The tricky parts of this project are in the very beginning. And for most of us, it’s going to be a challenge! Give yourself a bit of time and patience to get into it. Taking your time here will bring you success and the rest of the project will be a lot more straightforward. Are you ready?!
This is one of those patterns that you must follow row by row. I do, always, recommend reading through a pattern so you know what is going to happen in the future, but for the first part of this sweater just take it, literally, row by row. Set yourself up with strategies for keeping track of what row you are knitting. In order to keep things super, super simple and less intimidating, I cover up the pattern with post-its and leave just the row I’m working on visible.
If I need to, I can make notes to myself later on the post-its. I have also put my pattern into sheet protectors, held together by a clippy ring.
[Why are there so many pages and charts?! In this case the designer, Joji Locatelli, has done us a huge favor. When you knit a lace repeat and have shaping at the edges of your work you are faced with a decision. What do I do as I increase the number of stitches on either side? How do I incorporate them into the pattern? Joji has done this for us and provided us with charts according to where we are in the raglan shaping of the top of the sweater. So when you see a ton of charts, try not to instantly think, “Oh no! This is so much!”. It is the same lace pattern, but she has written out how to begin and end the row, incorporating the increased stitches into the pattern.]
Cast on and verify that you have the correct number of stitches. Count it once, twice… and if the numbers match, you’re good. If they are different, count a third time.
Now, before you work the set up row, take some time to settle in to a comfortable seat where you can view your pattern easily. Try to work the set up row uninterrupted, and if it takes you a few more minutes than a “normal” knit row, that’s ok. Be patient.
Row 1 features a wrap and turn. The designer links you to this tutorial, here, for a great visual on how to do this. You are, basically, working to a certain point in the row, physically wrapping the yarn around the next stitch, and then turning around to work back across the row (usually leaving some stitches unworked on the other end). LATER ON you will have to pick up this wrap and knit it together with the stitch it’s wrapped around. To make it easier to find, you might want to mark it in some way. You can see here that wrapping the stitch leaves a gap in your work that looks like a hole. You can place a safety pin or locking stitch marker on the wrapped stitch to make doubly sure you know you’re in the right spot.
Celeste wrote us a wonderful tutorial on short rows, if you’d like another demonstration, and if you need a demo in person, I can do that for you anytime you’d like to pop in!
I made a video on make 1 increases for our last KAL. Click here for a refresher!
You will only have to work short rows here at the beginning of the project. After your first 17 rows, you won’t have to do them again.
If you’d like to knit along in person, we’re meeting along with the Thursday night sit & stitch, 5:00-7:00pm here at the shop. Stop by any time we’re open if you need a little bit of help!