Oct 10, 2014

Sweetness KAL Part 3: Transition to Body

Welcome to Part 3 of the Sweetness knit-along! If you're just joining us now, don't worry because there's still plenty of time to catch up. We began knitting our sweaters in Part 2 at the to top of the collar, and worked the yoke almost to the underarms of our sweaters.

Here's some progress pics from our Ravelry Group:

Lookin' great ladies! I just love seeing progress pictures. I think it's so inspiring. Please keep them coming. I can see we've had a TON of readers on the thread, which is so cool! If you haven't already, please come by the thread and say hi.

Your mission for Part 3: Finish the yoke and get started on the body of your sweater. Try to knit at least ¼ of the body before next Friday, Oct. 17th. We're picking up the pace a little, so get those needles working ladies!

If you're like me, you'll have so much fun that you'll whizz right through this!

Part 3 has a mixture of techniques, most of which we already discussed in Part 2. You will finish the color work section and do the last increase row for the yoke. After a short section of plain knitting, you will separate the body from the sleeves. Then you will begin waist shaping.

I remember being very confused about the “dividing" step when I made my first top-down seamless sweater. I think we designers take for granted that knitters will just blindly follow our directions, but if you're anything like me, you want to know what the heck is going on before you get started. With this in mind, I made a before/after diagram showing how the yoke is divided into sleeves and body. If this is your first top-down yoke sweater, you might find this helpful.

I don't think I'm alone when I say that I hate counting stitches. Counting to anything over 50 is basically torture, in my opinion. Unfortunately, the yoke has a good-bit more than 50 stitches to count! Of course, I try to cut corners wherever I can, and I found a pretty nifty place to do that in Part 3 that I'd love to share with you.

After the final increase row, you should really count the stitches to make sure you didn't make a mistake somewhere. Before you do all that counting, read ahead in the pattern a little. You will see that after this final increase row, you knit an inch or two straight, then separate the sleeves from the body. The separating process also involves a lot of counting, but since the stitch count hasn't changed, you can combine these two steps.

Here's the trick: When you're counting after the increase row, use the numbers from the dividing row, and place a marker between each section. This way, when it's time to separate, you simply knit to the markers and skip all that counting.

Whenever I knit from a pattern, I always look for things like this to make it go a little more smoothly. Little short cuts like that can really add up. Like when I add a new ball of yarn, I will knit with a double strand for about 6 stitches so I don't have to work so hard to weave-in those ends later. Do you have any tricks like that to help speed up the process?

The next section (Part 4) has the most stitches, so I encourage you to work ahead this week if you can.

Wherever you are in your project, I would love to see your progress pictures over in the Ravelry Forum. It's a great place to ask questions and get tips from other knitters, or just tell everyone how much fun you're having!

Check back next Friday, October, 17 for the fourth installment: The Body!


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