To catch a sleeve
One little sleeve, barely begun.
I have been anxious about this, the look and the details and the mechanics thereof, debating and dragging and second-guessing and tapdancing before starting. It seems, though, that no amount of acrobatics can get around the need to eventually cast on and knit - I'm told it's a step rather necessary in making a long-sleeve sweater - so I have.
And I really like it.
In the comments to this post, there were ten squintillion excellent suggestions on how to handle the sleeves, all of them enormously appealing and many of them things I'm planning to shamelessly gank for future projects. The main variables:
- Belled forearms in pattern - this was my first instinct. I kept thinking about the austerely graceful sleeves of the Union Square pullover, thinking about how pretty and feminine and clean they looked. But then, I started thinking about the combination of ornate fabric and exaggerated shape, and started having nightmares of looking like a drunk Renaissance Festival attendee, flower garland askew and loudly telling everyone that my costume is "medieval, or baroque, or whatever." Nix.
- Ditto an undersleeve of oatmeal under a generous patterned cuff.
- Ditto belled forearms in oatmeal, with the added non-bonus of visual amputation.
- Tapered, close-fitting cuffed sleeves - I almost went with this one, too; I really liked the idea of a shirt cuff closed with a button or even cufflinks, maybe with the sleeve patterned and the cuff in solid oatmeal. But that would have put me squarely into "shirtwaist" territory, and while as I type I'm thinking that would be a fun thing to interpret in knitting, this is not that project. Also: there are lots of triangles in the pattern, and while I don't generally think of myself as superstitious, that just seems kind of wrong.
So here's what I've got:
It'll be an almost completely straight sleeve, only an inch of difference between underarm and hem, the way jacket sleeves are cut. There's the key - this is such a firm fabric, constructed in such a structured way, suiting lines and seamstress details belong to it, not soft drape and movement. There will be a simple deep notch without overlap, edged at the opening with narrow turned-under hems of the camel color, which will also hem the sleeve itself. Depending on my mood during finishing, I might install hook-and-eyes in the slits to close them, or maybe just let them lie open. All this will echo the finishing for the colorwork portion of the body - the front bands in the colorwork section will be camel-colored (oatmeal in the welt) - and the slit is being planned for in the same way, with a narrow 4-stitch steek to be cut and then enclosed in the casing formed by the hem. Like I said, I like it.