When last we left our intrepid Hoodie Heroine…
She had banished the Blue Hoodie to the Naughty Corner for a little self-examination.
If you recall, I knit the body, hood, and one sleeve of a worsted-weight hoodie, only to discover that the sleeves, as designed, would not fit an actual human arm (or at least, not my actual human arm). The sleeve cap is very tall, and very narrow.
A few days ago, I got out the hoodie again, and sat down to start figuring out how to re-work the sleeve cap into something that would fit me.
(N.B. The next bit is going to be very knitterly, so those of you who don’t knit might want to just skim until you get past the numbers. I promise I’ll have some fun stuff at the end, as usual.)
The first thing I did was to pull out my Farmer’s Market Cardi, because it fits me perfectly, not only in the sleeve and shoulders, but all over (and yes, I did a bunch of modifications to make sure it fit, but still).
One of the things I teach in my sweater classes is how to use items you have in your closet, the clothes you love to wear because they fit perfectly, as aids to making a new sweater that you’ll also love to wear. In this case, I wanted to compare the sleeves, armholes, and sleeve caps to see what the heck was going on.
I laid the FMC out on a table, and then laid the blue hoodie on top, matching the tops of the shoulders at the seams on both. I checked the distance from that point (shoulder at armhole) to neck opening on both sweaters, and they more or less matched, given the different styling of the two sweaters (shawl collar vs. hoodie).
But take a look:
In the photo above, I have matched the shoulder seams at the tops of the armholes. In addition, I have matched the bottom of each armhole where it meets the side seam, so that I could check the depth and curve of the armholes. The measurements of the two armscyes matched up surprisingly well, which was a big help in what came next.
What came next, of course, was seeing the big difference in the actual sleeves. Look again at the photo above. The bottom seams of the sleeves are lined up, so the red you see above the blue hoodie is “what’s missing” from the shaping of the blue sleeve (given that the red sleeve fits me quite well). It’s really clear from this photo that the sleeve cap is indeed way too narrow and steep.
Not only that, but the sleeves themselves are very narrow all the way down, which explains why I felt they were pretty darn tight on me.
Aaannnd, as if that weren’t enough…
The sleeves are about an acre too long. (Yes, I know an acre is a measure of how-much-land, not a measure of length. Work with me here.)
Very, very informative. Just from laying out these two sweaters, one on top of the other, I got a ton (or as we say in Canada, “a metric Eff-tonne”) of information in a very short amount of time.
The next step was to take some actual measurements that I could then use to generate a revised pattern for a sleeve-that-fits for the hoodie.
We will now pause for station identification, because the next step in writing this post is to locate the notebook with the measurements I have already taken. Hold on…there it is! (Have I mentioned that I am a notebook junkie? Have I mentioned that I have a notebook in every single room, and sometimes more than one? Finding which notebook I made the note in is often a rather exciting adventure in my house.)
OK, I’m back. Here are the relevant measurements. (By the way, I am sure there is some cool way to make a table in this cool blog software, but I don’t have the time right now to spend an hour figuring it out, so pardon the plainjane formatting.)
Length of sleeve, cuff to first armhole BO – Red: 14.5″; Blue: 20″.
See? I was right. It IS an acre too long!
Length, first armhole BO to top of sleeve cap – Red: 7″; Blue: 8″.
This means that the sleeve cap on Blue is taller than on Red.
Armhole depth – Red: 8″; Blue: 8″.
Good. This gives a stable place from which to work other calculations, always helpful!
Width at top of sleeve cap – Red: 3″; Blue: 2″.
The top of the sleeve cap on Blue is extremely narrow, so that when I put on the sweater, the top of the cap pokes up like a little pyramid. It’s not wide enough to round out over the curve of my shoulder, in other words.
Width, widest part before armhole BO – Red: 16″; Blue: 12.25″.
OOPS. Houston, we have located a problem. Blue’s widest part of the sleeve is nearly 4″ too narrow to fit my arm.
Widest part just after armhole BO – Red: 13″; Blue: 10″.
Yup, there it is again. As the sleeve cap narrows, it is still 3″ too small.
The next step was to take a bunch of very fidgety and detailed measurements that would allow me to discover the rate of increase from cuff to armhole, and the rate of decrease from armhole to shoulder.
INCREASE RATE: Cuff to Armhole
These measurements are WIDTHS, taken at the stated intervals straight down from the row in which the underarm BOs began.
1″ down from underarm BO – Red: 15″ wide; Blue: 12.75″ wide.
2″ down – Red: 15″; Blue: 12.25″.
3″ down – Red: 14″; Blue: 12″.
Width of cuff – Red: 10.5″; Blue: 9.5″.
Length from cuff to first increase – Red: 2″; Blue: 3″.
DECREASE RATE: Shoulder to base of Armhole
These measurements are also widths, taken straight down from the top of the sleeve cap at the given intervals.
1″ down – Red: 4″ wide; Blue: 2.75″.
2″ down – Red: 5″; Blue: 4″.
See how steep that decrease is in Blue compared to Red?
3″ down – Red: 7″; Blue: 4.75″.
4″ down – Red: 8.75″; Blue: 5.5″.
5″ down – Red: 10″; Blue: 6.25″.
6″ down – Red: 12″; Blue: 6.75″.
7″ down – Red: 14″; Blue: 8.5″.
8″ down = base of armhole – Red: 16″; Blue: 10.25″.
As a friend of mine would say: Wrongity-wrong-wrong-RONG.
The next step, which I haven’t done yet, is to take those numbers and make a decent sleeve pattern out of them.
And sure, I could just use the sleeve pattern I used for the Farmer’s Market Cardi, but that would be cheating.
Also, then I wouldn’t have a blog post with VICTORY I DID IT YAY ME pasted all over it.
One must have one’s values straight.
In Which I Feel Like a Bit of a Dufus
Despite all the marketing training I received when I worked for Interweave, I seem to be a FAIL when it comes to self-marketing. It has been pointed out to me that I have not talked about something nice that happened just recently.
A very lovely woman sent me a book for review. Now, a lot of people send me books, but this one is special.
It’s called The Knitter’s Life List, and it’s written by Gwen Steege, the woman who sent me a copy. (Oh, and I’m not being paid to write about the book, and I don’t work for Storey, and all that disclaimer stuff.)
In bird-watching circles, a Life List is a carefully compiled list of every species of bird that one has spotted with one’s own eyes. Serious birders will travel serious mileage to fill out their Life Lists; the two hallmarks of a Serious Birder are either (a) a very long Life List, or (b) a Life List full of exotic/rare/shy species. Or both. (My life list is about 130 at this point, but I don’t bird seriously anymore.)
So a Knitter’s Life List is kind of a master checklist of The Best of the Knitting World: things to try, yarns to touch, and people to meet.
If you flip through the book, sooner or later you will come to this page:
That’s ME. (And Bertha, too, of course.) That’s a whole page about me and the stuff I do in the knitting community. (The real page has Actual Words on it, not the smudges you see here. I smudged the page because I didn’t want to spoil the surprise of discovering What They Wrote About Sandi.)
See on the cover of the book where it says “64 personalities to meet”? I’m one of those 64 folks.
I think the reason I haven’t really told many folks is that I’m rather stunned. I mean, Barbara Walker is in there. Meg Swansen. Clara Parkes. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Cat Bordhi. Kaffe Fassett.
When I saw this, I realized something: I have no clue as to the impact I have on those around me. I don’t think of myself as someone who might be included on the same list as Steph or Meg or Cat. I haven’t written a book (yet?). I haven’t published a ton of designs. I teach, but not all over the world. I write, but I don’t have anything near Steph’s readership.
And yet, there’s that page in that book. A book by a senior editor at Storey Publishing, no less (they publish Steph’s books). A book listing 63 other folks with Really Big Names.
It’s a very pretty book, and it’s full of all kinds of Good Stuff. I’m almost too shy to read the thing, though, because every time I open it, there’s that page, staring out at me, telling me that there’s someone out there named Sandi Wiseheart whom I really need to get to know better. I thought I knew her, but apparently, I don’t see her the way other folks do.
I’ll try to get over it. But…a BOOK. I’m in A BOOK, people. With covers and an ISBN number and everything.
Jabba the Cupcake. I just report ’em as I see ’em, folks, I have no clue who spends their time coming up with this stuff.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the Uterus Belt Buckle. I am speechless.
Bag of puppies, anyone? I found this wonderful Twitter account called @EmergencyPuppy. It sends out cute animal photos a couple of times a day, you know, just in case you have an emergency and need to see a bag of puppies or a kitten asleep on a windowsill.
Interesting mixed media art portraying the act of knitting in 3D.
Nicholas baked a cake the other night. From scratch.
It’s lemon cake with raspberry filling and lemon buttercream frosting.
And if THAT isn’t inspirational, I don’t know what else is.