Mama Knits Crochets and Quilts

Mama Knits Crochets and Quilts

A mom and needle craft blog

Sleeves! I want more.

So, while my tunic is not quite a tunic yet (the sides and under arm seams are not sewn) I can kind of try it on and see how it will look.  And the sleeves look short.

I knew they were not full length to the wrist, but my sleeves look like they are going to fall right at the elbow.  Almost like a half length.  I think this is too short for a wool sweater.  I don’t want it to have a spring-summer feel, I want it to be more fall-winter.  So I need to add some length to my sleeves.

So I unpicked the finishing knot at the end of my bind off and pulled out the stitches for the garter stitch border.  I really quickly picked up the live stitches from the stockinette section before any of them could slip away.  Luckily this yarn is 100% wool and kind of ‘grabby’ — all the stitches stayed where they were and I could get them on my needle without losing any.  The whole thing still really makes me nervous, but it worked out, and practice makes you better, right?

Just a little note about doing this: when the stitches are along a live edge and you need to pick them all up, handle the piece very carefully!  Don’t pull at it or shift it around; a stitch can very easily slip through and get lost.  Then you have to get a crochet hook and go find it.  Practice makes this easier, and there are videos on You Tube for help, but my best advice is to try to avoid losing stitches in the first place, if at all possible.  Also, I pick up the stitches any which way, just get them on the needle so they are safe.  When I am knitting my first row using the stitches, then I individually fix the twist of each stitch before I work it.  Check YouTube to see how stitches should look on the needle so the twist ends up correct.  I never can remember, and always double check.  After that first row, then you are good to go.

Something else that I’ve used sometimes, and should use more often, are lifelines.  This is a length of yarn or string that you thread through a row of stitches, and then just leave it in the knitted fabric until you are finished.  The lifeline just gets pulled out if it is not needed, but if you need to frog part of your work, you simply pull back to the stitches on the lifeline, and then pick them up.  They can’t get lost because they are caught by the line, and the twist will be correct because the line captures that too.  I use them more on lace than plain knitting, but they always come in handy, and can be a real time saver if they are there when you need one.  I like to use unwaxed dental floss; it is super strong, skinny, and pulls out smoothly with no unwanted fiber shedding.  Some people drop a lifeline every so many rows while they knit, or after one repeat of a lace section, or just in a tricky part of the pattern.  I’ll have to remember to use these more often.

I'd love to hear your ideas on this!