Planning the Body

planning the body

The sleeves are complete to the armholes. I have not decided how I will connect them to the body of the jumper yet. I have plenty of time to think about it. The body will take a while to reach the armholes.

I am pleased that I knit the sleeves first. It eliminates the need to calculate rows of knitting for the body. Instead, I just held the sleeve against my favourite jumper, and was able to see where to begin the pattern so that it will match the sleeve at the armhole. This way, if I decide to knit a raglan yoke, or a circular yoke, the patterns will match on all four sections of the jumper (front, back, tops of sleeves).

My tension is more normal than I expected. The jumper I knit most recently turned out very large, despite being knit as a replica of a favourite. Maybe I was suffering ‘needle fatigue’ – the KnitPro points were stabbing me, and I may have adjusted my knitting technique to accommodate. I am having a rest from those needles now, and I am finding the bamboo a very pleasant change.

Now some tips for casting on:

If the first stitch does not sit well when you knit across it, cast on an extra stitch to compensate, then pull out that first stitch. The other stitches will sit well without it. It is far easier than learning new ways of casting-on, or creating that first stitch.

When counting numbers of stitches cast on (I count in fives, or tens if k1p1 rib, if you’re interested), place a marker after every 50 sts. It makes it easier to confirm the number before you commence knitting. I used ear-ring markers, so they can be placed on the needle at any stage, and they also make good row markers.

A 60 cm circular needle (size 4 mm) holds about 200 sts of 8 ply yarn very comfortably. I had 204 sts when I counted, so I pulled out the six stitches I didn’t need. No unnecessary counting before that!

It is also worth noting that with a shorter circular needle, there is less need to push stitches around the cable. I discovered this can make a big difference in how comfortably I can knit. With a longer needle and more tugging at stitches, I began to experience RSI symptoms. This also applies if doing flat knitting on a circular needle (which is usually more comfortable than knitting with straight needles if the work is a bit weighty).

And the tip I ignore all too often: Calculations are best performed when there are no distractions.

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