Recent Posts


Site search

November 2023



As It Turns Out, 42 Really IS The Answer

Every now and then, I’ve been having the Blanket Thief “try on” the cARGHdigan to see if the arm holes are big enough.  Generally, this process looks something like this:

(I had a better picture, but the Blanket Thief forbid me from posting it.  If he ever pisses me off, though…)

Given that the needle I’m using isn’t exactly long enough to go all the way around his shoulders, “trying on the cARGHdigan” translates into “Honey, stand still while I wrap this knitting around your arm.  What do you think?  Is it cutting off circulation?  Can you still feel your fingers?”

A few days ago, however, we made the transition from “not even close” to “really, actually almost there.”

Now, I have this idea for how I want the shoulders to work, and it involves using short rows to build up the knitting directly below the neck such that the back angles down from the neck to the arm holes, and then knit the front sides a bit longer than the back so that the seam at the shoulders actually falls towards the back and follows the line of the body.  It’s something I’ve noticed in store bought sweaters, but not so much on hand-knitted ones (so, of course, I had to try the way no one else uses…).

I did some quick calculations for how many stitches I wanted in the neck vs. each side, decided to do 8 rows, skipping an extra 10 or 11 stitches at each turn, which would ultimately give me 42 shoulder stitches on each side and 30 stitches at the neck.  Thus committed, I started merrily knitting away until I reached this point:

Each bit of red indicates somewhere that I’ve ended a short row, so at this point I’m about six rows into this shaping.  It was at this point that I thought to myself, “You know, I probably want to have the same number of stitches on the sides of the back as I do on the sides of the front…”

It amazes me how oblivious I am to the obvious sometimes…

Practically holding my breath, I dropped everything to count how many stitches were on the needles, feverishly hoping that the number was somewhere between 39-45, because I was pretty sure I could make any of those numbers eventually work.  Imagine my surprise when I came up with exactly 42 stitches.

I didn’t believe it either.

Four recounts of both sides later, though, it was clear that somehow the Knitting Fates had allowed me to pick the exact right number on the back to correspond to what I’d already done on the front.  It was an amazing, amazing moment, made even better when I realized that 42 was, in fact, the answer to life, the universe, and everything.


Comment from Lookout
Time April 30, 2010 at 9:01 pm