Monday, May 22, 2006

Problems and solutions - I'm loving Soleil

I was almost ready to start dividing Soleil for the neckline and back last night, but I was having trouble reading the pattern, so I decided to take my time and make sure I understood what I was supposed to do before I started knitting. It's a good thing I did!

I have 180 stitches on my needle right now. This is divided into a front and back of 90 sts each, which could be further divided into "quadrants" of 45 sts each. The instructions say:

Next Round: K 45[49, 54, 58, 62], turn. (Got it.)
P 1 row across all sts. You will now work back and forth in stst, beginning and ending rows at the place you just turned your work. This is the center front of the vee neckline. (I THOUGHT I understood this, but it was actually my problem!)
Next row [RS]: K1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, ssk, k1.
P 1 row.
Repeat these 2 rows once more. Work RS row once more.

At this point I was supposed to have 42 stitches on the front left quadrant (I thought, but I consistently ended up with 41! I did some research on the Soleil Knit Along blog and printed out a few Q&A's about this section of the pattern, and then I started scribbling on paper to try to sketch out what I was supposed to be doing, and why I wasn't seeing how this could possibly work.

Well silly me, I was reading ROW and thinking, "OK, so that must be JUST this quadrant that I'm knitting on right now!" But I was wrong. If I had read very carefully and followed the instructions to a T, I would have found that I was supposed to K45, turn, and then P across ALLLLLL the stitches - all 180 of them - so that I ended up at the front and center of the piece! So that explained THAT!

But then I ended up with 43 sts in each front quadrant in my sketches, and that wasn't right either! This one was an easier mistake to catch. The instructions said, "Work RS row once more" and I figured it just meant to K all the way across the row. Instead, it means that you are supposed to work the RS row with decreases included, just like the other two times it was worked. And that would leave me with 42 sts on each front quadrant. Problem solved!

I think from here I should be OK. I've read ahead and all the other numbers seem to add up just right, so that's a relief! I do think I'm going to make a couple alterations though. I've already lenghthened the body slightly, and I had thought about raising the V-neck up a bit, but now I'm reconsidering that. I'm also going to leave the 4 sections of the "straps" on stitch holders until they are all done, and then graft them with a 3-needle bind-off. I'm also considering working them in a slightly different order so there is less yarn-breaking, but I'm not sure about that yet. I'll probably make up my mind about it later this evening.

And now, the picture of where I'm at right now! I'll start dividing for the neckline tomorrow.

Soleil - Ready to divide for V-neck

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