OK, can I whine already??
So I got myself the "30-day sweater challenge" workbook and am going through it like the diligent knitter I hope to turn myself into. But...maybe it's just me, but I'm already having problems.
For starters, it wants me to take measurements. OK, that's great, but there is absolutely NO discussion about ease in this section. If I take the measurements as illustrated, and use these to make the sweater, it'll be damn tight-fitting. This is not going to work. Luckily, I've got a few Elizabeth Zimmermann books sitting on my shelf and she recommends measuring a sweater, and not a body, to ensure fit. So that's what I've done - taken a sweater (a polypro fleece, actually) that I want to duplicate the fit of, and measured that.
The next beef is that all of the cast-on math is based on a single measurement - the neck measurement. And there is no further detail on where to take this incredibly important measurement. High up the neck? Low down, with room to pull your head through? Or where one wears a necklace? This is very unclear and so of course I did it wrong at least once. Finally I ended up using a number from their "standard size" charts which matched my chest size (or rather, my polypro fleece's chest size). Here's hoping!
OK, so I cast on, and then look for where the instructions are for actually knitting. Huh. These are hidden in 4 chatty, short paragraphs under "method for increasing". I had to read these paragraphs at least 4 times to figure out what I was supposed to do. There's no diagram of where the increases should happen, either. Turns out all the real info is in the Appendix...where they don't include my favorite increase, which is what they call the "stranded increase", but where you knit the lifted bar TBL to twist and tighten it. That way you don't get holes, like they do. I think, for a clearer explanation (and a much more thorough discussion of different design styles) a far better book to get is Barbara Walkers "Knitting from the Top Down".
The book sets a pretty brisk knitting pace. I was supposed to knit 4" today and only managed half that, so I'm feeling like a 30-day sweater is already out of reach. Meh.
We'll see how I progress...