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Cable Luxe Tunic Knit-Along: Take It Step by Step

December 4th, 2008

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Well, I’m thankful I had two weeks between my first and second post for the Cable Luxe Tunic KAL because life has been full of family, fun, and food this Thanksgiving! Not a lot of time for knitting, but I have actually found working on this sweater enjoyable, since it is done one step at a time. I have been thrilled to hear from all of you who have joined us! For those who feel a little pressed for time during the holidays or think that this tunic may be too complicated for you, here is my advice: Take this sweater step-by-step. This sweater doesn’t have different parts worked on at the same time, but instead each part of the sweater is worked in order.

In my last post, I had started the cable strip that goes around the upper part of the sweater. I’m making the smallest size for my daughter, and the instructions stated that I should end at 44″ and with row 2 of the 16 row cable repeat. I’m betting that not too many ended up exactly at their measurement – and I ended up at around 43″. If you’re not at the exact measurement when you hit that last row 2, just end at the row 2 that is the closest to your measurement, and then bind off on the next row. Why end on row 2? Well, this is a good break to sew together the beginning and end of the strip. I noticed that the cable strip curled quite a lot on the edges, so like I almost always do, I dampened the piece with a spray bottle of water and let it dry completely. It eased considerably and made it easier to sew and pick-up stitches–and I was able to shape it to the 44″ asked for in the pattern!

Sewing knitted pieces together is probably over half of what I have to teach to my students. Many of them are so surprised when I show them that the best way to sew most of their pieces together is to have the right sides facing them while sewing. So, to show how to sew the cabled strip together, I’m showing the progress of my sewing in this picture with contrast thread (my needle is inserted in the next stitch to be sewn – I took the yarn out of the needle so you can see the needle!)

Here it is, all sewn with the pink Wool-Ease. See how the cable continues through the seam since we ended with row 2?

Now, I have the completed the cable strip, which the rest of the sweater will grow from, starting with the back. In this sweater, as important as your needles, will be stitch markers to guide you. I love the split-ring type of markers that you can attach to either your knitting or on your needles. I need to mark my strip 7″ on each side of the cable strip seam. I will mark exactly where my back, front, and sleeves will be before I pick up for the back. This way I can make sure both the front and the back are the same width, and that both sleeves will measure the same as well. I have to pick up 82 stitches for the back, so between the back markers, I will evenly space 3 other (different color) markers to make 4 smaller spaces where I will pick up 20, 21, 20, and 21 stitches. This makes picking up the total 82 stitches so much easier, and I know they will be picked up evenly.

Some of you may have already noticed that the instructions now split-off for the different sizes. This looks complicated, but I have already circled all the instructions for the small size I’m doing, including the parts that give instructions for all the sizes. Now I will be working on that back this week, but the nice thing is that I am only working on the back and don’t need to think about what I will need to do for the front, sleeves, and yoke yet. That’s my type of holiday knitting with so many other things that need to be done on my to do list!

For those of you in the New York City area, stop by the Lion Brand Yarn Studio to see a sample of the Cable Luxe Tunic live!

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  • Kathleen

    Thanks for the beautiful tunic pattern. Once I’m done with the grankids snow sweaters for Christmas, I’m looking forward to this pattern.
    Can it be knitted in the round picking up stitches on the cable strip as directed only all the way around the strip. The same for the yoke. The sleeves could be knitted in the round. What do you and your readers think?
    Keep on knitting!

    Zontee says: Hi Kathleen, check out KALer Connie’s comments on a previous post for some tips on knitting the pattern in the round.

  • http://www.jonesclan.net Elaine

    Thanks for the very clear directions. Would it work to use a provisional cast on and then graft the edges together with a kitchener? Would you end on row two or purl back before you kitchener?

    Heather says: “Hi, Elaine: If you choose to do a provisional cast on and graft those stitches, you probably could end after the last repeat of the cable pattern (row 16).”

  • http://restlessgrace.blogspot.com Grace

    I am relieved to see that Heather has sewn up her back seam very much like I did and am very impressed with the way the seam is not very noticeable. I agree, this sweater might look more intimidating than it really is and it’s helpful to know that it’s only the sum of it’s parts.

  • Beth

    I am so torn right now. I am more than half way done with the yoke. I thought it looked a little off, but I continued. The inside cable is not as distinctive as the image on the pattern. I thought it was because it was the image provided was doctored. After seeing the image posted by Heather I realized I probably did something wrong. I went back over my pattern and I was doing something wrong. On line 7 instead of purling on the 3/2LC I was knitting the 2 stitches. I can’t decide do I finish the yoke or do I unwind it and start over??? I can’t decide!!!

    Heather says: “Hi, Beth: I have made that same mistake myself! The purl stitches allow the cable to “pop” out of the fabric. The cable pattern in the yoke is actually the most difficult of the sweater, so after the yoke, you will find the cables much easier to work.

  • Nicole

    Hi Beth,

    I did the same thing on a previous sweater, I know it’s a nightmare, but I unwound it and started over again, in the end, I was really happy I did because the sweater looked a lot better…good luck!

  • Tanya

    Thanks for the photos and really clear explanations – this is so helpful for those of us who’ve not done garments before! Keep up the great work!

  • Nicole

    Thank you for such clear instructions for the joining, it looks great. I’m now working on the back…. after working the increases, how do you work these new stitches into the pattern? I’ve never done this before and any help or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Heather says: “Hi, Nicole: As I increased on each side of the back, I worked one more slipped-stitch 2 stitches away from the cables on each side, then the rest I did in reverse stockinette stitch (Purl on RS, Knit on WS) This will also give you the correct number of spaces to do your increases within the back after the “shape waist” section. Next week I will show the increases and pictures in my post.”

  • Teresa

    Wait, how did you manage to make the sewn part look just like knit and purled stitches? That’s awesome! More detailed instructions please! And will there be more detail on picking up stitches? I’ve never done that before either.

    Heather says: “Glad you liked the joining! You can get more detailed instructions on sewing together your knitting on the Lion Brand website. Click on “Learning Center” and you will be able to find a link to sewing your knitting. There is a picture that says “Joining Shoulders” and that is basically how I sewed the strip together. The Learning Center also covers picking up stitches and many, many more techniques!”

  • Beth

    HELP!!!HELP!!!HELP!!!
    I realized I messed up the yoke really bad so I did start over. My row 2 reads k1,p2,k3,p4,k6,p4,k3,p2,k1 what is row 2 actually suppose to be.

  • Nicole

    Hi Beth,

    Basically, row 2 should be the opposite of what you did on row 1, what I mean is to get row 2 you should read row 1 from the end and change the purls to knits and knits to purls. Does this make sense? Technically speaking, row 2 should read like this:

    k3,p3,k4,p6,k4,p3,k3

    I really hope this helps you. Good Luck!

  • Pat

    Hi Beth,

    What Nicole (#10) said, plus look at each stitch as you come to it. After the K1, you knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches. Knit stitches look like flat “V”s and purl stitches look like bumps.

    Hope this helps.

  • Nicole

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks for the help on working in the increases (#7). Just wondering….I’m working Row 3 of the back, I’ve done my increase in the first stitch, I’ve purled the next 2 stitches, I’ve worked row 3 of the 3/3 LC Cable, what should be my next move and where should I work the extra slipped stitch? Should I only work the extra slipped stitches on the 2 outside cables? (the ones on either ends of the back)

  • Beth

    Nicole
    Thank you so much. The pattern does not read that way, I think I maybe missing a correction or something. the pattern I downloaded reads, “Row 2 and all WS rows: K1, k the knit sts and p the purl sts to last st, k1.”
    You are saying k the purl and p the knit. Are there anymore corrections I should know about??

  • Nicole

    Hi Beth,

    The pattern is correct, if you do row 2 like I mentioned above (K3, p3,k4,p6,k4,p3,k3)it’s exactly the same thing as the pattern says, you’re essentially knitting all the knit sts. and purling all the purl sts. I guess another way you can look at it (I really hope I’m not confusing you even more…)When you ended row 1, you’re last 3 stitches should have been p3, so now when you turn you’re work and begin row 2 you will knit these stitches (it’s opposite of what you did on row 1)…so according to the instructions you downloaded, just K1 then K2 more and you will have knit these 3 stitches. Pat (#11) made a great suggestion for you, after you’ve finished row 1, turn you’re work and look at it closely, wherever you see a stitch with a bump you’ll purl it, wherever you see a stitch that looks like a flat “V” just knit it. Once you get used to how the stitches look, you wont even need the pattern. Another clarification on my comment above: when I said K the purl and P the knit I mean, that if you knit a stitch on row 1, this stich will be purled on row 2 and if you purled a stitch on row 1, this stitch will be knit on row 2.

  • Connie

    And then what about the slipped stitches in the middle of the purled bit (purled on the front, knit on the back.)between the cables. On the odd rows when the front is facing you these are slipped, on the even rows when the back is facing you they will be purled. If you are working in the round- the front is always facing so they would be knit on the even rows. If you go back to the pictures of finished sweaters you will see the one knit stitch clearly between the cables.

  • Nicole

    Hi Heather,

    Me again, I’ve been going over your instructions and I think I’ve figured it out. I take it that I should slip 1 stitch 2 stitches before the first cable and 2 stitches after the last cable on each of the ends, is that right? I gather that all the rest of the cables remain the same. Am I reading this right?

    Heather says: “Hi, Nicole – You have that right, then on the increase rows (on row 3 of the Center Cable pattern) you will increase one stitch in each of those reverse stockinette stitch parts between the slip st and the cables, and in the 2 areas between the outside cables and the outside slip stitches. Hope this helps you – I will be showing this in my next post.

  • Cheryl in NY

    Hi, I finally got my swatches figured out (with some help from the great folks at the Lion Studio Store in Manhattan!) and started the yoke last night. I am attempting to adjust the sweater (via gauge/needle sizes) to fit a 34″ bust, so should I still make the yoke 44″ or should I make it a couple of inches shorter?

    Thanks so much!

    Heather says: “Hi, Cheryl – Glad you’re getting started! If you are making a sweater to fit a 34″ bust, then just make the small size. The finished 36″ will give you just enough ease.”

  • Christine W

    Hi Everyone-

    All the posts have been so helpful. I am taking notes on anything that I might have problems with so I’ll have the explainations close at hand.

    I finally got my yarn purchased. I decided on Vanna’s choice in Silver Blue. I got my guage swatch all knitted up and will also need to use size 9 needles.

    Now I am carefully checking the instructions trying to make sure I understand what I am supposed to do. I’ve never made cables in a real project before. But I made some from scrap yarn a few years ago to see if I could do it. It is really easier than you might think and you can see right away that something really cool is happening.

    Thanks for all the tips!
    Good knitting!

  • Jennifer in OH

    Hi – I have gotten to row 8 on the back and have increased enough for another 3/3 LC. Should I start doing that one in pattern with the rest? Also, the slipped stitch should look like a long knit stitch surrounded by purl stitches, right? This was not too clear in the directions but looks that way in the photo. I think that’s all the questions I have right now. BTW, I am working mine in Vanna’s Choice Kelly Green and have been happy so far!!!

  • Connie

    Hi Jennifer, yes to both- sounds like you have it figured out just fine.

  • Jennifer in OH

    Thanks Connie – I can now continue…although I started a Christmas stocking while I waited for the next post. I should finish tonight!!

  • Bev

    After your first post, “Let’s Get Started”, Miryam discussed the size of the sleeve. I have the same concern. When I mark off for the front, back and sleeves, should I make the sleeve sections larger than in the pattern, or keep them the same size and pick up more stitches and increase sooner when I start the sleeves? I am also using Vanna’s Choice in silver blue, so far it’s beautiful!

    Heather says: “Hi, Bev: I would mark off the sleeves as to the measurements called for in the pattern. I think one of the reasons that the sleeves have been narrow for some knitters who have made this, is due to the way the increased and cast-on stitches at the underarms have been sewn together in the finishing. I will discuss this in my next post, but those increase and cast-on stitches of the back should be sewn to the adjacent increase and cast on stitches of the sleeve. I’ve seen some pictures where this wasn’t done, which results is a very narrow sleeve. Hope this helps you!

  • Bev

    Thanks Heather. I made that same mistake with a sweater I knitted while in college. It only took me about 15 years to realize where I made the mistake. Better late than never, I guess!

  • Connie

    just a heads up re; instructions at row “Shape waist: Inc. row.” The first increase is done with the 4/4 cable on the 3rd row and the 3/3 is on the seventh row.(the pattern says you will be on a 3 row for both) When you get to the second increase you will be on a three row for both. The third increase will be like the first, you will be at a 3 row for the 4/4 cable and a 7 row for the 3/3 cable. Your forth increase will again be a three row for both.

  • Pat

    I just read Connie’s post (#25) and noted she had a “fourth increase”. The pattern reads to increase 2 more times to total 3 increase rows not 4, but she is right about how the cable pattern rows line up.

  • Karen

    Thank you! I voted for this sweater and am so happy to see it won. Currently, I’m involved with Christmas sewing, but intend to start during our Christmas break from work. I have found it easier to copy and paste the instructions into a word document, then I highlight all the instructions for the size I am currently making. If I choose to make a second, I simply undo the highlighting for the first item, and highlight the size for the second. That way I’m not looking at two or three different colored circles wondering which one I’m currently working on – especially if I’ve put it down for a week or two! I always have the pattern on file, and the changes are easy. I only need to re-print it!

    Can’t wait to get started. Just need to decide if it is for me or one of my grandchildren, and then select the color. Happy knitting!

  • Connie

    sorry about that, -the forth one isnt an increase-but the pattern rows match up this way-I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where I had gone wrong, just wanted to save everyone else the worry.

  • Ginny

    Thanks for the corrections on the increase row. It was driving me nuts. I have torn out the back twice and hope these corrections will help to avoid another tear out. I’m having fun , but this is such a detailed pattern and I don’t fudge the details.

  • Michele

    I am on row 9 of the back. I cast on 4 additional stitches (per the instructions), but do not know whether they should be worked in knit or purl. Please help!

    Heather says: “Hi, Michele: Work those cast on stitches in reverse stockinette stitch (purl on RS, knit on WS). I also worked another slip stitch 3 stitches away from the outside cables (this gives another 2-stitch purl space). You will increase in these purl spaces between the slipped stitches and the cables. Hope this helps!”

  • Nicole

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks for all the help and tips, by the way thanks also to Connie for confirming that we should start on Row 7 not row 3 for the beginning of the waist shaping, it was driving me crazy….Just wondering: should I work in another 3/3LC Cable into the side areas which have been increased on each end of the back?

    Heather says: “Hi, Nicole: If you have enough stitches, you could place another cable, but I found for the small size, I just worked another slipped-stitch outside the end cables (with 2 purl sts between) and kept the rest of the increases in reverse stockinette (purl on WS, knit on RS)”

    Thanks

  • Renee

    Hi Heather, I’m midway through the cable strip and I’ve noticed my edges are curling too. When you say that you sprayed it and let it dry to flatten it out, did you also pin it down to help it lay flat while it dried? Thanks for all the tips!

    Heather says: “Hi, Renee: I just spritzed mine with a water bottle and let it dry – the edges eased up enough for me to pick up stitches much easier.”

  • Donna Williamson

    Hi Heather,
    So happy that this tunic was chosen. I am very attracted to the design but was a little intimidated at the same time.
    When I get to the last cable in the pattern of the yoke, some of my stitches are loose and puff out. It is only the last k stitch before the last 3 purls that seem to do that. I tried knitting into the back of the stitch to tighten it but it still poofs out. The design looks beautiful but not as perfect as yours. Any suggestions?

    Heather says: “Hi, Donna: Sometimes stitches do become unveven in a cable pattern, but I have found that either they become more even when they are either blocked or washed. Sometimes if one stitch appears to be uneven, I gently pull at the stitches on each side of the uneven stitch to make it more uniform. Hope this helps you!”
    Donna

  • Connie

    Hi Donna, just read your post and had to recheck out my yolk to see if perhaps mine puffed too! The pattern has purl stitches beside the knit stitches on purpose to give stitch definition. Is this perhaps what you are noticing? Mine right now may not be a good comparison because I sprayed it completely, and pinned it and let it dry before going on, so it is already somewhat blocked. Heather also sprayed hers, but she didnt pin it,so hers may look less puffy because of that. Can you spritz your swatch and let it dry overnight to see if that makes a difference?

  • Janie

    Beth (#4) – It took me 5 tries to get the yoke perfect. And I am so glad that I kept at it. I think you will be too and the practice on the cables don’t hurt! Just think of it as practice, not a mistake.

  • lynn893

    One quick question before I start. I have a 41″ bust. Should I do the 40″ or the 44″? I don’t want it to tight, but I don’t want to be swimming in it either. Thanks! :)

    Heather says: “Hi, Lynn: I think the 44″ would be best – this garment does flare, but I think it might pull at the bust if you did the 40″. Good luck with your tunic!”

  • Joy

    I am torn in sizing. This is a gift and I don’t know between making a medium or a small. The medium sizing in most stores is a large and the small is a medium. So what I’m asking is does this pattern run big. I know the bra size of the person, should I go with that – because if so then I should make a small instead of a medium. Please help.

    Heather says: “Hi, Joy – This pattern does have a flare, but I would make the finished size that is just larger than the bust. The sweater has a pretty drape, and having it tight at the bust would pull at the design. Hope this helps you.”

  • Connie

    Hi Joy, I dont think you can use the bra size, the bust size is measured around the widest part of the chest, whereas the bra size is usully the band- so measured below the breasts. See Interweave Knits website; interweave.com there is a good explanation of the way to measure. Maybe Lion Brand has something similar, so you might want to check there too. Try looking under measuring.

  • Ann B

    I’m still waiting for my yarn to be delivered… but in the meantime, I’ve been knitting lots of Christmas gifts. I suspect I won’t get this finished along with everyone else, but I definitely appreciate the comments everyone has made. The photos are fabulous, too!

  • Peggy

    Thank you Connie for the post(#25). I had just gotten to that row and was sure that I’d done something wrong…then counted my rows and came up with the same conclusion…that the directions were incorrect. I did not rip out my work but decided to check this blog to see if anyone else had noticed the same thing. Thank you for verifying my decision to change the directions. Boy I hate when the directions aren’t right especially on such a complicated pattern.

  • Joan

    What are you doing about the cables? The picture shows them being mirrored images, while the instructions have them facing the same way.

    Heather says: “Hi, Joan – In a previous post, another knitter had seen this as well. This has been shown to our design department and the pattern has been corrected. I myself, am doing the sweater with the cables all 3/3 LC cables, but if you like, you would do half the cable 3/3 LC and the other side 3/3 RC. Thanks for your question and you have a good eye!”

  • Traci

    Mayday! Mayday! My size is medium,and I’m on the increase row on the back. I’m supposed to have 118 sts. but I have 114. The instructions say we’re on row 3 of each cable, but actually it’s row 7 for the 3/3 and row 3 for the 4/4. I hate to repeat the instruc. here but I can’t explain my problem otherwise. The pattern says P2,3/3 cable,p2,sl 1,inc 1 st in next st,p1. Then work the next 3 3/3 cables and inc thus:inc 1 st in next st,p1,sl 1,inc 1st in next st,p1. The 4/4 cable is next and the incs are done in the same manner. I count 9 incs thus far. The remaining 3 cables are to be done thus:inc 1 st in next st,p1,sl 1,p2. The last 3/3 cable has no inc at all. I count 10 increases in all. Is it me? Am I reading the pattern incorrectly? Is it the pattern? Help !

    Heather says: “Hi, Traci: You are right about that first increase row is row 7 of the 3/3 cable (and it is row 3 of the Center cable). A couple of the other knitters in our group found this before I even got to that part! I will note this in my next post and the pattern will be corrected as well. As for the increase row you are having problems with, there are 14 increases in that row. There is 1 increase before the first set of instructions in parentheses (which has 6 increases) then the center cable, then the second set of parentheses (which has 6 increases) and one more increase after that which total 14 increases. Hope this helps you with this row.”

  • Joy

    Thank you Heather and Connie for your help. I can now move on to finish my last few inches of the cabling.

  • Traci

    Thanks Heather. You confirmed what I eventually figured out. Hell must be frozen over tonight.

  • http://craftygal1965.blogspot.com Cora Shaw

    I have noticed that the pattern has many correction (applied December 07, 2008), for those of us that got the pattern free for the KAL, is there a way for us to access the corrected pattern?

    Cora

    Heather says: “Hi, Cora: You can print out the corrections at this link:

    http://www.lionbrand.com/cgi-bin/lionbrand/searchPatternCorrections.cgi?searchText=cable+luxe&action.x=26&action.y=0

  • Cheryl in NY

    Help!

    I’m starting the back, and I’m confused about row 1. (not a good sign of things to come!) The first Inc 1, is that knit front and back? Purl front and back? Some other increase? Then for row 2, are the first 3 stitches K3 or K1 p2?

    Do you slip the sl st knitwise or purlwise?

    BTW, the yoke came out great!

    Heather says: “Hi, Cheryl: I worked my increases on each side by knitting into the front and back of the edge stitches. Then I worked the stitches at reverse stockinette stitch (purl on RS, knit on WS). I also worked one more slipped st pattern within that area. Look at the picture on todays post and you will see where I did it. Also, I slipped the stitches purlwise, but if you want a twist in the st, you could slip it knitwise. Just stay consistent and remember to purl those slipped stitches on the WS.”

  • http://www.xanga.com/wondering04 Heather

    I am working the back now – and noticed that the cables the 3/3LC on the right side of the center cable you do 3/3LC but on the left side of the cable it should be 3/3rc that way it matches the picture.
    Heather

    Heather says: “Hi, Heather – A few knitters have already noticed this difference in the pattern and the picture. The pattern has been corrected to change this, but I am just working the outside cables as 3/3 LC. If you want that “mirror” image, just work the LC cables on one side and the RC cables on the opposite side.

  • Connie

    Cheryl- what size are you making? Maybe I can help you figure it out.

  • Cheryl in NY

    thanks, Connie.
    I’m making the small size, and I think I got that part figured out! I just finished the rows where you cast on 4 st at the beginning of two rows, and now I don’t know if those stitches are supposed to be in the cable pattern or not. If they are supposed to, it doesn’t make sense to me, because there would only be 5 stitches for a cable where all the others have 6, so how do you do the 3/3LC??

    Does anyone understand what I am talking about?

  • Connie

    Yes, I think I know what you are talking about. Heather is also making the small, and she just kept those stitches in reverse stokingette stitch. Check back to her responses earlier in this blog.

    Heather says: “Hi, Connie – Thanks for explaining this – there will be a picture of this in my post today and hopefully this picture will be worth many words!”

  • Connie

    I forgot to say that she also included another slipped stitch where it wold match the pattern as it is between the other cables, 2 away from the cable.