Monday, 9 March 2009

Monday morning

Jolly cold it is, too. We've had frost, hail, snow, and today this absolutely freezing cold wind. It may be spring, but it isn't exactly warm just yet.

And that, in a way, is good, because it seems likely that my husband will get some wear out of Rugged as soon as I get it finished.

The back is done, and I am working on the raglan decreases of the first sleeve.

This fabric is very bouncy and firm when it comes off the needles - too much so, in fact. It could practically stand up by itself, which isn't a good look, and I will admit that I was getting somewhat worried that this pullover wouldn't be wearable. The gauge required for this pattern is closer than is recommended on the ballband, using the same size needles - fortunately I'm not having any problems with this, but it was a surprise to see this, and it is worth noting.

Anyway, I blocked the back, and there was a lovely transformation. Instead of a fabric which was really much too firm and inflexible, all of a sudden we had drape and softness. So that's going to be alright.

There are a couple of little things in the pattern worth noting, besides the thing with the tension. In the raglan shaping directions there is a really obvious typo - if you follow the directions as written, you'll end up with a purl row where you'd expect to be knitting. Not hard to spot, and not hard to deal with either.

Slightly more problematic is the styling of the sleeves. My husband is a big man, but he doesn't need sleeves measuring 24" to the beginning of the raglan shaping. Looking at the other men's pullovers in Rowan 42, it is quite noticeable that they all seem to have extremely long sleeves too, it's not just Rugged, so this is a general styling issue.

Here you can see the picture of Rugged in the magazine.

Look at those sleeves, right down over his hands. My husband is not a fan of this look, so I've shortened the sleeves significantly.

I've seen a number of comments on Ravelry about the sleeves being oddly wide - I don't see this at all. The cable does pull the fabric in widthways, so you need extra stitches to allow for this - and of course the cable should not be flattened out with blocking. I'm wondering if that's where the problem might lie, because I think that the sleeve width is just fine the way it is.

Right now I'm wondering if reducing the length of the sleeves means that I will have enough yarn to go back and add a bit to the length of the back. I'll know soon. I've got 20 balls of yarn in all, and I'm currently working through ball number 9. If I don't hit ball number 10 before the end of the sleeve - my theoretical half-way point - then there will be frogging, because I'd much rather reknit the top half of the back than unpick the cast-on and add length that way.

And I am going to frog the Grandad Top, definitely. I just can't quite bring myself to start on it yet....

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