Monday, November 02, 2009

There's no orange in the matrix

Almost the Matrix Sweater
based on the Leaf Tshirt by Melissa LaBarre
Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft DK in "Tape"
Needles: #5 24" circular needle, #5 10" circular needle, Tapestry needle
Raveled here

So, back when I asked you how y'all thought I should handle the sleeves on this thing, the majority vote was to leave them rolled.

So leave them rolled, I did.

Of course, because I'm ME and I'm apparently unable to determine how long sleeves should be even when I try on the sweater a million times before casting off (like, three times, but still, it seemed like a lot since it involved getting off the couch), I still think the sleeves are too short.

Because apparently I like my sleeves to drag the ground as I walk. Or I need them long enough to do
this trick.

Either way, them sleeves remain rolled because, as it turns out, I cast-off in an unnaturally tight manner - a contradiction to my too-loose knitting style - and so, if I want, the sleeves will remain unrolled to the edge if I just straighten out the roll. And I need them to unroll as far as possible now that they're *just* a little too short.


The problem with the length then becomes a question of how far I want the sleeves dangling off my shoulders.

Why, hello there shoulders...

Now, while I had fully anticipated always wearing this sweater over something - in the layering manner to which I've become accustomed - I sort of imagined it would still fit like this in the shoulder.

Except, apparently, when I went to try on the sweater to check for sleeve doneness (it's highly scientific, I assure you) I didn't properly adjust the shoulders and, as such, didn't do a proper measurement of sleeve doneness and ended up with too-short sleeves. I just feel like they should be longer. For my sleeve dragging lifestyle, I suppose.

The body length, however, is perfect. And having a rolled hem at the waist is also perfect because it can be allowed to roll skyward to enhance thy waist (or whatever it does that makes it look better this way when worn over a dress) or allowed to unroll almost completely over some jeans.

The important thing to note about the rolled hems and cuffs thing is that it more effectively achieves my desire for Matrix-like attire.

For some reason, clothes with raw edges and drab colors really attract me. Like, my sense of style has a doomsday fascination or something. Meanwhile, it appears my sense of style has an unhealthy attraction to orange at the same time, resulting in some unorthodox clothing pairings.

Orange silk and "Tape" cashmere knit go together, right?

I can't account for these inconsistencies, as my sense of style is something of a mouthy bitch and I don't question her motives often.

Getting too obscure? Yeah, well, I've written over 3,000 words for NaNoWriMo so far and it's only Day Two, so my focused energies have gone into the first two chapters of a story that has yet to make sense.


At least now I have a finished object to keep me warm while I try to develop these obstinate characters.

In the event that you, too, need to wrap yourself in a self-knit while whining your way through 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, or just want to pretend you're in the matrix, here are my pattern notes for your perusal. Also, they're in Ravelry, but I don't want to be all exclusionary (really not sure if this how you use this word) to those in Ravelry, so I'm putting them here, too.

To promote fairness in the world. And also to self-promote. Because you know how I like to do that.

Almost the Matrix Sweater
based on the Leaf Tshirt by Melissa LaBarre
Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft DK in "Tape"
Needles: #5 24" circular needle, #5 10" circular needle, Tapestry needle
Raveled here

Using the Leaf Tshirt pattern by Melissa LaBarre, I made the following adjustments to achieve a snugger fit and long sleeves:

Measure the width of your narrowest point (for me, this was my waist - 28). Take that number of inches and multiply by your stitch gauge (5 stitches = 1 inch). This is the number you cast on (142).

Knit in the round for one round and follow the pattern for the Leaf Tshirt, except DO NOT knit the Leaf pattern, and instead, just leave it out and DO NOT replace those stitches with knit stitches.

This will result in a smaller distance between arm increases on one side - this side of the sweater becomes the back of the sweater.

Following the Leaf Tshirt pattern through to the point where you have your sleeve holes of adequate size, transfer the sleeve stitches to stitch holders or scrap yarn. DO NOT CAST OFF.

Resume knitting the body section in the round, leaving the sleeve stitches on their holders, until the body is as long as you want it to be. If you’re leaving a rolled hem, knit the body long enough to accommodate some rolling. If you’re knitting a cuffed hem, knit to exact length, cast off and knit your cuff.

Once you’ve finished knitting the body, pick up the stitches of one sleeve with 10” circular needles in the same size as the body (in my case, #5), place marker at beginning of round, and knit in the round until you reach an inch above elbow length.

At one inch from the elbow:

K1,K2tog,knit to within 2 stitches of marker, SSK
Knit 1 round
K1,K2tog,knit to within 2 stitches of marker, SSK

Resume knitting in the round until you’re an inch below the elbow and follow the pattern above.

Knit until sleeves reach desired length, cast-off.

Repeat for other sleeve.

Weave in ends. Try it on. Call it a day.


  1. Looks fabulous Finny! You continually amaze me with your knitting speed!!!

  2. That's a nice sweater. Well done. Maybe the sleeves will stretch with wearing. Mine always seem to.

  3. I hear you- long sleeves are GREAT. I mean, except for times when you are cleaning a dirty diaper and whoopsy!! poop on your sleeve. And baby starts clapping. That's never good. and I like droopy sleeves, so like pushing up your arm never really works unless you have massively swollen arms or something. :)

  4. I would love a matrixy sweater, I'd even add a few rips and tears to a new one, but alas, I am not learn-ed in the ways of two needles... Nor could I knit with my toes, and type with my fingers, or vice versa. So, instead, I'll keep nano-ing my November away, and maybe, just maybe, I'll trying the knitting thing in December... or, I could make a billion different xmas cookies and send them to all of my bloggy nano friends... Keep writing!

  5. Wow. This is just so very pretty! I swear we have such different craft visions. I wish mine was more in your camp. You create items you'll forever have.

  6. I think it's lovely! Nice work! BTW, I just today finished knitting a leaf beret by Melissa LaBarre. She must like leaves.

  7. What a great knitting job you've done. I appreciate your sharing the project details and notes. I'll store them away for future use. Your knitted creation blows my own little knitted offering today all to pieces. That's okay, I've yet to do anything as complicated as a sweater, awfully intimidating to me.

    Congratulations on your growing word count, mine is creeping up there, too. I've been working all day making revisions everyone says NOT to do. But I can't stand to leave it a big glob of disconnected mess. Although it's now sorted out, I'm not sure it's interesting. I'm so used to writing in a more succint manner, blog posts and short stories. A novel is much more involved process.

  8. So this cashsoft business-are you happy with it? Does it pill easily? Is it soft? Nice to knit with? Good for this sweater? I also do not get along with wool and am about to order yarn for my very first sweater and this yarn is on my list, though in aran and a different color.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.