So I've not been talking very much about my knitting very much. While I have had a general malaise with my knitting in the past few weeks, I think I'm starting to get through it. I'm doing better managing the new work rhythm under control, the writing under control, I'm not dancing as much, and in light of this, I've been able to pick up the knitting again.

In this spirit, I've written the next stage of the instructions for the sweater project

I'm making slow progress on the Latvian Dreaming sweater, and despite much encouragement and temptation to start something new, I'm beginning to regain enthusiasm. This is an effect of sweater knitting that I think those of you who are knitting this sweater right now, or in the future from my perspective will likely realize. There's a point in the middle of the body (that is the section of the sweater from the bottom hem to the underarms) that's either a quarter or a third of that length (so 3-6 inches, or there aborts) that takes forever to knit, completely out of proportion with any other progress you may make on the sweater. This seems to be always the case.

Anyway, once you have the pattern established--and there are instructions that come along with the chart--you have to knit the body. If you're going to make a drop shouldered sweater using the conventional gansey construction style (that is with underarm gussets) you'll want to stop this "long plow" 3 inches short of the underarm point. If you want to set in the sleeves (either with a set in/modified dropped shoulder, or some sort of seamless yoke shaping) continue to the underarm point uninterrupted.

I'm going to make my sweater 15-16 inches long at the underarms (with the gusset) so I'm going to start increasing for the gusset after 12-13 inches. I have a fairly long torso, and I wear my sweaters pretty long over my hips. Measure existing sweaters for a pointer in this dimension.

To begin a gusset, increase one stitch on either side of the first stitch on each side of the sweater (so a two stitches on either side of stitch "0" on the chart for a total of 4 stitches every round.) Do this every third round. For three inches.

This is one of those points in knitting where: 1) the number of stitches doesn't matter and, 2) the color pattern doesn't really matter. Just do something regular and you'll be safe. Knit the stitches in stripes, or alternating stripes, or alternating stitches, or really anything. I would outline the gusset in black stitches, but anything beyond that, it purely up to you. It doesn't mater, and frankly people aren't going to see this part of the sweater. I sometimes improvise patterns in this space, but that's purely for my own amusement. Feel free to do the same.

What happens after the three inches comes in the next installment...