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February 24, 2006


Get comfortable, dear readers. This is a long one.

When we last checked in on the Olympic sweater, I was basking in my victory over non-linear raglan lines. While admiring my work, I was startled to realize that one feature of my model sweater's raglan lines had been entirely left out my Olympic sweater: the purl separators. I don't have a great picture of them, but you can sort of see the "valley" they create along the raglan seams here. My Olympic sweater seams had no such valley.

I seriously considered leaving it as-is, since I thought my seams looked just fine. Then I remembered -- this is the Olympics! Olympians don't settle for "just fine"! Time to rip and reknit that shaping. Lucky for me, the women's figure skating short program was on and provided both distraction and several hours of uninterrupted knitting time. (Which, of course, also meant several hours of uninterrupted "let's bother the human who knits!" time for my cat as well.)

He just can't resist...
"Oh, you want a picture of me? How sweet! Here, let me just lay down on this piece of knitting you're pointing the camera at." (A cat free picture of the new raglan line is here.)

As of bedtime on Wednesday night, all of the pieces had been knit (or re-knit) with the new and improved raglan shaping. All that was left were the few rows at the top of each piece to set up for the turtleneck, the seaming, and the turtleneck itself. We're traveling to NYC this weekend so knitting time will be limited, but I thought my medal chances were still pretty good.

Until last night.

As soon as I got home from work, I did some quick seaming for the preliminary try-on. I had already attached the sleeves and started basting the side seams when the feeling of dread started. I kept wondering why the front and back seemed to be different lengths. It turns out there's an easy answer: because they are.

Picture 075
First I put a marker on the last row before the armhole. Then, working from the bottom up, I put a marker every 10 rows. The stitch markers on the two pieces should be spaced identically if there are the same number of rows from the cast on edge to the beginning of armhole shaping. Read it and weep.

I need to add four rows to the length of the front, but I have to rip it back to the armhole to do it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, may keep me off the podium.

I'm not usually one to shy away from a challenge, but there's a good reason I'm reluctant to take this one on: my hands, wrists, and elbows are killing me. Knitting on nothing but this yarn at this gauge for nearly two weeks has really done a number on them. Powering through a re-knit of the front doesn't seem like a good idea just now.

  When I first considered joining the Knitting Olympics, I consulted my mental "babies-to-be-knit-for" list and verified the Games wouldn't conflict with any baby knitting. I had two entire weeks after the end of the Games before the next baby would need a welcome gift. Except, not. This little madam not only managed to be born four weeks early but also on the day of the Opening Ceremonies.

That means we'll get to meet her this weekend in New York while we're there on a trip that we thought would be two weeks before her arrival, which is thrilling. It also means that I was about to break my cardinal rule of baby knitting: don't meet the baby empty-handed.

A change of gauge and fiber would do my aching joints a favor. And it seems right that if I have to take a break from my official Olympic knitting that I should use that time to make something to welcome a little one born during the opening of the Games, and who I'll meet during the closing weekend.

Picture 076
Baby buttons

Seems like I might salvage my Olympics after all.

Posted by shannon at February 24, 2006 12:34 PM | For related posts: For Me!, Olympic Knitting


Have you considered grafting?

Posted by: christine at February 24, 2006 10:48 PM

Bummer! I'm in the planning stages of a new sweater and your purl row with the raglan shaping has me thinking... even if you don't finish, know that you've inspired others!

Posted by: Johanna at February 24, 2006 10:50 PM

Hey, just like the real olympics, it's all about the journey even if you don't make it to the podium. Hey, isn't that why the ad industry created sponsorships?? We never remember the actual medal, but that so and so was some great olympic something or other. (And we buy the stuff)

Do whatever your little heart desires and know that before long both the new baby and you will have very cool new knitted items that will be just perfect! And you'll be remembered in olympic knitting history as the chick who made the awesome raglan sweater that fit her perfectly - medal or no medal..

Posted by: thea at February 25, 2006 10:18 AM