It’s a good thing we have theoretical knitting this week, as I’m afraid that the actual knitting has made negative progress once again. I knit almost to the cuff of the first sleeve on the Mike sweater, laid it out, and realized that a) the sleeve was way too wide and all out of proportion, and b) I am dangerously close to running out of yarn. So, I’ve ripped back to the armpit and started the sleeve shaping again, decreasing much more aggressively at the beginning in hopes of stretching the yarn.

This sweater is a very interesting exercise for my sense of proportion. I am used to knitting sweaters for Branden, who is very long in addition to being broad in the shoulders. Mike is about my height, so his sweater will be much, much shorter lengthwise, but he is well muscled in the shoulders and upper arms, meaning that I ended up using a raglan length almost big enough for Branden. Every time I look at the body of the sweater it feels about 8 inches too short, but when I put it on to try it out it’s just about perfect. When I put it on, the shoulders and upper body feel hopelessly baggy, but we measured a favorite sweatshirt and the measurements are spot on. Sometimes you don’t realize what a rut you’ve worked your way into until you attempt to knit your way out of it, and I’m definitely thinking that I have a well-worn path through sweater sizing for Branden, but that there are lots of other cases where it doesn’t apply. (Either that, or the whole thing really is off, my intuition is right, and I’m in a lot of trouble. Just throwing that out there in hopes of evading the inevitable disaster that follows unqualified statements in favor of measurements over intuition.)

Turns out that it’s a good thing the sweater isn’t any longer, though. I have about 7 oz of yarn left to make it through both sleeves. At this point, I am giving up hope of working the ribbing in the lighter color; that will have to be knit out of the darker MacGyver yarn instead. I could rip back the body to the arm split and do some decreasing there to squeeze out a little extra yarn, but I don’t think that’s worth it unless I end up really desperate. This was measured off of a sweatshirt, so it will have a baggy, sweatshirt feel to it, and a little extra room in the body will probably be a good thing in the end.

Knitting has been progressing more slowly than it probably could, because I’ve been spending time with my spinning wheel on the side. I’ve started the spinning yarn for Branden’s next sweater, which does not yet have a name. You might remember that I dyed three different braids just before we left Chicago. I now have full bobbins of the first two, and am about to begin the third.

The three colors will be plied together to make a barberpole yarn, hopefully making a nice, dappled fabric that combines the three colorways. To my surprise, I’m currently liking the brown and mint colorway the best:

Though it’s hard not to love the turquoise and gray, too.

Looks like that bobbin could actually use a little topping off, now that I look at it again. I’ve been working on not overfilling my bobbins lately, since overfull bobbins can get messy and I always end up with a little left over when I ply anyway. The plied yarn seems to take up just a little more space on the bobbin than the singles, probably because of the smaller amount of twist in the yarn, and slightly looser packing. Only one more bobbin to spin, and then we’ll really get to see how these colors will work together in the skein. I really like alternating three colorways in a project like this – it’s like getting to change projects after every full bobbin.