September 2, 2004

Harlot 1 - Set-in sleeve...zip.

Endless baby sweater indeed.

greenbs

That's right, all done. It's a good job that blogs don't have any live action camera thingies to show you my real life because I don't look nearly as triumphant as I feel. Lets pretend that I have competently and calmly finished the baby sweater with no upset or curse words, and that I really didn't mind the last knitted up hem (you knew I would do that) and that the making up doesn't take almost as long as the sweater. I would like to note at this time that there is a special place in my heart for the inventor of set-in sleeves. It is a cruel irony in my life that I am destined to love them, yet hate sewing them in with a passion that remains undimmed after all these years.

My current set-in sleeve strategy consists of the following technique.

1. Block body piece and arm of sweater. Spend an insane amount of time trying to ensure that they are "sort of" the same size. (On especially vehement days you can have a bonus rant about row gauge at this point in the making up.)

2. Contemplate revolutionizing the knitting world by starting to put a template for the blocking of set in sleeves in every pattern. Just pin to the arm shape and to the body shape and mist. The two would be guaranteed to fit. If I am the only one who understands the need for this, then I suppose I could accept a pattern schematic in a far more detailed way than they exist now. Should the pattern fail to provide me with these things, I'm going to need the address of the designer.

3. Tell all that to Joe. Feel warm feelings for him as he tries desperately to look like he cares about my set-in sleeve strategy, even though he has no idea what I'm talking about.

4. Begin sewing the sleeves in. Decide that I'm feeling lucky and start sewing the sleeve in from one side. Mock knitters who baste.

5. Start to feel nervous and unlucky. Decide to pin the top of the sleeve to the shoulder seam...just to increase the odds of the two of them meeting up.

6. Feel the first urge to use foul language as I realize that I have more sleeve than hole, or more hole than sleeve. Resist to the urge to actually use the foul language because I mocked basting knitters and deserve anything I get.

7. Rip out the sleeve. Use a little foul language, but not really angrily, just as sort of "creative colour".

8. Begin to sew the sleeve in again and abstain from the mocking. Use the pin at the top, but change nothing else...since not mocking the basting knitters should be enough to alleviate my punishment.

9. Wonder abstractly if any other knitters are ever punished for mocking me. Feel briefly guilty for hoping that they do.

10. Curse violently when I look along the sleeve and realize that I have more sleeve than hole or more hole than sleeve.

11. Still morally unable to baste the sleeve in, (it's a disease, like not swatching) I thread two needles. I use one to sew the top in, and then use both of them alternately from the two sides to work toward the top.

setin

12. Do a little dance when I get the sleeve in properly. Belittle the sleeve in a loud voice while my husband and children look nervous. Say things to the sweater like "That's right, you are DONE. Who did you think you were dealing with! Eh? You wimpy little armhole, you thought you could take me on? You thought I haven't dealt with your kind before? Eh? HA! I got skills. That's right. SKILLS. Lucky I don't block your arse SEVERELY. That's right. Mess with me. I don't think so."

13. Remember that it is better to mock the sweater after both sleeves are in.

14. Stop mocking the sweater, try to look sane.

15 Repeat steps 4-11 once, and step 12 two or three times.

Start something else.

secret

Posted by Stephanie at September 2, 2004 3:26 PM
Comments

take THAT you silly sleeve.. (my own personal lessons from the harlot herself. yippee!!!)

congrats on a lovely finished item.

Posted by: anj at September 2, 2004 3:37 PM

If you do the sleeve cap shaping using short-rows you can cast the sleeve off into the armhole.Does that make sense ? I have no idea where to find the destructions for this.I have a very obscure old leaflet that describes the process.It's what I always do & it works fantastically.I even eye-ball the distribution of stitches to armhole.
It's a lovely,finely knitted baby sweater.
Looking forward to you revealing the tease !

Posted by: Emma at September 2, 2004 3:41 PM

"Something Else"??? That's all you'll leave us with? Here were are, ready to beat up any sleeve that dares cross our paths in solidarity for our sister Harlot, even the ones that are already attached to sweaters on people we pass in the grocery, ready to battle dragons who breath fire at those who don't baste...

and all you can say about that yummy bit of lace is "SOMETHING ELSE"??????

Posted by: Amie at September 2, 2004 3:48 PM

for the poncho "harlot" in us all.....

http://www.thedietdiary.com/knittingfiend/poncho/PonchoSlimHK.html

Posted by: Lisa at September 2, 2004 3:49 PM

The snapdragons are cheating. That lace is siren call enough -- my palms are itching. The snapdragons are just smug gloating because you know it's impossibly beautiful. What ARE you up to?

Posted by: rams at September 2, 2004 4:10 PM

That is the best "make up" instruction I've yet come across. It's all clear now. Thank you sweet Harlot.

Posted by: Valentina at September 2, 2004 4:17 PM

I'm glad my mouth was empty when I read number 13... otherwise there would be a mess (and I still get crap about OJ in a keyboard after 7 YEARS)

Posted by: melissa at September 2, 2004 4:35 PM

I, for one, never doubted who'd win the sleeve war. The battle, though, that's another thing altogether. You do realize that after all this, the little tyke is only going to fit into it for a short time. Hahahahaha.

Posted by: Samina at September 2, 2004 4:37 PM

Well we now now why you weren't at the S'nB last night. Although it may have been worth it to see this Sleeve Attachment Meltdown in action, in person.

Posted by: Elizabeth at September 2, 2004 4:43 PM

So cute, the endless baby sweater. I am glad to see that my husband is not the only one that tries so sweetly to look like he cares.

Posted by: Dani at September 2, 2004 4:43 PM

Please.

Mock the Harlot?

Nev.ah.

Posted by: roggey at September 2, 2004 4:56 PM

My favorites are #12 and #16. I probably would have skipped to #16 way before #12 though. Although a good gloat if fun now and again....

PS - I know there was not a #16 - I was referring to "Start something else." Which is why I've never attempted an infant sweater.

Posted by: Jenn at September 2, 2004 5:17 PM

I would have ended with a glass of wine. Or, perhaps, started that shortly after I started on the sleeve. Anyway, thank God for a job well done. Betsy

Posted by: Betsy at September 2, 2004 6:30 PM

Oh Harlot, I have been there so many times myself, including the dance of joy. I cuss in German, French and Spanish.
Then I discovered this little trick: Start sewing in the sleeve from the top - mark the center, line it up with the center seam or the center of the sweater whichever is more truly centered. Thread your needle and start sewing down one side, leaving a very long tail. If things don't line up to well, the mess will be hidden under the arm. Thread the needle onto the tail and repeat down the other side. works like a charm most of the time. At least it looks good when the arm is down by your side.

Monika

Posted by: Monika at September 2, 2004 7:12 PM

Aww, looks great. I've never sewed in a sleeve *cough* because I've never actually finished a sweater *cough* but I'll keep your instructions in mind when I finally get around to trying it.

You'd better show us more of that "something else" tomorrow...

Posted by: Kat at September 2, 2004 7:12 PM

Oh, Dear Harlot, nobody has the power to deconstruct a situation the way you do! And mock you? Never. Unless you use the word "mock" as in "attempt to emulate."

Posted by: Norma at September 2, 2004 10:57 PM

This entry is classic. I think a little "creative color" is necessary for any project. The finished product looks great, so I guess this whole long process works!

Posted by: molly at September 3, 2004 1:57 AM

Oh, but Harlot....the result is sheer perfection. I'm staring at this picturing in absolute awe.

If I can get those results from a tantrum and some colorful language, y'all might wanna stay away the next time I set in a sleeve!

Posted by: MaryB at September 3, 2004 7:51 AM

Get over your hatred of circular needles. Sew your shoulders together (or bind them off together like I do) and then pick up (using short rows) the sleeve cap stitches. I have yet to had to rip my hair out doing it this way.

Posted by: lizzy at September 3, 2004 9:43 AM

Were you watching over my shoulder and taking notes the other night while I was attempting the set in sleeve manoeuver?? I can most certainly understand the tantrums and colourful language... Besides, what knid of knitters would we be if we always followed the rules... Baste? Work from the top down?? P'shaw!!
I can't wait to see more of your "something else"...:)

Posted by: Sarahfish at September 3, 2004 11:01 AM

Genius! I employ the exact same strategy. I will be truly happy when my construction techniques are such that seams become obsolete. Basting - seriously!

Posted by: Julia at September 3, 2004 12:43 PM

You can bypass much of the angst if you work the sleeves from the top by picking up the stitches around the arm. See Barbara Walker's Knitting From the Top. Once you get the hang of it you may never sew in another sleeve. I don't plan to!

Posted by: Celeste at September 3, 2004 12:57 PM

BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL...truly so impressive, and your "something else" is something else!!

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