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We’re two weeks into our Spring KAL action and some of you are about to hit the separation of the sleeves and the body.  Don’t be nervous!

Since the sweater is all in one piece from the top down, we are going to work on each of these pieces – the two sleeves and the body – one at a time.  In order to do this, we are going to leave the stitches we aren’t knitting on a stitch holder.  We’re physically going to slide the stitches, as directed in the pattern, from the knitting needle to the holder and set them aside.

In this situation, I always find it’s easier to leave these stitches on waste yarn instead of the stitch holders you find in the notions section here at Sage.  Why wouldn’t I want to sell you all stitch holders instead of using scrap yarn? A few good reasons:

  1. The scrap yarn is more flexible, letting you move around and complete your work without a pointy piece of plastic or metal poking out of your sweater.
  2. The scrap yarn won’t pop open!  After you slide your stitches over on the scrap yarn, tie the two ends together in a nice knot.  You can cut it apart later and it won’t pop open as the safety-pin style ones sometimes do.
  3. Here’s the big one…. you can try your sweater on!  If you use a long enough piece of scrap yarn to go loosely around the circle of your sleeve, it is loose enough to try on.

Shellseeker sleeve

Which brings me to part two of this blog post – the anxiety part.  At this point in your sweater, you are past a big chunk of your body knitting and it can be hard to tell if your sweater is coming out the right size.  Does the neckline look right?  Why does it seem so big through the armholes?  Did I make a big mistake?

You can ease your mind by knitting a few rounds past this sleeve separation and trying the whole thing on!  Slide about half of your body stitches onto scrap yarn or another circular needle (it doesn’t have to be the same size) to give yourself some room to pull it over your head.  Get a feel for how it’s coming out!  REMEMBER, though — if your swatch changed size your sweater will too.  If your swatch grew just a bit, your sweater will grow just a bit.  If your swatch didn’t change your sweater shouldn’t change.  So, don’t panic if it’s just a bit smaller than you want, but your swatch grew.  Ok?

So… is anything else making you nervous?  Have you been enjoying your knitting time with this pattern?  If something is taking away from the FUN of your project, let’s find a strategy to set your mind at ease and remove any frustration or anxiety.  Let me know if you need any suggestions!

Next up – the pocket!  (Don’t worry, it’s going to be so much fun!  Like KNITTING MAGIC!)

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