This is the first project that I’ve knit in a long time that has decided to fight back.
Having worked in a yarn shop doesn’t exempt you from doing stupid things, like changing yarns at the last minute and casting on without doing a swatch. I did do some homework before casting on because I already noticed that even on the ball band, the yarn I was planning on using had a slightly different gauge than the yarn used in the pattern. The original sweater called for 129 sts for the front and back pieces knitted flat, i.e. 258 sts for both pieces, and far too many for my yarn stats. When you’re working with 40″ worth of stitches, even a difference of half a stitch per 4 inches can make a dramatic change in the width of the finished sweater!
As I was also planning on knitting Leo in the round, I checked on Ravelry to see if anyone had done so previously and posted in their blog about it. I was very happy to find Meg’s post about her experience. Her numbers were different, but she pointed out the pitfalls for anyone knitting the pattern in the round. The way my numbers worked out, with 238 sts for both front and back (119 sts per piece, with 2 K sts on each end, not three), the center point for front and back moved from the middle knit stitch in the pattern repeat to the middle purl stitch.
Joining for knitting in the round is usually not a problem for me, but this time…arrrgh! I don’t know whether the circular needle I used was just too short or whether it was particularly twisty, but after (I kid you not) three attempts at getting those blasted 238 stitches joined without them twisting over the needle, I was just about ready to divorce Leo without a second thought. Fortunately, though, we worked it out.
As for the likelihood of actually finishing my chosen sweater during the month of November, I have my doubts. For the meantime Leo greets me in the morning with a cup of coffee and sends me wearily to sleep at night. I hope I have as much determination to finish him as it seems he does me.