theraineysisters knitting and so much more

May 11, 2008

From Susan — Knitting 101

Filed under: Back Story,Susan's Mitered Cardigan — lv2knit @ 11:43 am

Today we will have a knitting lesson for all of you new knitters just starting out: when the pattern instructs you to cast on “x” stitches, cast on that number of stitches.  Any more or any fewer will cause problems and issues later on.  The stitch count requires three things: 1) knowing how many to cast on, 2) casting on that exact number, and 3) being able to count.  All three must take place simultaneously for accurate stitch count to occur.

homer.jpg homer simpson image by allybarton

Okay — so I can’t count!  No wait, I think I did count correctly, but was aiming for the wrong number.  Oh, well.  Whatever the reason, I ended up with 72 sts across the top of my sleeve instead of 78. 

What a doh!  This is a bit of set back as I will need to rip out the entire mitered portion of the sleeve .  Bummer.  This is the kind of thing that often relegates WIPs to UFOs…

Response to Twinsetellen: Her suggestion: “If you are going to lengthen it anyway, could you just lengthen and keep widening to the right stitch count?”  This is a great idea, but I would still need to redo a sleeve — it would just be the first one I did instead of the second one.  Darn those pesky sleeves!  They kinda hafta match!


  1. What are 6 stitches among friends? Bummer, kiddo.

    Comment by Karen B. — May 11, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

  2. ouch. If you are going to lengthen it anyway, could you just lengthen and keep widening to the right stitch count?

    I hope it doesn’t go UFO on you – I’d love to see it finished.

    Comment by twinsetellen — May 11, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

  3. I’m an “old” knitter and I still do that mistake! Thank goodness for cardigans with steeks.

    Comment by Marina — May 11, 2008 @ 3:54 pm

  4. It’s times like this that it’s better to be a knitter than a skydiver. Mistakes are painful,but can be corrected. Please don’t give up. I’ve grown rather fond of this project!

    Comment by Becky — May 11, 2008 @ 7:46 pm

  5. Oooh, Becky’s got it right.
    Please accept my condolences. I was hoping LucyNeatby could tell me what to do about a heavily cabled sweater that turned out sized for a knuckle-dragger rather than my son. Her first suggestion was get a new son. Or put him “on the rack.” I am still debating what to do. I may have to unsew the sleeves and rip them back to there the shaping starts… Or maybe unravel both of them completely because I didn’t use elastic at the cuffs (or smaller needles) and the cuffs are annoyingly floppy and lose. Suggestions welcome.

    Comment by PainterWoman — May 11, 2008 @ 11:14 pm

  6. Don’cha hate when that happens? I know I can count. I know I can! But sometimes I think I’d do better with an abacus.

    Comment by Pam/2muchfun — May 11, 2008 @ 11:33 pm

  7. I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t count past three. It is a bit of a handicap. (And even 1 to 3 is not always a certainty.)

    Comment by surly — May 11, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

  8. Ooh, bummer. At least you found out before you assembled the sweater. I just finished a cable lace pullover in silk and cashmere. It fit perfectly before blocking, and now the body is too long. I am hoping that reblocking will fix it (it is drying now), but the body just just seems to have stretched. Any suggestions will be gratefully welcomed. Is the problem silk/cashmere vs. good old wool?

    Comment by Astrid — May 12, 2008 @ 8:58 am

  9. On my Bohus sweater (#2) that I’m knitting completely in the round, as your blog inspired me to do, I found when I separated off the stitches for the sleeves that the left sleeve had 12 more stitches than the right. But instead of ripping out the whole thing, I am just going to increase the stitches in the right sleeve! I know! Shocking! The good news is that the stitches are so tiny that a 12 st. difference shouldn’t be that noticable.

    Unless, that is, there is a better plan. I’ve never been able to do this, but it *is* possible to rip out a stitch or two VERTICALLY without ripping out the whole row, right? (The whole “row,” since it’s knit in the round, is something like 600 stitches. No thanks.) If I could go up a few rows in just a single stitch or two, increase a few extra stitches in those rows up above, then knit back down, and bring the left sleeve into conformity with the right in that way . . . that might not be too daunting. But even if I COULD figure out how to tink out just one stitch or two, moving vertically, while leaving the rest of the row intact, I wouldn’t have enough yarn to increase the total stitch count, would I? I can’t think how I would work in new strands of yarn . . .

    Comment by victoria — May 12, 2008 @ 2:17 pm

  10. Oh the pain of 6 dang stitches!!!

    Comment by Soo — May 13, 2008 @ 3:30 pm

  11. You’ve got a point about wanting the sleeves to match. Somehow I’d missed that this was the second sleeve. Shoot!

    Comment by twinsetellen — May 13, 2008 @ 9:03 pm

  12. This may sound crazy – but I don’t mind ripping back after a screw up – sometimes it is very therapeutic- although ripping back 20 rows on the Hemlock didn’t make me happy. And I love to secretly look at the faces of people watching me rip – it can be hilariously funny.

    Comment by Marie — May 13, 2008 @ 10:03 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress