Posted by: jinniver | May 12, 2008

Half a skill set

I’m sitting here trying not to respond to my baby girl’s fussing.  “Frustration is good for her,” the doctor reminded me at her six month appointment.  Yeah, well it sucks for me.

After spending nearly six months being perfectly content with where we placed her, Lexie has suddenly started rolling on to her stomach.  This is great, except for two problems.  One, she hates being on her stomach.  Two, she doesn’t know how to get on to her back.  Lexie on her belly is like…well, like a turtle on its back, ironically.  Baby girl only has half of a skill set, and as doc pointed out, I need to let her make her mistakes and struggle a bit so she can learn.

Recently, I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that when it comes to designing my own knitwear, I only have half a skill set.  Lexie’s Fair Summer Isle dress is almost done; I need to finish charting out the armholes and shoulder straps, but that’s the matter of about 30 minutes of work.  The rest of the dress has been knit, and it went almost perfectly.  Not bad for my first design…except that it made me just a little bit cocky.

Now I’m facing a much bigger challenge.  Having signed up for Genuine’s Nothing But a T-Shirt knitalong (KAL), I’ve spent the last several days completely reworking the pattern.  It’s not that I don’t like the look of it, because I do.  The problem is that, as is the case with many fitted items, it’s not designed for my size.  I need a bigger shirt than the biggest option for this pattern.  To exacerbate the situation, I’ve chosen two different yarns to knit it in, and neither knit up to the necessary gauge.  I didn’t worry too much about that, since I had to rework the pattern anyway–I could just take my own measurements and use them to figure out the stitches and rows I’d need to knit.

From the hem up to the bust, things went smoothly.  Then I hit the armholes and realized there were some important skills I was lacking:  sleeves.

Lexie’s dress is sleeveless.  The cardigan I’m making for Jeffrey, which is another pattern I’m having to rework (the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn; I’m using DK weight, more appropriate for the warmer Texas winters), has drop shoulders.  But Nothing But a T-Shirt calls for fitted sleeves.  And I have no idea how to figure out the proper way to size them.

The designer of Nothing But a T-Shirt helpfully provided a schematic that I used to figure out how the shaping worked.  Unfortunately, there weren’t enough measurements given regarding the sleeve for me to use, so I had to puzzle it out the old fashioned way–figuring out how many rows were knit for the sleeve and inputting the gauge to figure out the length.  Then I compared that to the sleeve opening.  The largest opening wasn’t quite 10 inches, and the sleeve was about 11 inches long.  So I drew my sleeves a bit bigger than my planned opening.  I haven’t yet puzzled out exactly how I’m going to write the pattern to make the required bell shape, but the original pattern will be a big help.

The proof is really going to come once I’ve gotten everything knit up, try to fit the sleeve in, and see how well it worked.  And if I made mistakes, I’ll just have to use my frustration as motivation and try again.



  1. […]  Jinniver, who is participating in the somewhat informal NBAT knit-a-long is also modifying her pattern, and you can see a sketch of her calculations as she resizes the pattern at her blog, Sarah Winchester of Fiber Arts. […]


%d bloggers like this: