I made it through the collar. Ribbing isn’t difficult. And then I had an increase round. That was also easy. I got it up to the correct number: 144 stitches. The pattern is free, you can check it out here if you want.
At that point, I read the pattern while simultaneously trying to watch a movie. Jay had left, so Clarica took the pattern out of my hand, and gave me verbal instructions on what to do next. I went along, getting the yoke all set up, and then she told me what to do, and apparently what happened is that I promptly forgot half of it.
Which is why, about 12 rows later, I realized that something was wrong. I was increasing correctly on only half of each garter panel. Wellll, crap. I’d been having this niggling feeling, as I went along, that I was missing an increase on either side, but there was a war between “what I think Claire told me to do,” and what “seemed right”. I should have listened to what Claire told me to do (she will joke that of course this should always be my guiding principle). When I saw how off the shape was, I knew I had to pull it out, or frog it, as they say.
I considered just ripping it down to nothing because I couldn’t figure out how I’d be able to magically stop right after the ribbing, and then pick up all those stitches. I knew it’s possible, but I didn’t feel like that was quite in my skill set yet. Oh, sometimes it’s magic to be wrong – I pulled those suckers out, and then I took my circulars, and I picked up exactly 144 stitches – the row right after the initial increase. I squealed, then cheered! My family, who were all trying to watch a show, gave me quizzical looks.
“I have 144 stitches! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?”
They were not as impressed as they should have been.
Here’s where I got stuck again:
The next round is the marker set up.
P17, PM, K55, PM, twice.
Purl 17 stitches. Place a marker. Knit 55 stitches. Place a marker.
Purl the next 17. Place a marker. Knit 55. Place a marker.
At this point I should be right back at that first purl stitch. I’ve cycled around all 144 stitches. My next stitch is a purl.
And yet here’s the next instruction. It’s to do Setup round 1. First step? KFB, knit to 2 stitches before raglan marker, KFB, K1.
So I’m supposed to KFB into the first purl stitch? What? But then later, I’m supposed to be preserving those 17 purl stitches, they constitute the garter strip that goes down the sleeves.
It’s 11pm, and everyone here is heading off to bed. Which is fine because none of them knows how to knit, anyway. Claire will be here tomorrow and I’ll ask her what the heck I’m not seeing. Obviously, she knew how to read the pattern correctly, she had me set it all up right the first time.
Time to make some tea, and eat my nightly sweet potato*.
*Explanation of nightly sweet potato: two things.
1) I’m trying to eat more vegetables. I hear people who live a long time eat a lot of vegetables, and I’d really like to be a healthy, vibrant old lady (with long white braids wrapped around her head, maybe some flowers worked in there).
2) The functional medicine psych I’m seeing for the anxiety and fibromyalgia has been urging me to work at changing my gut microbiome, and apparently sweet potatoes (among other veggies) have a good starch that is beneficial to the gut bugs.
My new nightly routine is to cut up a sweet potato into wedges, toss it in a little olive oil, and lay it out on a pan, put some Sandwich Sprinkle over it (that stuff is great on everything), and then bake it at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. I’m not sure if my gut biome is changing, but I’m liking the new habit.