Not Martha

I’m knitting a sweater: two miracles and a beginning

Miracle #1: I made a new swatch using smaller needles and I got gauge for the pattern! This takes some guess work out of choosing which size to make. A few people including Bonne Marie Burns (thank you Bonne Marie!) left comments suggesting I try smaller needles and I don’t know why I didn’t do that first, before I did a whole lot of math. I’m now using size #4 and #5 circulars to make the sweater.

Miracle #2: The knitting shop exchanged some circular needles. I first bought Crystal Palace circulars in #5 and #6 (the pattern calls for two size needles). The size 5 were sticking at the rotating joint. I phoned the store to see if anybody else had reported this trouble as I couldn’t find anyone online having it, and they said they would exchange them, so I threw in the request to exchange the as-of-yet unused size 6 while I was at it. And they agreed! They even checked to be sure my new pairs were working correctly before I left.

Ok, those weren’t miracles so much as exaggerations of small happy things.

Next came testing out casting on. The pattern calls for both 2×2 rib and 3×1 rib, which creates an odd number of cast on stitches for the back (the first piece I’ll be doing). Tubular cast on, which I’m using, calls for starting with half the number of stitches. When you’re casting on odd number you add one, then half that number. You deal with the extra stitch at, uh, some point. I figured that in my pattern at the point that I switch from 3×1 rib to 2×2 rib I have one stitch to deal with, one stitch that won’t allow me to just do a 2×2 tubular cast on all the way across. I did a test swatch and found that if I just added a third knit cast on stitch at the at point it would work out fine:

When I did the swatch I completely forgot to deal with the very last knit stitch I’m supposed to knit into from the bottom (as explained in this tutorial, picture #7). It doesn’t seem to be unravelling so I called it a solution to the extra stitch.

I went ahead and cast on using the #4 needles:

I have not clipped out the initial stitches yet, I’m sort of afraid I’ll stretch out the hem prematurely.

· comments [8] · 07-11-2007 · categories:knitting ·

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Melissa // Jul 11, 2007 at 9:16 am

    Your sweater looks really nice. I knit this sweater too and I wished I had taken the time to do a tubular cast on. Another thing I wish I had known about/done was to knit the collar so that it could be folded over the top of the zipper (hemmed), it looks much better than having the zipper show.
    It’s posted on a blog, somewhere, sorry I don’t have a link.

  • 2 Shelly Kang // Jul 11, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Hi, I’ve done this provisional cast-on many times. You definitely *should* pull it out sooner than later – I promise it won’t stretch the bottom out by doing so, and more importantly, you need to check that you did it right and that nothing explodes on you when you pull out the scrap yarn. I teach this technique in my classes sometimes, and I have people pull out the scrap after a row or two beyond the cast-on part because people who are not used to doing this technique tend to mess it up pretty often till they get used to it. I’m sure you got it right, but please go ahead and check to be sure before you continue too far to rip back.

    Also, sometimes this cast-on can look a little funny if you didn’t knit it snugly enough, so better to know right away than wait till the end. Hope that helps!

    Shelly (and by the way – I love love love your blog!)

  • 3 missval // Jul 11, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Even though it is eleventy billion degrees outside, your pics make me want to sit around and knit…

  • 4 megan // Jul 11, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Shelly – Excellent point, thanks!

  • 5 Barrie // Jul 11, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    which lys did you go to? because usually they don’t just let you exchange needles. yarn, yes, if you haven’t opened it yet. but every place i’ve been to won’t exchange circulars for some weirdo reason. i must know your lys stat!

    keep up with the sweater. it might actually be done before it gets cold!

    p.s. i knit all the time (even in 90 degree weather!) you are always welcome to join my little crew. tonight we’re going to cafe presse at 6:30. we’ll most likely be the only knitters there. come one, come all!

  • 6 megan // Jul 11, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Barrie – Sorry, the official policy of the shop is no returns or exchanges, I think they were taking pity on me because one of the needles was defective. Thanks for the invite but I cannot make it.

  • 7 Patti // Jul 12, 2007 at 8:55 am

    I have ONE circular Crystal Palace needle and I’d never buy another, it falls apart all the time.

  • 8 aruni // Jul 18, 2007 at 5:08 am

    unrelated to this post, but i found a site with nifty knitting needle bracelets ( and thought of this site.

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