It's been a few weeks since my last Snoqualmie knitalong post... I was hoping to be a little further along but ran into a few obstacles. I had an impossible time establishing the tubular cast-on for the left front and threw the project down in a snit after a week of stops and starts. I've learned when it's time to take a break.
And then last weekend, we left the city for the country and I was practically ecstatic at the idea of 3 non-stop knitting days by the fire (and possibly in the hot tub if I could figure out how to keep my wool dry), only to discover upon arrival that I had forgot my knitting bag. I almost started crying when I discovered my mistake, and decided to just bake as much as humanly possible so I had something to do with my hands all weekend (#makersanxiety). I have no idea how I forgot my bag, except I was in a rush, and packing for a weekend in the country with a puppy is almost as stressful as doing the same for a baby and it just slipped my mind. I had fully intended to finish up the front and get started on the sleeves but alas.. here I am with the back done and the left front almost finished...
Once you start the back, it's just a lot of straight up cabling with nary an interruption for quite a long time;I found this very soothing and easy to do while watching tv. By the time I got to the armholes, I barely had to glance at my cabling chart since I began to intuitively know what stitch came next. I quickly abandoned my stitch counter and stitch markers as unnecessary, although I did run into some problems as I decreased for my armholes. It seems that for size 45 3/4", the stitch motif runs right along the armscye, to the point where the cable would be sort of half finished on the right side. This didn't make sense to me so I took to Ravelry, where of course some crafty knitter had come up with a solution. Thanks to a note from brittluvstoknit I decided to leave off two rounds of decreases, essentially leaving an extra two stitches on the needles. This let me run the full cables along the armhole, although even with omitted decreases, the cable on the right was one stitch narrower than the one on the left; I think you can barely tell in the finished work. The shoulder will be slightly wider but I think it's worth it to continue the cables uninterrupted.
I'm quite fond of the sloped bind off technique, which essentially has you slipping the first stitch rather than knitting it. It creates a nice soft angle to the decreases.
As I struggled with the tubular cast on for the left front, I did notice a possible issue with the instructions, at least for my size. The instructions calls for you to slip one with yarn in front at the end of Row 2, but I found I had to actually slip two stitches with yarn in front to make it work. When it's time to rearrange the stitches, the instructions direct you to first slip one, then slip a knit stitch. In my case, that second slipped stitch was a purl stitch, not a knit. It's a subtle thing but it gave me a little headache for the left front because I couldn't get the ribbing to work. I can't remember if I had the same issue for the right front or not, although it's entirely possible I screwed up somewhere in the process. Here's what my stitching looked like on the right and wrong side after making the above changes:
I deeply enjoyed how much faster the front took shape once I resolved my cast on issue. The only thing to really stay on top of with the front pieces is a) making sure I remove one decrease on each side so that my shoulders are the same width as the back and b) being mindful to decreases on both sides of the front to begin the neckline shaping.
I'm almost done the left side and will be starting the right shortly; if all goes well I'll be starting on the sleeves next week. This is the part I'm the most apprehensive about given all the shaping that will need to be done, but must say I've been pleasantly surprised by how manageable this sweater has been so far for a novice knitter.
How's your Snoqualmie coming along? Have you run into any issues? Anything else you'd like me to cover about the construction so far?