Week one of this knit-a-long has been filled with a lot of progress on my end. I feel like whenever I undertake a top-down sweater, it’s my one goal in life to get past the sleeves. The beauty of top-down raglan construction is that once we finish the onslaught of increases, the widest part of the sweater is done. That’s right – you will never have to knit rows that large ever again. To me, the moment where I increase through the yoke with enough stitches for the sleeves is what I live for, because the hardest part is over. All you have to do is slide a darning needle threaded with waste yarn (I prefer to have a distinct contrasting color) through the live sleeve stitches, and tie the extra yarn in a bow – then those sleeve stitches get to hang out a bit while you work on the body. After the sleeve stitches are put on holders, it’s smooth sailing from under arm to hem.
Now, the tricky part is casting on stitches for the under arm. Patterns do this a little bit differently, depending on shaping and the preference of the designer. While many patterns call for a “backwards e cast on” for the underarm stitches, I find this too loose and not as stable as I would like. My favorite cast on for under arm is the cable cast on, in part because it leaves a nice stable row of stitches from which I can later pick up to knit the sleeve. In the end, it doesn’t matter which technique you choose so long as you cast-on those stitches in a manner you’re comfortable with. If you need a little help with the transition from the raglan increases to the sweater body, please stop by the shop or give us a call! We’re happy to talk you through it.
I’ve also been trying to document my sweater progress on Instagram. If you’re knitting along with us, don’t forget to post with #fsterrasweaterknitalong so we can see your beautiful work! I love seeing how people’s projects are coming along! (And feel free to poke Danielle to start knitting with me :))
One last thing – as an avid sweater-knitter, I talk to fellow knitters a lot about making sweaters and one of the comments that I hear most often is “wow, you’re fast!” – now I’m not putting that here as a humble-brag, but rather to take a moment to talk about how personal knitting is. Quite frankly, some projects I finish very quickly (14 days is my best record), and some projects take me over a year. It depends on a lot of different things like whether I’m making a bunch of stuff at once, or whether I’m inspired by the pattern. With this cardigan, I feel like I’ve managed to keep a quick-ish pace because I really like working with the yarn. Terra feels good in my hands, and somehow that makes the rows (for me) go by a little faster. That being said, this is not a competition.* Repeat after me: this is not a competition. It doesn’t matter if I can finish my five button holes before you’ve finished three. What matters is at the end of this endeavor, we’re all going to have awesome sweaters.
Until next week, dear knitters, where I plan to talk about the “choose your own adventure” aspect of sweater knitting!
*Ok, so if you’re attempting to win the gift card, it’s a little bit of a competition, and it’s good to have goals – just don’t let those goals overshadow the enjoyment of the knit!