After a week and a half of knitting I have completed the most time consuming, and brain numbing, part - the upper arm. This section represents the largest expanse of plain knitting. Because I am using smaller needles than the pattern called for, I had to increase the number of rows in this part to get the desired length; I wound up with 80 rather than 60 rows to achieve the 6 inches from upper cuff to ribbing just before the first puff. How are you all doing? How far have you gotten? Any problems or concerns as you are working? Did anyone else choose to knit both sleeves at once as I do?
And so another thrilling knitting adventure begins! I am very glad so many of you are knitting a long with me and I can hardly wait to see your creations as they grow on the needles! For this set of under sleeves I choose rather sedate colors to go with a few of my plainer wool dresses; ribbing is to be of a medium brown and the puffs of sky blue. They should well compliment my brown dresses and the one of dark blue. Hopefully, the colors you have chosen will go with dresses you already wear or will inspire a new dress; if you are like me there is always another new dress in the plans!
As I mentioned earlier, I will work both sleeves at the same time on cable needles. I want to be able to finish them at the same time as I know myself, and when one is finished I may not want to do the other as some other project may be calling. This way, when one is done the set is done. Also, this method will allow me to check on size as I go and will let me, with an extra set of hands, to try the sleeve on by wrapping it around my arm.
In the pictures you can see the finished size of the upper arm ribbing band. All 30 rows are done on both sleeves and when stretched out to what represents a snug fit they reach the 12 inches that my arms measure just above the elbow. These are extremely stretchy so don't be shy about using that elasticity to get a good fit.
The "modern" instructions in the Homefront Herald suggest size 2 or 3 needle to begin the ribbing with. On my first project I used the size 3 needle, I have, ummmmm, scrawny arms and the ribbing, while it would stay up, was not reassuringly snug. They did fit my daughter, who wears a size 16 in modern clothing, and as the ribbing is VERY stretchy they could go over a larger arm without being uncomfortable. This time I am using the size 2 on the fingering weight wool for my own.
Because I want to be able to check on sizing by wrapping the garment around my arm as I go, I will be using circular knitting needles, as I am not working on them at an event, needle type is not as important. You will also find that I like to do both sleeves at once using two balls of yarn (one for each sleeve) attached. You don't have to do it this way, if it is confusing, but the pictures I post will show both on the needles. You can make them one at a time or both together.
As for color choices, while this pattern came from Peterson's 1859, and suggested brown as the main color and red for the ribbing, there was another pattern featured in Godey's vol. 65 pg. 495 in 1862, which suggest sleeves using pink, scarlet, blue or green combined with white.
Welcome to the Homefront Herald's first ONLINE TUTORIAL
This is our first installment/blog entry. Feel free to comment below, I just ask that you look at the Workbasket feature in the Introductory Issue of the Herald before you post, because that will answer a lot of your inquiries and save you a lot of time.
PATTERN and SUPPLIES: Check out the Workbasket online, or in the printed version of the Homefront Herald, Introductory Issue. You will need to choose between the large or small sleeve size. You will also have to get the pattern from the Herald, and choose your needle size. This last will require more discussion, and I will post suggestions about the appropriate needle size in the coming days.
This will be fun! Have patience with me, as this is my first online tutorial.