Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Math Saves the Day

{Yarning along with Ginny}

Is there a better way to spend the first minutes of the morning? Kids all asleep, some dark roast coffee and a little easy stockinette on the current sock...

I've been trying to get back into my own school year schedule for the last 2 weeks and it has been hard to get up at 6 a.m. again, but the sock is helping I think.

I shared pictures of my Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan progress on Monday, and while I'm a little farther on sleeve #2 than those photos show, it's really only a few rows farther. With school year life trying to get going again this week, I haven't had time since Sunday to knit much on it. But I do want to make something clear- for all my complaining about the sleeves, the sleeve issue is mine and mine alone- this cardi is a *wonderful* pattern. It is well written, I'm loving the shaping, and I can tell this is going to be a sweater I wear frequently. Every time I try it on to check sizing I'm reminded of how this sweater is exactly what my wardrobe needs right now.

I'm now at peace with the sleeves. I think I have figured out what my sleeve issue is on every single cardigan and sweater. FINALLY- right? It pretty much comes down to my state of mind:

In my brain I expect sleeves to just be super easy "round-and-round" knitting. I feel resentful when sleeve decreases require me to pay too close attention to the shaping, because that's not "round-and-round" knitting.

I know. There's something wrong with my brain, because sleeves really are easy and really are mostly simple round-and-round knitting aside from decreases every so often so that you don't end up with a gigantic swinging sleeve. I seem to have problems with either zooming past the decreases or checking the row count constantly to be sure I haven't missed the decreases... and that is my major annoyance.

To solve my mental issue I calculated how many stitches I should end up with, before switching to ribbing for the cuffs and knew that I would need to decrease every seventh row. I ended up clipping a pin to the row where I decreased and then I was able to fairly accurately eyeball when I'd gone about 7 rows. I'd count how many rows I'd gone since the decrease and usually came out to 6 or 7 and then go on my merry way with whatever needed to happen next. I felt much less restricted and the whole thing felt like it moved way faster, when in fact nothing had changed but my perspective on the subject.

I may have also bribed myself by saying again and again: every time you decrease you have 2 less stitches to knit around. Not sure why that was motivating, but it was and it worked.

Part of my new mornings with my coffee and sock knitting has been reading The Joyful Christian by C.S. Lewis, one reading each morning. It's a good start to the day.


  1. I have been trying to wake up earlier too lately but it's a struggle. I love to knit first thing before anyone else gets up. I like your theory on the "2 less stitches" concept. That would work for me too!

  2. Last year during Christmas knitting I would get up at 4:00 a.m. to knit and really was able to get so much accomplished.

    Before you know it your sleeve knitting will be finished and you will be wearing your beautiful sweater.

  3. A perfect way to spend your morning, I'm not a morning person, but a coffee and knitting, always helps. I always think the sleeves are always the worst part of knitting a jumper. Deb x

  4. Oh, trying to break out of summer sleep-in mode is oh-so-hard to do! Coffee is a must for me, but knitting in the wee hours? What a splendid idea! :)

  5. I haven't read that one by Lewis. He's about one of my favorite authors, but I don't have that one. Enjoy!

  6. I use clips for keeping track of decreases and it works for me. Glad that math saved the day and your sanity :)

  7. Good luck with your socks and your sleeves. Quiet early morning knitting is the best way to start the day.
    Recently read Mere Christianity by C.S.Lewis, very much enjoyed it. Maybe I should try The Joyful Christian next.

  8. What a peaceful way to spend the morning! Unfortunately I have acquired a habit of sleeping in and so get no time to myself before my little guy is up and at'em. But when the new babies arrive I am thinking that habit will be broken ... so I will be able (eventually) to establish a new one. :)

  9. Sounds like a lovely way to "wake up" coffee and knitting. My little ones thankfully take after their mother and don't get up too early so I can get up at 7 and still get in a cup before they come down the stairs.

    It really is amazing how motivating less stitches can be, one of the reasons I love my bottom up shawls.


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