This may look like a swatch, but let me point out that it’s the jumbo bento bag and size 11 needles you’re looking at. And that this is, in fact, about half of the first sleeve of my Bellows cardigan-to-be, knitted in about two hours on my flight to Phoenix on Friday. I was shooting this pic on the bed of the hotel room when I realized I had left my tool pouch in a hotel lobby chair after knitting a couple of rows while waiting for our room to be ready. By the time I ran back down there, it was gone, and despite putting out an APB on Instagram for other trade show attendees and checking with lost and found incessantly, it was not to be recovered. That makes two things I can remember losing in recent years: 1) my tool pouch and 2) the tool pouch before it, lost somewhere in Utah in July while driving from CA to TN. Nice work, KT.
Of course, tools are replaceable, but this pouch happened to have several of my most-used needles in it — including the needle I needed to finish the buttonband and neckband on Amanda. As previously noted, I had not brought a back-up outfit. But Amy Palmer loaned me a circular that night. Anna loaned me a tapestry needle at breakfast Sunday morning. And a kind yarn shop owner gave me a pair of teeny little snips when she saw me sitting on a bench outside the exhibit hall trying to sew on buttons without any scissors. (Thankfully, I had put the buttons and thread into my bento and not the tool pouch.) So in the end, through the kindness of knitters (in contrast with the one who made off with my pouch), Amanda got done and worn and highly praised. I hope to have photos soon.
But let’s talk about Bellows! I spent the first part of my flight studying the schematic and weighing it against my swatch. Once again, my stitch gauge is smaller than pattern gauge, but this time my row gauge is right on. I’m aiming for 4-5″ of positive ease, and I’ll get there by knitting the third size (43.25″) at my smaller gauge, which will come out to about 38.5″ in the bust. But once again again, that would give me almost zero ease at my 38″ hips, which I do not like. For the body pieces, I might cast on the fourth size (48.5″ would be 43″ at my gauge, about 4.5″ ease at the hip) and decrease down to the third size, which is my preferred way of giving myself the A-line shape I require. Or in this case, given the scale of the allover stitch pattern, I might just start out on a larger needle and then go down a needle size at the waist. Haven’t decided yet, so I started with a sleeve.
I only worked on Bellows on my flight out and back, plus about an hour in the airport — a grand total of six or seven hours — and I was just a few rows from finishing the first sleeve! After spending four months on my Amanda, you can imagine how I feel about this.