I've decided to knit another Elvira, All Grown Up. I am using Brown Sheep Cotton Fine, a cotton and wool blend. I am hoping that the wool in it won't bother me too much (I think I may be allergic to animal fiber, which totally sucks because I have tons of animal fiber yarn - boohoo for me). I am probably still in denial, but whatever... I chose this yarn because it is VERY affordable, in the weight that I need and it has high cotton content. I was looking at Rowan 4-Ply Cotton as well, but all things considered, I thought the Cotton Fine was a better choice: richer color, better yardage, lower price. I chose a nice royal blue. So far, I am enjoying knitting with the yarn. I think the wool content keeps the splittiness to a minimum.
I didn't take many notes the first time around with this project, so I thought that I would keep track of any changes that I made in the pattern or any useful tips that make knitting it easier. The very first thing that I noticed at the beginning of the pattern is that it was a pain decreasing using K2tog. Instead, I employed SSK to make the stitches easier to work. I figured that the fact that one is right leaning (K2tog) and the other left leaning (SSK) didn't matter too much, as it is a simple eyelet pattern. I made this substitute throughout the yoke. When I got to the fronts and back, I used K2tog, as the bigger needle made this decrease just as easy as SSK. I can't see any difference between the 2 decreases thus far.
When I reached the dividing portion of the pattern, I found that it was necessary to place removable stitchmarkers at each point (first front, second front, back, and shoulders). For me, it wasn't enough to count the stitches; I just got lost (and the instructions were a bit confusing at this part). I had to tink back the row because I wound up with 4 extra stitches when I reached the end of this row - UGH.
What I did was count the amount of stitches that I needed for each part and placed markers between them. Be careful when you count stitches for the bind off sections - you need 2 stitches to bind off that last stitch. For instance, I am following the directions for size small. The directions tell me to bind off 40 stitches in the middle of the row. I had to mark off 41 stitches so that I could bind off that last stitch, before I could continue with the pattern. It is a pain, but better to figure out the numbers before you start knitting. Otherwise, it can be frustrating to wind up with the wrong number of stitches at the end and have to tink back your fingering weight yarn.
That's it for now. I am almost finished with the 2 fronts. I made an oops when I broke the yarn prematurely in the first front. I forgot that I didn't finish it and started the second front. Blame it on a crazy day with the kids. Hopefully tomorrow, they will let me finish the first front and I can start on the back.