Mud Pit in the Making
A 3-Point Pact

On Sleeves and Stitching

When I knit a sweater, I always knit a swatch first.  If I can, I really like the sleeve-as-swatch approach.  Somehow it just feels like I'm more productive that way.  Y'know . . . moving forward right out of the gates and all.  (Even though I end up knitting more than two sleeves for one sweater sometimes.)

Anyway, I decided to apply that same logic to my big (and really rather overwhelming) Alabama Chanin wrap dress project:  Start with the Sleeves.


This is a big project with many pieces and a complex stencil.  I'm using the sleeves to kind of find my way with the stitching and the cutting and the beading.

The sleeves are manageable pieces to work with, both to handle for the stitching and to look at.  Because it's hard to find your way at the beginning of a project like this one.  (And after the inspiration of the Alabama Chanin workshop I attended last fall, the ideas are just . . . oozing!)


One stitch at a time.

Dreaming and scheming as I go.  

(It looks a lot different before it's cut, doesn't it?)


(That beaded bit right there?  So far, it's my favorite part!)

You can learn a lot from a sleeve or two, y'know?

How about you?  What's your approach to a big project?  Where do you start?



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Wow! I love those well placed knots! A work of love and I am with you... swatching is imperative!


I used to just dive right in but nowadays I just don't do big projects. Love the colors of this one of yours, though, Kym. Chloe


No big projects for me! But Kym, this is going to be (really already is) so gorgeous. I imagine it to be a meditative type of sewing. The colors are just wonderful. Have fun!!


Sleeve as swatch lover here, too ... one of several things I've come to love about knitting sweaters in pieces! I am enthralled with how the stitching, stenciling, cutting and beads!!! are coming together. Maybe a bigger photo next time?!


Your stitches are perfect, your knots are perfect and your beads are perfect!! I often start with a sleeve, too. I have a sleeve on my AC - T mostly beaded and sorting through a few ideas of how best to finish the last few shapes. Then I have the other sleeve and two body pieces to do. It seems daunting as a whole, which is why one sleeve/pieces at a time is the best approach. I also have one sleeve of the sweater finished and the second on the needles. Progress may be slow on both projects, but they're moving.


Your stitches are lovely. I tend to jump in with very little planning. If I think to far ahead, I won’t get started.


Oh yeah. I love your beading, too!! And I am definitely a supporter of the sleeve-as-swatch movement. I have been working on the sleeves of my Car Jacket -- started on #2, even -- doing only the backstitching and some cutting so far, and a little applique. There's embroidery to tackle, and also beading, and I need a different workspace/headspace for that. I've been sidelining with some fingerless mitts (which have mysteriously gone missing), but even more with a big quilting project for my new granddaughter. It's always on my mind, tho...


Sleeve as swatch for sure! And your project is lovely. I'm looking forward to watching it bloom!


Here’s to sleeves! Cheers!


I haven't tackled a big project in a while. Oh wait. Campaigning is kind of a big project. My approach was to do as much prep work with databases and spreadsheets as possible early on so that I could check that stuff off my list. Other than that I've been flying by the seat of my pants!


I’m a true swatcher, though I say that cautiously. I never knit a 4” swatch. My swatches are just enough to get the picture but I do get impatient. Sleeves are my nemesis on a sweater as I always need to adjust length. Love, love, love your stitching project!

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