I wore my purple sweater just three times before I noticed this on the sleeve:
I don’t think moths are to blame for this hole. It is more likely that I caught the sleeve on something and snagged the yarn. I shouldn’t have worn the sweater to the gym, but it was so cold a few weeks ago and this sweater, knit from 17 balls of Aurora 8, is so warm, that I couldn’t resist the allure of the sweater’s cozy feeling. I think it might have torn on the locker hinge.
And, much saddened and tremendously annoyed at myself for being so careless, I thought for a couple of weeks about how best to fix it. The hole was just about 12 rows from the bottom of the cuff. The darning method would never make the knitting as good as if it were reknit completely. So I decided to take off the cuff just over the hole, knit a new cuff from the ample amounts of left-over yarn I have, and graft the new cuff to the sleeve.
In principle this seems so straightforward that a child could do it. Well, perhaps a child can, but I struggled with it all weekend. I am not gifted when it comes to grafting. It took me hours to close the toe of the first sock I ever knit, and it has taken many socks since then to become confident that I can graft stockinette. I found this excellent description of grafting 2x2 ribbing, but I found the schematic in Mary Thomas’s Knitting Book to be easier to follow. This is one of my oldest books on techniques, and it is still one of the best. (If it isn’t in your knitting library, I encourage you to add it.)
So I proceeded to take off the old cuff and knit a replacement.
Purple is only a smidgen easier to work with than black, and I thought that I’d use contrast yarn first and then go over it, as if it were basting, with the actual purple yarn—to preserve what is left of my eyesight. Here is where I am now:
When I examined it this morning, I found some mistakes that need to be fixed. I understand what to do, and I’m vacillating between trying again and just going for it with the actual yarn. My problems arise with the stitches that connect the knit parts of the ribbing with the columns of purl. I do think I get it now, but my track record with grafting is a sorry one. So this will sit for another week, awaiting a sunny weekend morning, as I decide whether I need more practice or whether I can follow most of the basted stitches and correct those that aren’t right.
On a happier note, I have been progressing nicely on Laela.
The stockinette part is easy enough to barrel through while actually watching (and not merely listening to) TV. I should probably complete the body while watching my recorded episode of “24” tomorrow night. Then it will be on to each sleeve. I can’t wait to get to the yoke.
I also fiddled with the chart, yet again, on Sirdal to improve the location of the motifs. But more on that in my next post, when I have a complete motif to photograph.