to knit armholes! Compared to shaping armholes, this ribbing that gave me so much trouble was a breeze.

Compared to shaping armholes, this ribbing that gave me so much trouble was a breeze.

I really want to keep going with this sweater, though, so it’s time for me to just get over it and get going with these armholes! (Knowing I’m surrounded by experts who can help me fix any mistakes is helping me overcome my fear.) According to the pattern, I have to bind off 4 stitches at the beginning of the next two rows—no big deal. Then comes the next set of instructions, full of KSPs and SKPs and doing things without twisting. That’s . . . intimidating. I’m definitely going to need help on this part, since I don’t understand half of the terms in the pattern.

Come back in a few weeks and see how this armhole shaping went! Hopefully I’ll have moved on to the front section of the tunic by then.

Happy knitting,
Rachel

(Featured Image by Harper Point Photography)


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