Monthly Archives: December 2010

We offer that in “too small” and “slightly less too small.”

Whenever I say I am going to stop knitting to deadlines, let’s just all assume that I am L-Y-I-N-G. Apparently, I love the added frisson of uncertainty (Can I get it done?) more than I loathe the agony of defeat.

I brought this on myself.

Fionn Body Complete (sort of)Way back in January, I started Fionn for my lovely husband. I had some vague idea that it would be done sometime soon, surely in 2010 because that’s a whole year and even though I’m a slow knitter, how long could it take? It’s a drop-shoulder sweater, after all – three pieces and Bob’s your uncle. No sleeve cap, nothing. So I started the sweater, got up to the armholes, then went off and knit like eight other things, and Thanksgiving arrived. Of course, I was all “I am finishing this sweater for Christmas, or barring that, your birthday five days later.” So I finished the body…and the armholes are too small. So I ripped out the three-needle bindoff, added some length, and the armholes were slightly less too small.

Now, there appears to be something interesting going on here which is not the designer’s fault. I think I thought Fionn was more close-fitting than Jennifer Hagan intended; I liked it precisely because it was a drop-shoulder sweater that seemed more tailored than the average drop-shoulder sweater. However, careful comparison with other husband sweaters and consultation of the stellar book Knit to Fit by Ida Riley Duncan revealed that the ideal armhole depth for the sweater’s recipient needed to be something like 11 inches rather than 8 (Have you read Knit to Fit? I cannot recommend it enough; Ida is the no-nonsense knitting aunt who asserts that “of course you can design your own sweaters – all it takes is math and a measuring tape!”). Coincidentally, 11 inches was the armhole depth for the 47″ size for Fionn…three inches bigger than the size I’m actually making.

The troublesome Fionn armhole But we like the size and ease and length of the body now, so rather than add length above (which would make it into a tunic), I am (once again) undoing the three needle bindoff, so I can rip back to where you see the orange marker in this picture and start the armholes earlier. I’m at peace with it, save for the fact that there’s no way on God’s green earth it’s getting done in 2010. Now, 2011 (early 2011!), that’s a different story.

I think the moral of the story is not “You should know what size to make” (because based on actual measurements, I thought I did – the armhole was an unanticipated hiccup). Maybe instead, it’s “don’t worry, you can totally fix it without having to reknit the whole thing. Just check with Ida.”