Sounds like a real place, doesn’t it? Sleeveland.

Coraline sleeve

As i built up to the dreaded sleeves of my Coraline cardigan, I imagined weeks and weeks of fine gauge knitting. I’ve just spent what felt like months on the body and the sleeves were looming ahead of me like enormous mountains to climb. Round and round, I imagined myself in an agony of painfully slow sleeve formation.

Then, I as hit the elbow after just three days, I decided a reality check was in order. I mean, really.

I routinely knit plain socks at a much finer gauge than this. I knit plain socks on tiny needles and think almost nothing of it. These sleeves are knit on 3.5mm needles, in 5ply Rowan Felted Tweed. Ok, so compared to say, a jumper knit in Cascade 220, this is fine, but really, when you look at something made in laceweight or, as mentioned, fine gauge socks, this should be a doddle.

Perhaps it’s just that there are two of them, I thought.

But again, I knit two socks all the time and just do it because, well, unless you’re knitting for someone with a foot missing, it’s just what you do.

So I’m just going to pull my head in and get on with it. We’re in the midst of a fairly grey, wet week with evenings spent hunkered down with red wine and pasta, or at least that’s the picture in our house tonight. Just the sort of night that’s good for tv knitting and if a stocking stitch sleeve isn’t good for tv knitting, what is? This is me practicing monogamy. It’s good for the soul, once in a while, and is delaying the inevitable tricky bit of joining the sleeves and knitting the as yet unfamiliar smocking that is the yoke part of Coraline.


ps thanks, as always, for all the comments about how gorgeous Alice looked in her new cardigan. I know her parents love reading about how beautiful she is. They know it, obviously, but I’m sure it’s gratifying to read that she’s got fans out there in blogland.


30 thoughts on “Sleeveland

  1. Pingback: Trinkets and a Sleeve « Bellsknits

  2. The felted tweed is so pretty. I agree on the sleeve issue. It’s funny – I knit socks a lot, and it amazes me how quickly things work up in heavier yarn, but sleeves still seem endless. And I do tend to make them too short.

    Can’t wait to see how this one turns out.

  3. You’ve already made it farther than I did with Coraline. : ) It’s a lovely color, and just think: after all that stockinette is done, there’s an exciting treat in smocking waiting for you!

  4. I wonder what it is about sleeves…? No one likes them. But you’re right – they’re no different than socks, so they shouldn’t be such a chore. And yet…

  5. Re your comment of only knitting one sock for people with one foot – not so! My foster sister only has one foot (motor bike accident) but likes two socks, one on her foot and one on her false foot…

    Sorry, you still need to make two socks even if the recipient has one foot!

  6. Anticipation is worse than when you get it. (Kind of TenPole Tudor Lyrics) It is the thought of Sleeveland that makes you afraid!! Glad the sleeves are knitting up relatively quickly.

  7. Hello, SLEEVELAND!!

    I was really hoping someone hadn’t beat me to that!

    (and really hoping also that you’ve seen Spinal Tap, or else this is going to be a big, huh?!)

  8. I share the same feeling about sleeves. At least knitting them in the round is a consolation & there is no seaming. The color of your yarn is gorgeous.

  9. I think we sometimes fool ourselves that the sleeves are so much smaller than the back or front; that is, that we are on the homeward stretch! But it’s not really true; look at a blocked sleeve – it’s nearly the same size as a cardigan front!

    On the other hand, stocking stitch is good for TV knitting and monogamous knitting gets us to the end much more quickly!

    Congratulations on your stick-to-it-ness!

  10. Do you hear the big band in the background? Very swingy and 40ish. “Lullaby of sleeveland,that’s what I – hear when I – know you’re by. . . .” thanks for the earworm. I like big band swing.

    Verrry pretty yarn!

  11. Yeah, it’s funny how sometimes we can build these things up in our minds into big hard tasks. Good for you for tearing that one back down to do-able size!

  12. I think if I were knitting with that gorgeous colour I’d never want it to end. Sometimes it’s hard to enjoy the process when you’re very eager to finish I know, but it’s good to remember how much you love knitting and just relax and love what you’re doing. Did I say that colour is DIVINE?

  13. you’ll be up to that yoke in no time. i find audio books and podcasts get me through mindless stockingette perhaps even better than tv. and craftlit is doing austen at the moment…

  14. I hear you on the sleeeeeeeeve thing. My sleeves always end up too short because I’m too impatient to knit that last inch.

  15. Sleeves exist in some kind of weird place in the space-time continuum, where it doesn’t matter how many stitches, what size needle, or what gauge yarn you use, they go on forever.
    I wish vests would come back into style 😉

  16. Oh sleeve island is surely a place we dont want to be in too long. Maybe that is the reason I usually knit one sleeve and then a main piece so it sort of breaks up the monotomy of having to do 2 sleeves straight after each other. Wouldnt it be nice though is sleeves were as quick as socks to knit!

  17. I feel your …I am about to start the sleeves on my featherweight. It does seem like I’ve worked forever on the body, but I like what I’ve done.. I have NOT been able to remain knitting monogamous. I’ve started toys, and I’m working on a sock monkey suit. It started out just a hoody, but has somehow grown legs.

  18. I’m going to start a Carter Cardigan soon… I can’t wait for sweater monogamy. But I’m going to start with the sleeves. Get the hideous things out the way first…

    Looking forward to your opinion of this project. I have the pattern and the felted tweed. Just need to know if its worth it…

  19. I don’t know if it’s just me right now, but I do love just knitting garter stitch (or stocking stitch in the round). I always find it goes so much quicker than I ever imagined it would beforehand, especially if you’ve got a good distraction like tv or good company. Hurrah for your sleeve going so quickly!! You’ll be onto that exciting smocking before you know it!

  20. I have committed to monogamous cardi knitting too, given the weather. At the picking up stitches for collar stage. It seems endless, but like you say, if we just get in and do it, it will get done. Your sleeves are looking lovely. Can’t wait to see this colour on you.

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