Time is just whizzing by! I had a great weekend, attending a 3-day natural dye workshop at Deep Color Studio--but I'll just leave all that for tomorrow's post because I made some other promises before the workshop that should be honored. (By way of explanation, this is the start of my busy work season, which will build in intensity until mid-October. I'm pretty stressed out these days, anticipating my move back to Seattle next month in the middle of it all. Plus, I have a long long history of writing letters in my head but never sending them. Why should my blog be any different?)
But we have the issue of sleeves and shoulder joins to divert us from such gnawing concerns! First, I was asked why on earth I would knit simple, plain sleeves up from the cuff rather than down from the armhole. Well, I had a few reasons for this construction on this child's sweater.
1. This little sweater was conceived as a teaching piece and I wanted to explore different ways to join sleeves to armholes.
2. Sometimes I like the texture that an I-cord or a 3-needle bind off to the outside gives.
2. I don't enjoy knitting down from the armhole in full-size sweaters. Although this makes a lovely smooth join, I don't like carting the entire sweater around and flopping it over while knitting. I also have difficulty keeping my tension in color pattern even toward the cuff. Of course, I could learn to do it, but life is short and I'm all about knitting pleasure. I like small pieces, I like flexibility. So unless there is a solid design reason to knit downwards, I don't. What is a solid design reason, you ask? Meg Swansen has designed a few sweaters that take advantage of the nearly equal stitch/row gauges in stranded knitting, so the sleeve appears to be a continuation of the yoke (her current Wool Gathering Cuff to Cuff sweater is a good example).
A related question was whether there was any reason you couldn't knit a pattern written for armhole down to a cuff up. Answer: I can't think of any! You have to be aware of how many stitches you are aiming for (but of course, you have to be aware of your stitch/row relationship when picking up in order to knit downwards).
So I'd like you readers to tell me your experiences, especially how you have learned to control your tension and handle the mass of fabric when knitting armhole downwards.
Today was a very special day for me:
I've got a lot to be grateful for.