Iteration #4 seems to be working well.
Day 8: I’ve done the 2nd rep in the 2nd direction on the second shoulder.
Aren’t these pictures all mind-numbingly similar? Never fear: The next installment will be completely different.
And here’s a close-up
Pick up 2nd shoulder, close-up
Day 7: I’ve picked up the cast-on stitches and knitted the first rep in the new direction on the second shoulder.
2nd shoulder, 1st rep in 2nd direction
Day 6: I’ve done the 2nd rep in the 2nd direction on the first shoulder.
Day 5: I’ve gone back to the first shoulder, and picked up the cast-on stitches.
I could have done a provisional cast on, but I think that doing a regular cast on and then picking up those stitches might give the shoulder “seam” a little more strength and stability. Everything hangs from these two points (the shoulders), and sometimes the provisional join in this area gets a little stretched or stressed. Even this won’t be as stable as shoulders with the reinforcement of a sewn seam, but I hope it will help a bit.
I then knitted the first rep in the new direction.
Day 4: I did the second rep of Saxon Braid on the second shoulder.
Day 3: I started the second Saxon Braid shoulder and did one pattern repeat. Hard to believe, isn’t it, that such a tiny thing takes an hour? It’s because there is so much going on in Saxon Braid. With most cables, you have a few rows in which you just knit again whatever is in the previous row. But in this braid, every right-side row moves something to a new position, and that takes additional time, which all adds up.
I’ve done so many swatches of this Braid that my time is starting to improve now. In the beginning, each row took about 5 minutes. Now, the wrong-side rows are 2-3 minutes, and I’m starting to shave some time off the right-side rows as well. But in round numbers, including stopping to pet Buttercup and sip a smoothie at the end of every row, it all still takes about an hour.