Please, please, dry.

grafted row, wrong side

The grafted round from the wrong side

It’s done. The sweater that sucked the last six weeks of my life into a void of knitting frenzy has been drying on a rack since last night, first on the right side and now inside out to try to speed things up. I’ve learned a lot in the process and, for the record, I am never again going to graft 340 stitches in the round at 8.5 spi in two colors using wool with tiny barbed wires that cling on for dear life. EVER.

inside out sleeve

8-stitch floats in all the vertical bands.

The heathery hues also made it harder to see what I was doing. Yes, there were problems and I consumed an insane amount of chocolate yesterday.

neck short rows

A bit of short rows in the back of the neck

While I practice my patience today, I may take a break from knitting and run some experiments in the kitchen. How about something non-blue for a change?

The Zen of undoing

I thought I could do it all in one day. Not so.

Prepping for grafting

Prepping for grafting

The prepping alone took a few hours and this afternoon I won’t have time to do the actual grafting as I have a scheduled Italian conversation session with a student. Mañana…


One stitch at a time

By the way, thank you for all the virtual chocolate and encouragement. :)

Rip, snip, pull, repeat.

I had not expected the undoing to take so long. For someone like me — irritable, impatient, and constantly sleep deprived — this has been a Zen exercise, close to what I imagine meditation must be. I say imagine, because I tried it a few times and never quite got it. Not even enough patience for meditation.

The beginning

I considered mounting the stitches on two circular needles, to keep the sweater flat for grafting, but I was afraid that the needle would get in the way during the ripping operation and also that it would pull the stitches and deform them. So I opted for threading them with contrast yarn.

threading the live stitches

Threading the live stitches with orange yarn.

I accidentally snipped one of the blue threads too close to the work and I’ll have to be careful when weaving in the ends.

Undoing the last few stitches

Undoing the last few stitches

Finally done with separating the two parts of the sweater and counting my stitches.

Counting the stitches

I thought I'd better count my stitches to make sure the top part matches the bottom part.

In between pulling and snipping and keeping the cats at bay (they were very interested), I realized that the actual grafting will not be a straightforward affair because of a few complications:
1) two colors above and below the cut;
2) color changes in the grafting round (those pesky vertical bands);
3) a possible mismatch in the number of stitches that will involve a couple of increases or decreases;
4) the slight offset of loops that I am not sure how to handle at the color changes (the pesky vertical bands again).
But I will worry about that tomorrow afternoon, when I can get started.

I have a feeling that you will get tired of this sweater before it’s even finished.


I cut it

I did it. I cut the sweater at the top of the ribbing and I am reknitting the part riddled with mistakes.

Reknitting the bottom part

Then I will cut the section to be removed and graft the new bottom.

Kelvin investigates

Kelvin has been investigating and is now guarding the injured pieces. He and Piper have been keeping me company during the recent long knitting sessions. What would life be without kitties?

Guarding the injured sweater

Math + surgery

I am going crazy doing knitting math and making charts for my sweater in progress. Between some small but important charting mistakes and a major snafu in

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the knitting of the snowflake pattern in the lower body of the pullover, it has become clear that I will have to do major surgery on this baby. :( knitting charts Removing fifty rounds of 340 stitches each in two colors, reknitting them and then graft the last round to the upper part of the sweater will be painful. Very painful. Send chocolate.


I am working on the second sleeve of my sweater and excited about getting close to when I can put all my “tubes” together and start

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the yoke. This sweater marks many firsts for me: first sweater in the round, first seamless yoke construction, first stranded sweater, first attempt at designing

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a pattern. Too ambitious? Most likely, but I am learning so much in the process that it’ll be ok, however it turns out. sleeves Several years ago I did start a stranded color project, another pullover, that never got finished. This one will. I am figuring things out as I go, so it’s taking a long time, and knitting at a gauge of 8.5 spi is not speeding things up either. Some things never change.

Slowly slowly

knitting with cats

Supervised knitting

Knitting with Kelvin

Slow progress, but in good company.


Kelvin likes a good knitting session.
It means I am not moving around much.

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