This weekend I finished the sleeves of my OWLS sweater and joined them to the body.
As I’ve discussed, I’m using worsted weight yarn so I’ve have to make some adjustments. Since I have to do my own math anyway, I decided that I might as well correct a couple of things that I don’t like so much about the (otherwise lovely and well-written) pattern. First, I don’t like how the owls start immediately after the join. It sort of looks like the owls are being sucked into the armpits (oh how I wish I could link to examples, but that would be mean, no?). Second, my size was supposed to have 21 owls. I insist upon symmetry in most of my knitting (see rant about Wicked) and there is no way to divide 21 owls in such a way that they are symmetrical and all line up the same way with the armpit joins.
So, here is my solution. The body of my sweater had 200 stitches, and each sleeve had 64. I cast off eight stitches for each part of the underarm join, which brought the total number of stitches down to 296. Then, I joined and worked four sets of raglan decreases at the underarms.
This brought the total number of stitches to 264, and gives the owls a little breathing room so they don’t get sucked into the armpits. The owl motif is 20 rows tall, and in 20 rows a sweater should decrease roughly 80 stitches (four per round, or the more typical eight every other round). I started doing some math, and came upon what I think is a lovely solution. 264 is divisible by six, so I decreased by 44 (264/6) evenly spaced around the yoke. I can get rid of the extra 36 stitches after the owls, as the pattern was originally written. Now, I have 220 stitches, 70 each across the front and back areas and 40 across the sleeve areas. Each owl is ten stitches wide, so I can fit exactly seven owls across the front and back and exactly four across each of the sleeve areas, and it will all be symmetrical. Huzzah!
You can all tease me now 😉