Knitting the Almanac - January Sleeves!

In Which I Reevaluate My Hatred of 16" Circular Needles

I had a wall of text for you, beautifully composed of course, but the elders of the internet saw fit to render it naught but a series of ethereal ethernet echoes.  So pardon me if this is incomplete or disjointed - it's a shabby reconstruction of the elegant original.

I decided to work the sleeves on 16" circular needles.  This is unusual for me as I have a strong dislike for 16" circular needles.  Long story short, they tend to cramp my hands, cramp my knitting style, and feel like I'm breaking them.  However, EZ loves them, and I was not looking forward to Magic Looping sleeves at this gauge.  I have trouble keeping the stitches at the joins large enough when doing Magic Loop on large needles.

So I worked the sleeves on 16" circs...and I didn't totally hate it forever...

The good news is, the short needles no longer physically cramp my hands, nor do I feel like I'm about to break the needle tip off the cable at any moment.  The bad news is that my preferred needle angle is not terribly compatible with the range of motion afforded by the short cable, so knitting still felt somewhat awkward.

Elizabeth calls for the sleeve to be knit from the wrist up, casting on 20% of the body stitch count, then increasing every 4th row until it reaches the desired length.  She suggests keeping in pattern as much as possible and putting the rest of the stitches in reverse stockinette.  I decided that in pattern for my purposes would mean one "fishtrap" flanked by columns of twisted stitches.  I was not interested in thinking hard enough to elegantly work in more cables and designs as the sleeve increased.  I also decided to work the non-pattern stitches in stockinette rather than reverse stockinette.  I did this for two reasons:  I dislike working reverse stockinette in the round, and it is my experience that reverse stockinette stretches out of shape faster than stockinette.  I didn't want ugly, baggy elbows forming right away on my brand-new sweater!

The sleeve knitting went so quickly that I didn't even think to take in-progress photos.  You will have to be satisfied with this picture of a finished sleeve.

Januaran Sleeve

Next stop:  Seaming, Neck Knitting, Wearing!

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