Friday, January 26, 2007

Tech Question on Top Down Sweater Construction

I'll probably start my first sleeve sometime this weekend. That's the good news.

The bad news? The instructions have me puzzled. Maybe I'm overthinking the whole thing, but the logic of the numbers escapes me and I'm turning to all of you for help. (I'm also emailing Knitting Pure & Simple with the question. I Googled for errata but none popped up.)

Now bear with me while I state the obvious: knitting instructions always move from smallest size to largest. 34 (36 38 40 42) or S (M L XL XXL) The corresponding cast on #s or stitches to knit do as well: 100 (110 120 130 140). Or something like that. I've never seen it vary.

Until now.

Here is the portion of the instructions for Knitting Pure & Simple's Neckdown Pullover for Men #991:

Decrease round - k1, ssk, k to within 3 sts of marker, k2tog, k1. Repeat this round every 7th (6th, 5th, 4th, 4th) round. For a small mans' size, space the decreases closer together. For a tall size, space them farther apart . . . Continue to work as established, changing to larger double point needles when necessary, until sleeve measures 19 (18, 17, 16, 15) inches from armhole at underarm.

See my problem? The instructions as given above show widely-spaced decreases for the smaller size, becoming less widely-spaced as the size goes up. Isn't that the direct opposite of the instructions they give in the next sentence? Am I just not seeing something that's clear to everyone else? And since when does a guy in an XXL sweater have shorter arms than a guy in a S? Girth alone would take up more space. Is the shorter length compensated for by a deeper armhole worked earlier and I'm just not getting it because I'm new to this technique?

I swear to you, the logic (or lack of it) is keeping me up nights. Any help, explanation, or "you moron!" gratefully received!


Blogger Wendy said...

Okay, the sleeve decrease instruction looks comletely whacky to me. I think the numbers they give are the opposite of what they mean. Even so, there should NOT be a 4-inch difference in the length of the sleeve from the smalles to the largest size. That's just WRONG.

I think. :-)

9:59 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

THE Wendy, thanks! It looks nuts to me too but then I'm the one who struggles with provisional cast-on like it's splitting the atom. I'm wondering what the company will say.

BTW, are you feeling better yet? I don't know what's going around but it's horrible.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

My friend L-B is doing a woman's Knitting Pure and Simple pattern for a top down sweater and I just confirmed with her via telephone that her pattern is wonky too, in the same way yours is. She's just winging it and spacing the decreases in the way that seems best to her. The sleeve lengths were bizarre on her pattern as well.

I am feeling a little better -- dragged myself to work this morning and am feeling very virtuous for doing so. Also am getting some good brownie points at the office because there's something that had to be done today and I am the apparently the only person in the world who can do what needs to be done. Job security. Gotta love it.

And I can only hear out of one ear, so things are nice and quiet. ;-)

10:38 AM  
Blogger Dallas Schulze said...

I have one of the Knitting Pure & Simple patterns that has the same wonky looking numbers. Since the numbers are consistently wonky throughout the pattern, I figured maybe it was some trick of top down construction and if/when I get around to making this pattern, I'd try blindly following along and see what happened.

I'm not normally a fan of blind following but I've found that there are knitting mysteries that only make sense when you do them, like turning a sock heel for the first time and that impossible math formula for shawl increases that lets you start out with a few stitches, add stitches every other row and somehow be working toward the point of the shawl. I'm pretty sure that one is a scientific impossibility but it works every time.

Let us know what you find out about the numbers, Barbara. You can be the test case for the rest of us, you lucky girl.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

The wonky directions do seem to be consistent, don't they? I guess I'll proceed like a good knitting soldier and see what happens. Goldisox is 6'3" with long arms so I'm going to have to schedule a dress rehearsal somewhere along the way to make sure I'm on track. I have a history of making sweaters suitable either for orangutans or short-armed barrel-chested circus performers.

Once more unto the breach, dear knitters . . .

12:23 PM  

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