(Check out pattern details by clicking here)
I have to admit, now that I’m through the body and sleeves and into the yoke colorwork, I just can’t put it down. We still have a month to go, but I wanted to try and get ahead of all of you so I could offer some advice about getting all of these pieces onto one needle and getting started with the chart.
When you have both sleeves and the body ready to go, the pattern asks you to put some underarm stitches on hold, and then work across the first sleeve. I’ve found that if you do literally what they are instructing, the sleeve doesn’t end up with the correct orientation. If you need some help doing this round, here’s a step by step guide that you can follow, literally. It looks like a lot of steps but I’m trying to be very descriptive so that you can follow along. Let me know if anything sounds confusing! Here’s a pdf version of this, if you need to print it out – KAL Joining Row
- Before you begin, mark the halfway point of your body with a stitch marker or bit of scrap yarn.
- At the beginning of your round, on the body, work across the underarm stitches that you will need to put on hold. Before you continue knitting, place the total number of underarm stitches on hold from the right hand needle, starting with the stitches you just knit. For my size, I knit 6 stitches to start the round and I’m placing 12 total stitches on hold (the 6 stitches I just knit at the beginning of the round along with the last 6 stitches of the previous round.)
- Your stitch marker for the beginning of your round is in the center of these stitches. Take it out and put it somewhere safe for later.
- Continue knitting across the body stitches for the total number of body stitches required by your pattern. You should find yourself a few stitches away from the halfway point that we marked before we started.
- Place your next section of underarm stitches on hold, as required by your pattern. My size required 12 stitches – there were 6 stitches before my halfway marker and 6 stitches after my marker.
- Remove the halfway marker.
- Pick up your sleeve and knit across the sleeve stitches (NOT including the underarm stitches). In order to line my sleeve up the correct way, I match up the underarm stitches that are on hold from the sleeve to the underarm stitches on hold from the body, and then knit around the sleeve.
- Once the sleeve is knit, knit across the body stitches back to the beginning.
- Knit across the second sleeve.
- Here is where you place your beginning of the round marker. For all sizes, there are a few rows of just plain knitting in your main color. Your sleeves may seem snug as you get started but after a few rows you will have more room to move around.
What if you have the wrong stitch count?! Don’t worry – I did! It can happen spontaneously while increasing for the sleeves. You WILL need to have the correct stitch count to complete the chart. Just adjust the stitch count. You can either choose to do it on the next row of solid knitting (this is what I did) by hiding an increase or decrease near the underarm. Or you can wait until the first colorwork row and increase or decrease then.
Now if that wasn’t too overwhelming, you have to get started with the chart!
If you have a printed copy of your colorwork chart, do yourself a favor – circle the numbers associated with your size and cross off the rows and columns that you don’t need for your size. Remember that since we’re knitting in the round, all rows are read from right to left. You will start your round where indicated on the chart for your size, but then repeat just the section marked “repeat” in brackets along the bottom until you’re back to the beginning.
When you feel comfortable, you can take out your scrap yarn that you used to hold your body and sleeve stitches. I left them in until I was set up with my colorwork, just in case I needed to rip back to that round. Now I’m free to take them out!