Learning to Count

Okay, so full disclosure here. I have a degree in Mathematics and yet when it comes to knitting, there are times when I apparently cannot count.

Of course, I always discover these counting errors months later when I have put a project down, pick it back up, and prepare to start again. I keep good notes so I can always tell where I started off (unless I lose the notebook, that’s happened a few times and not to put it politely, I’m screwed).

So, I’ve finished the tough parts of the Brunello Cardigan from Knitty, which at least in my view was the never-ending lace around the lower edge. (Want to know how big your butt is? Knit a sweater that has lace all the way around the bottom and runs vertically so you pick off one stitch every other row).

I’m at the part that should be easy – the sleeves. Do a little decrease, a bit more of the lace from the front edges, and you’re done. Right?

Sadly, no. I get to the sleeves and the instructions are easy – take the stitches you set aside before, pick up another 12 under the arm and start knitting. Except, that when I count the results, I’m off. By 9 stitches, which in this context is a lot.

So, what to do? I can’t rip back, as this is a top-down sweater and I’ve since knit the waist, the bottom and the front edges. I can’t recount the center to figure out what I’ve done.  All I can do is recalculate the next few rows to a way out of this. Or, do what Lazy Mardee does, which is to quietly set the project aside and let Future Mardee handle it.  She’ll be annoyed but I guess we’ll just have to make her deal.

What about you? What would you do when faced with the evidence that despite years of education you never learned to count?

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2 thoughts on “Learning to Count

  1. First off, I am sorry to hear of the sweater woes, secondly good on you for getting so far in the project! Okay back to the problem at hand, I guess I am not positive where the missing 9 stitches are, in the stitches set aside for the sleeve, or in the spot where you pick up the stitches underneath? Also is it consistent on the other sleeve? I guess I am thinking, maybe you could pick a few more stitches along the bottom and then do a few increases along the sleeve to expand it (obviously this is dependent on your arm being able to fit through the armhole first.) That or would it be possible to frog back up the top a few rows so you could add extra stitches in, again this is all purely speculative because frankly I have only tried knitting one sweater and it didn’t work out the greatest.) What ever happens I hope it is as painless as possible. Don’t worry I think the whole miscounting can be attributed to the wool fumes. :) Best of luck!

  2. Mardee says:

    Thanks! I picked up the right number of stitches but apparently could not count when I set aside the stitches for the sleeve. Both sides are exactly the same, so I know that I set aside that number for a reason but cannot for the life of me figure out why. I thought at first that it might be that I was looking at the wrong size, but there is no size that calls for the number I used. At least these particular sleeves are puffy, so my result will simply be less puffy sleeves which I can live with. (Having grown up in the puffy sleeve-loving 80’s, I’m totally cool with not having that look at my age. My prom and wedding dress look was sufficient for a lifetime, I think). Still, I think this project may get set aside for a while until I’m sure that my counting skills have returned.

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