Second Sleeve Syndrome: The New SSS

Happy Baby Shower to the lovely Ginny. I have so enjoyed the weekly Yarn Along and have met so many fabulous knitters through this wonderful forum over the past year or so. Thank you Ginny, and best wishes with your new baby girl to be. In perfect form, I am tardy with my contribution, but I am working on it. Promise.

Second Sleeve Syndrome. The New SSS You Never Hear About.

Usually when I hear SSS, I think of Second Sock Syndrome. You know, when you knit one sock with vigor but run out of steam somewhere before starting (or finishing) the second one.

I have decided there is a new SSS: Second SLEEVE Syndrome. And it’s a whopper.

Over the past year, I have taken up sock knitting. I enjoy it, and I don’t mind knitting the second sock (so far). I do however, cringe a bit trying to get the second one to precisely match the first one. I haven’t stressed over it so far, because socks are forgiving that way. No one will truly even notice if one sock is a wee bit longer than the other, or if the pattern doesn’t quite match exactly. Socks are on your feet. In your shoes. Tucked away, to some extent.

Sleeves on the other hand are on full display. Out in the world. On the conference table to be examined by wandering eyes. There’s no hiding a sleeve, or rather two sleeves that don’t exactly match, particularly in length.

Second Sleeve Syndrome: The SSS You Never Hear About!

I finished my second sleeve for Rosemont from Hannah Fettig’s Home & Away: Knits for Everyday Adventures last night. And I lived to tell the tale, although I will admit suffering from bouts of anxiety along the way. I decided to knit my sleeves a bit on the short side, presuming they would grow a bit during blocking. If I were more ambitious, I would have calculated the difference in blocked swatch gauge to unblocked sleeve and done a bit of calculus to determine exactly how much my sleeve might grow in length.

But, I figured screw it. Swatches lie anyway. At least when it comes to sleeves, I have found swatches to be particularly dishonest and misleading.

This means:

  1. My sleeves will not grow and will block too short, still. This will result in a need to unravel the cast-off and knit longer sleeves, which will lead to more complaining and tears (and chocolate and possibly a martini), which will lead to another blog post about me complaining about how my sleeves came out too short even though I predicted hoped they wouldn’t.
  2. My sleeves will grow longer than I guessed it might and still be too long even though I was hoping it would block to be just right.
  3. Maybe I will get it right and it will all work out merrily, proper length and all. This option is unlikely, however. I never get lucky.

So, Second Sleeve Syndrome it is. I wonder if there is a cure…

I am STILL reading Furiously Happy, which I truly can’t recommend enough. I read it at night after my knitting is tucked away. I laugh out loud each and every time I pick the book up.

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