Monday, November 21, 2005

my first buttonholes

I got a lot more done on the vest this weekend than I anticipated. I finished the second armhole, picked up the stitches for the button band and main edging, and got through half of the button band! Wow.

Unfortunately, the current state of the vest means no pictures until I finish that button band and edging. Right now, there are probably about 50" of stuff scrunched into a needle half that size, so it's impossible to make it look like anything but a pile of scrunched fabric. I guess I could take a picture of that, but it doesn't seem worth the effort or bandwidth.

I did make changes in how I picked up those stitches and did the buttonholes. First of all, I picked up more stitches than recommended. On Saturday night, I counted the number of rows, and must have miscounted, because it looked like there was a one-to-one correspondance of rows to stitches I was told to pick up. So when I actually picked up stitches on Sunday, I just started out at the bottom, and picked up one stitch per row, until I was most of the way up the right side of the vest and saw that I had miscounted. I decided to leave it that way. I know there's a chance that the bands will flare, but I think I've been knitting them a bit tighter than necessary, and am switching back and forth between a size 1 and a size 0 needle. That means they'll be even tighter. Plus, in the whole scope of things, I didn't end up picking up too many stitches more than recommended. I have faith that it will all work out in the end. And if not, this vest has largely been a learning experience for me. Unless it looks horrid, I'll probably leave it as it comes out.

I also changed how I did the buttonholes because the directions were less than clear, and I really didn't have the patience to try to figure them out and/or search online for clearer explanations or help. Basically, the instructions were having me cast off a bunch of stitches, then cast on a bunch more. But they wanted me to do a bunch of complicated things, and do the cast on in an overly complicated way. I did the cast off as described (slipping from the left needle instead of knitting, so my working yarn stayed at the right side of the buttonhole), and then just used the German Twisted Cast-On to cast on the stitches for the other side of the buttonholes. I alternated colors appropriately, which I've never done before but was incredibly easy to figure out, and it looks just fine. Oh, and I also altered the spacing of the stitches. Because I picked up more stitches than recommended, I needed to space things out a little bit more, so the first and last buttonhole are in the right spots, and so the ones inbetween wouldn't be spaced all funny. It looks like I did a really good job with that, thanks to some basic math, so I'm happy about that. I'm concerned that my tighter gauge means I'll need to use smaller buttons than recommended, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

So that's the news for today. If I knit my fingers off tonight, I might finish the band, which means a picture tomorrow.


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