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Cable Luxe Tunic Knit-Along: Solving Problems & Making Progress Together

December 11th, 2008

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This last week I have learned the true definition of “knit-along.” When I was asked to host this KAL, I thought I would only be showing my progress on making the Cable Luxe Tunic and also give some advice along the way. What I have found, to my surprise, is how we really are doing this together, and those of you working on this project are not only asking some great questions, but answering others’ questions, giving great advice, and even finding a couple of “hiccups” in the pattern.

Arm

The first part of this back has raised more than a few questions, so I will explain why certain parts of the back are worked the way they are – and give a few hints on increasing. After I picked up the stitches for the back, the instructions ask for increases at both sides of back. The increases are done one stitch at a time on each side for a few rows, and then the pattern calls for casting on a number of stitches all at the same time.

Here is a picture of the left side of my back (as I am looking at it) and you can see the stitches that have increased on the edge. This increased edge will later be sewn to the same increased edge of the adjacent sleeve to create a nice seam under the arm. Although this looks a little unusual, it will give the tunic great shape under that arm!

Now, many of you have asked about that slipped stitch that is between the cables. It is simply made by slipping the stitch on the right side of your work and purling it on the wrong side. When I increased for the underarm, I placed one more slipped stitch 2 stitches away from the edge cables. It is in these areas where there are 2 purl stitches (between the slipped stitch and the cable) where I will work the increases to make the tunic start to flare.

Here is where that “hiccup” is in the pattern. After the “Shape the Waist” section of the pattern, the instructions tell you to work your increases on row 3 of the Center Cable Pattern and on row 3 of the 3/3 cable. The increases should be worked on row 3 of the second repeat of the Center Cable pattern, but that makes that row actually row 7 of the 3/3 cable. I’m sure many of you just kept working your cable patterns repeats as written, but the pattern has been corrected.

Some of you have asked where to work your increase in the purl sections between the slipped stiches and the cable patterns. I did a “make 1″ purlwise (raised-bar increase) on each side of the cable patterns. This picture shows how invisible this increase can be — the bottom part of the picture has 2 purl stitches between the cables and the slipped stitches, and the top has 3. If you have never done the “make 1″ increase, the Lion Brand Learning Center has a great tutorial to show you. Click here for instructions.

Increasing

I will increase like this for the next 2 times I am on row 3 of my center cable pattern. Then I will increase no more on the back and can just work up straight. It’s all downhill after this point, because the front is the same as the back!

In New York City for the holidays? Stop by the Lion Brand Yarn Studio to see our Cable Luxe Tunic on display!

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  • Christine W

    Thanks for all the corrections and knitting tips. I downloaded and printed the pattern corrections as well.

    I’m just finishing the second repeat of the cable pattern (but I started the yoke on my lunch hour!) So, now that I have pretty much finished my Christmas knitting (I still need to make a dishcloth), it shouldn’t take me long to catch up.

  • Nicole

    Hi Heather,

    I’ve already completed the increasing on the back so that I have the proper 140 stitches (I’m doing the small size) and will now just work away until it measures 17″. I noticed on the LB website that there are corrections on the 4/4 Center Cable, too late for me, I did the cable just as the pattern stated originally, and even though it isn’t exactly like the picture it still looks very pretty, so I’ll leave it like that even for the front so that they’re the same. Like you, I also did all of the outside cables in 3/3 LC and think it looks just fine. I did all of my increases by knitting into the front and back of the stitches, but on the front of the sweater I’ll try your suggested method of “make 1″ purlwise, I’ve never done this before. So far (after a few snags…), the sweater looks just great and I’ve also learnt a great deal from everyone’s input.

  • Connie

    I was just looking over the corrections, and also noticed the correction to the centre 4/4 cable- mine looks just like the picture upside down! So that one was a surprise. It might be different than the designer intended, but this version looks great! Im also excited at the possibility of creating the corrected version at another time.

  • http://restlessgrace.blogspot.com Grace

    I’m falling a little behind – I still haven’t picked up for the back yet, but I was interested to read your tips first and to look at the sample in the Lion Brand store…. which looks great and is a wonderful source of knitting inspiration. I’ll be picking up and trying to cathc up this week.

  • Renee

    I appreciate all the tips and corrections, but I do think it would be a gesture of good will if the folks at Lion Brand would make the entire pattern, with corrections, available for download for a short time. It’s rather inconvenient to have to either retype the whole thing or jump back and forth from one set of directions to the other. Just a thought.

  • Joan Miles

    I just received my yarn order (Vanna’s Choice), so am just getting started. My first guage swatch measured 4.75″ so started another with smaller needles. This one is 4.25, but the row measurement is right on. Could someone advise me on how to adjust for this? Thanks. Joan Miles

  • Renee

    Hi Joan, I had similar results with my gauging. I decided to go with the needles that gave me the correct stitch gauge, because you can always keep knitting to the lenght you need in rows.

  • Miriam

    Heather–I’m hoping you can clarify a few things for me: In your post today, next to the photo, you say:”Here is a picture of the left side of my back (as I am looking at it) and you can see the stitches that have increased on the edge.” I’m having trouble envisioning where you are standing. It LOOKS to me like the bottom of the photo is the 26 stitch cabled yoke. So is the photo upside down to the way the sweater will be worn?

    I’m also not seeing the increases. Any chance of reposting this photo with some arrows, maybe?

    Heather says: “Hi, Miriam: The bottom of the picture is the cabled strip that goes around the yoke. The part that you see increasing is the beginning of the back. I said the left side as it appears, because in reality this will be under the right arm when the sweater is finished. As for the increase picture, if you look at the purl sections it is a little narrower on the bottom than the top – each by one stitch. The raised-bar increase is very invisible and does hide right into the side of each of the cables. As the back grows, the purl spaces just widen and you shouldn’t see any increases. Hope this helps!”

  • http://www.besshudson.com Bess

    ACK! Yours looks completely different than mine. I’m hoping that’s just because of the size difference. I’m making mine for a friend who is two sizes larger than myself. I have a cable and a sl stitch at the increase instead of all those p stitches. I’m also doing it in red sprinkles, so it’s BRIGHT!

    But I’ve finished the yoke cable, having sewed it together twice now to do away with the visible seam and have done one round of the 14 increases it takes for the size large on the back. It’s coming along nicely. When I get it done, I hope to be doing one for myself as well in Wheat…not so bright.

  • Ann B

    Bess – something to keep in mind: so what if it looks different from Heather’s? That makes it a unique gift!! How very nice of you to make this time investment for a friend.

    I resolved a few years ago not to stress over variations between my work and a pattern, because it makes it uniquely mine! The only time I will rip out stitches or fix my work is when it distorts the product in a way that makes it nonfunctional – like a sleeve being to narrow to wear!

    All that being said, I’m taking copious notes on all these things so when I start my project this weekend I can learn from everyone!!

  • Connie

    Bess; I am making the large size as well, and I also added another cable. (Had I not done so, I would eventually had 26 stitches in reverse stockinette st at the underarm together.- the combined total of front and back) The reverse stockinette edge works OK for the small size- not so much for the large. When I slipped my stitch, I did it purl wise which leaves a yarn bar across the front of the stitch, so this looks different than Heathers. I like the way mine looks, It doesnt look bad or wrong.

  • Linda

    Thanks for all the tips. Regarding that silly slipped stitch, I’ve been rolling along without really knowing how it should look. Now that I see that beautiful elongated stockinette between the cables, I will go back and redo my work. As a note to others who might be struggling with that little stitch, I finally discovered that when you slip the stitch, it’s important to throw your yarn to the back (as if to knit the stitch), slip the stitch, and then continue purling. I’ve knit for years and have never done that stitch. This pattern reminds me of trying to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time!

  • Connie

    Im curious to know how the designer intended this stitch to look.

  • Nicole

    I had a heck of a time with the slipped stitch as well and finally did what Linda did, just made sure that I slipped it as if to knit and that will give you a really nice raised “chain” effect on a purled background between the cables, it looks really good.

  • Miriam

    I noticed on flickr, the someone named olcsylvia has done something that I’ve been thinking about–she seems to have used the yoke cable as the center cable, and also seems to be knitting the F and B on circular needles. Her comment is in a language I don’t read, “Mitte November gestartet und so sieht der Pullover nach zwei Wochenenden aus.” I would love some help to do what she’s done. Any charts to share? I had never used a chart before and found wzrdreams’s chart for the yoke on flickr really helpful.

  • Connie

    For binding off at the hem edge is it better to be close to a cable row, or is it better to be as far away as possible-ie just before a cable row?

  • Betsy

    This is more of a computor problem than a knitting problem but how do you get to the flickr group? I can get to flickr but I can’t find all the KAL posts.

    Zontee says: Hi Betsy, click here for our Flickr group. You can bookmark it for your own reference. To see all KAL posts here on the blog, click “Knit-Along” under the Categories heading in the right-hand column.

  • Beth K

    I would like to agree with Renee (#5). I actually purchased this pattern, so I’d like to have one that includes the corrections. I’m making the small for my daughter right now, and I’m planning to make a medium for me when I finish, so a corrected pattern would be much appreciated!

    Zontee says: Hi Beth, Connie’s correct in her response to you. If you purchased the pattern, you can log into your account on LionBrand.com and click on the orange “My LBY” button that controls all of your account information. Click on the tab for “My Downloads” or the link to “My Downloaded Patterns” to re-download any of your purchased patterns. Please see Heather’s latest post as she is making the pattern with cables as originally written, since some of the corrections are more stylistic elements to make the pattern match the photo and not technical problems.

  • Jennifer in OH

    I started out working the large, but the yoke was SO BIG that I ripped it out and am now doing the medium (and was able to make the join look seamless after seeing the post! :)). Like those of you doing the large, the medium also has enough increases under the arm to do another cable. Also, the slipped stitch is great for camoflauging the increases so your eye focuses on the slipped stitch rather than the increase bumps. I’m so impressed how many of us are actually doing this!!! Keep knitting!!!

  • Connie

    Betsy, In the first blog- An Introduction, On November 24th or 25th, Heather highlighed the Cable luxe tunics in her response. If you click on the orange printing it will take you to the tunics on flickr.

  • Connie

    Beth, If you purchased the pattern, you will be able to access the corrected pattern. See the end of the comments on the second blog- Taking it step by step. I think it has a link or an explanation of how to get your fixed copy.

  • Traci

    Uh oh! Heather,you’ve been saying all along that you worked an extra slip st. beyond the outside cables,but I couldn’t fathom what you meant.Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words. Now I see. In your last blog you said that was done in order to make incs in those areas so that the tunic will flare. But I’m confused. I’m working the medium size and did my first inc on row 3 of the cntr cable and I have the right amount of sts-140. Will the tunic flare properly w/o the additional slip sts worked beyond or outside the last cables on each side? The medium size has 4 cables on each side of the center cable. After doing the increases and cast on sts in the shape armhole area, I thought I had just enough sts for an additional cable(my fourth on each side) and a p2. Should I have cast on or increased more sts to have a 3/3 cable,p2 plus a slip st?

  • Connie

    Traci, I think you are just fine, you have done the increases as the designer wrote them in the pattern. Because each size has a different # of stitches, the edge for each will be a bit different. The slip stitch really has nothing to do with the flare of the garment- it is created by the increases. So if your edges look consistant with the pattern you are fine. I wouldn’t increase any more that what and where the pattern tells you.

  • Renee

    Just one more quick note on the slipped stitch. Make sure you are purling that stitch on the even numbered rows.

  • Traci

    Thanks Heather,you’re absolutely right the slip sts have nothing to do with the flare of the tunic. The purl sts. on either side of the slip sts,when increased,are what causes the flare.But I think my problem is,when looking at the pict ure of the tunic I see just 3 cables on either side of the cntr. cable. Is the tunic pictured the small size? For the medium size where will the fourth cables be,under the arms? I guess that’s why I think I should have an extra slip st. with 2 purl sts after my fourth cables and that incs should also take place there. When I look at a picture of the tunic,I swear I see purl sts. in the underarm area down to the bottom.

  • Connie

    Traci, the picture of the sweater that Heather is making is the small size. If you look at the picture in the blog- the one that shows the increases at the side, this will seam with the sleeve, and the 4 stitch cast on part will be under the arm. If you look in the mirror at whatever garment you are wearing- The yolk we made first will go around you just above the breasts. The front or back you are making now (they are both the same) starts at the sleeve edge and would go to the other sleeve edge. So the first increases you made follow along the sleeve seam to the underarm. So wherever the last cable falls on that line is where it will end up on your sweater. Does this make it easier?

  • Connie

    Traci, I have read over all your comments. If you have 2 purl stitches past your cable -which is what I thought you were saying -you will have 4 purl stitches at the underarm. 2 from the back and 2 from the front. If you are ending with a cable with no purl stitches after it I would agree that you do need some -it would be really difficult to sew together otherwise.

  • Traci

    Thank you Connie and Heather. This is my first barbeque! My first top with sleeves and cables no less. Can’t you tell? As it turns out,I do have 2 purl sts past my last two outer cables-which may fall under my arms. Thanks ladies.

  • Connie

    Thats what I think is so wonderful about this KAL, that we can ask each other things and help each other.

  • Cheryl in NY

    Well, now I see what the reverse stockinette stitch increases at the edges of the back should look like. Unfortunately, I followed the pattern and started the back (after the additional cast on) with K5, so instead of a nice purl stitch, I have a chunk of k stitches hanging out. I have ripped this sweater apart so many times already, and I can’t stand to do it again… is this going to make the seam along the side of the sweater look horrible? (BTW, I’m doing the maxi dress version.)

    guess I should have waited for visual clarification, but I was so excited!

  • Connie

    Cheryl, Im trying to visualise what you are saying, and Im not sure I understand. Did you just not put the elongated stitch into the new stitches at the underarm? If so, I think some of the sizes dont have enough stitches after the cable to include this stitch. Which to me says it really isnt a vital design element- considering where it is located. I was a bit worried about mine, because it has 2 in between purl stitches. (I did the body of the sweater in the round) This is repeated in the sleeve for my size, so I felt way better finding that out.

  • Diana

    I’m creating this “tunic” for my daughter (she’s in NH, I’m in FL) right now. I was trying to figure out how to get from the waist-sized tunic to the dress that it shows next to it. To that end, I “skipped” the front and put the back on stitch holders, while I complete the sleeves (one is complete, other is half done) and completed the neck (done). Then I’ll complete the front to the length of the back (to the waist, then put all the stitches on a round hook and do all the stitches together, including adding a cable along the side edges similar to the front and back braids, including keeping the increases going so that the dress flairs slightly. The only thing I haven’t yet figured out is how to sew the underarm to the place where I put them all onto the round needle, since it uses up one column of stitches on each side on both front and back…minor technicality, I’ll figure it out if no one else has any suggestions. It would have been easier if they had published the directions for the dress as well.

  • Connie

    I think the dress is just the tunic done longer. I guess you can buy the pattern for it separately.

  • Cheryl in NY

    Connie and Heather,

    I’m making the small size. Where you do the armhole shaping, the directions say “cast on 4 sts at beg of next row, working new sts in pattern as est until Row 2 of second rep of Center Cable has been worked.”

    OK, so I tried to guess what the “established pattern” was for these extra 4 stitches. From Heather’s photo, it should have been purl 4, to go with the reverse stockinette parts that have the nice slipped stitch in them.

    However, when you get to the Increase row, the pattern says “K5, p2, sli 1, inc 1 st in next st, p1, (work row 3 of 3/3 LC Cable, etc….)”

    That K5 at the beginning of that line led me to believe that the first 5 sts should have been KNIT, not PURL. (Heather’s photo shows purl.) So, I ripped out and redid those rows from the armhole increase to the shape waist row so that they all started with K5.

    I am making the dress version, and the directions for this part are the same. I have knit about 14 inches so far, and really don’t want to take the whole thing apart yet again, but I’m afraid it’s going to look bad at the side seams of the dress. There will be a huge band (10 sts when you sew the front to the back) of Knit going down each side, where perhaps a cable would look nice, but a cable didn’t fit originally…

    I just don’t know what to do. Any suggestions? Anyone having a similar problem?

  • Connie

    The pattern does say to knit 5 there, which is different than the large that I am making. With the large, there is the origional 5 plus the increases which end up being a new extre cable plus enough purl stitches to have 2 plus a slipped plus another 2 purl. Dianna has the same edge on hers. see comment just above. Heather did hers in reverse stockinette- see blog above. Do you like the way yours looks? That s the most important- because you are doing it as the pattern says.

  • Connie

    Sorry, Diannas post was about something else. Your knit stitches seem to follow the established pattern as that is where another cable would go if you had enough for one. One advantage of having knit stitches there is they will be a dream to sew later, a lovely mattress stitch will look beautiful, you wont even see it.

  • Connie

    The pattern as it is written follows the established pattern. Which is 6K stitches followed by 2 purl 1 slip, 2 purl, 6 K. You only have 5 left for the last one but it is in the established pattern.

  • Christine W

    Good Morning!

    First a question-If I decided I need a size 9 needle when I checked the gauge, this does mean I should increase the size of the circular needle by the same amount (so an 8)? I think so, but wanted to make sure.

    Thanks!

  • Christine W

    In response to all the rip outs and do-overs,

    I agree that:
    -they can be good practice.
    -if a problem doesn’t look bad, it isn’t necessarily wrong, just different.

    I had to rip back once so far (I pulled part of a cable to the front that should have been on the back and I don’t think there is any other way to fix that.) I ended up having to rip back way farther because I had trouble getting everything picked back up properly.

    A suggestion for “small” errors:

    If I have a stitch (non-cable) that should have been knit and I purled it. I slip that stitch off the needle and pull only that one stitch out (as far down as needed in the project to correct). Then I take a crochet hook of a size appropriate for the pattern and rework those stitches in the proper orientation. I always rework these stitches from the knit side of the project. And you can’t see that a correction has been made.

    This works for knit or purl stitches that are reversed and for correcting “snags’ created by splitting the yarn with the needles. (I hate those.)

    This technique saves me lots of ripping out. I hope it is helpful for someone else.

  • Connie

    If you started the back and front with a 9, and are now continuing in the round, it would follow that you should work on a 9 circular. If you are doing the area above the yolk, it is suggested you need a smaller needle.
    Thats a great tip for rescuing a wrong stitch and can save hours! (As you get more used to it, it is possible to rescue a wrong cable this way as well- its tricky, but can be done. You need to take the whole cable out to the mistake, slip the first 3 stitches onto a dp needle, slip the second 3 onto another. Then reorient them to where they should have been and work each stitch back up to the working needle. Watch your tension, or adjust the tension when done, as the first stitches tend to be a bit looser than the last ones, and voila! Try it on your swatch to practice it first, but can save hours of knitting and frustration.

  • Connie

    Cheryl, Mystere517 in the flickr group must be making the small as well, I just checked the pics, and she has the knit stitches at the edge like yours.

  • roolent

    Greetings from Chicago…I am making progress thanks to all of your posts. I am making a size medium using Vanna’s Choice yarn in silver grey. My gauge came out the same as the pattern. I completed the yoke and the garter stitch yoke and I am almost done with the back. Like a couple of others in the KAL, I went ahead and finished the garter stitch yoke instead of waiting until the end. I just finished it last night and it looks pretty good.

    Many thanks to the head’s up from Connie post #86 regarding the shape the waist increase row. I stopped working on the project because I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong and read through all of the posts from the KAL and found Connie’s post and Heather’s response that there was an error in the pattern. What a relief. Unfortunately, this brought to my attention the confusion I had with the slip stitches. I realized that I should have purled these stitches on the WS row instead of knitting them. I had to backtrack to row 2 and start again. Ugh! A tip in the pattern would have been a huge help and would have saved me a significant amount of time.

    The way the pattern is written has been more of a struggle than the knitting. I am going to sew the center back together as soon as I finish the back…not something I am very good at.

  • Nicole

    Hi Everyone,

    Sounds like everyone is coming along really well…I’m making the size small and finally finished the back last night (at 17″ length), I’m now starting on the front which should be a lot easier considering I just have to repeat the back. Everyone’s comments have been EXTREMELY helpful…keep knitting!

  • Cheryl in NY

    All things considered, I guess the row of K will look better than a wide swath of purls going down the sides of the dress. I wish I had thought ahead of time to just add a couple of extra stitches and make it a cable. But really, no one but me (and all of you guys!) will even know the difference.

  • Miryam

    Hi,
    Zontee, thanks for pointing out that we can go back and redownload patterns we have purchased. I actually thought I could only download once, only once.

    Here’s my question: I purchased the Maxi version of the cable lux. I figured I could just STOP at a length I wanted for the tunic style and made it that way, and it worked out.

    However, if there are corrections to pattern, I’d really like to know that the Maxi pattern is getting the same attention and clarified instructions. Is it?

    Zontee says: Hi Miryam, we’re working on corrections for the Maxi, but since we’re currently preparing for the new catalog coming out in just a few weeks and with the holidays coming up, please be patient and look for it in January.

    Keep in mind that although the changes on the Tunic may look like a lot, they are in fact just three changes. Two of the changes made in the pattern were stylistic — changing the direction of the cables on the right half of the front and back to face towards the middle (replacing the LCs with RCs) and changing the orientation of the middle cable — so that the pattern reflects the cables in the picture. Doing either of these things as originally written will still result in a very attractive garment, as shown by the many customer pictures on Flickr and our customer gallery. Hope that helps!

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  • Betsy

    Thanks for the help getting on to Flicker.

    I bookmarked it this time so I won’t lose it!

    Love reading all the comments but I am not far enough along yet to understand the problems(just finished the yoke cable)I will probably be having them soon enough!

  • Michelle

    Help please. You’ve talked about a “hiccup” in the pattern when you increase after the second rep of the large cable. I’m reading the second rep to mean, do the large cable once, then repeat it once, then repeat it again. When I do this, I’m on line 3 of both cables. Should I have done the increases after the first rep and not the second? Oh oh, more ripping on the horizon. ;-)

  • Joann

    Well I’m seriously behind, but I did just finish the yoke and did that nice seam binding. It looks great. And thank-you Grace for posting your cable chart. I’ve never done cables and I don’t think I could have done these without the chart

  • Sarah McDowell

    Michelle–I see your confusion about the increases. I started the increases in the second of the large cable pattern, or in Row 15, if you’re counting total rows. It sounds to me like you started the increases in Row 27, or in the third of the large cable repeats. I think it doesn’t matter that you waited–in fact, I wish I had done the same. I think the sweater might fit and hang better if it fits more closely around the bust, and begins flaring underneath. So don’t rip it out! You may have discovered a variation that could make the sweater even better!

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