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Archive for June 4th, 2009


Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Neckline Trim

June 4th, 2009

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Hi Everyone!

I’ve been on the road teaching a workshop for the last few days, so I apologize in advance for the quality of the photos in today’s post.  Since I was teaching all day, most of these were taken at night in the hotel.

Thank you to everyone who stepped up to answer questions since the last post! I was traveling and didn’t have my laptop, so I really appreciate it.

Today’s post will focus on picking up stitches and knitting the ribbing along the neckline of the shrug.

I tried to get some good photos of where / how I picked up my stitches, but this is actually a very individual process. (Here is a video from www.knittinghelp.com that shows how to pick up stitches.)

I tend to use the stitches along the outermost edge of the knitted fabric, while some teachers will tell you to pick up a little farther into the fabric. Wherever you choose to pick your stitches up, you’ll be fine, as long as you pick up the number of stitches recommended by the pattern. The two kinds of stitches that you will find at the edge of the fabric are what look like bumps (first arrow) and lines (second arrow.)  You can pick up into either of these.

You just insert the needle into the fabric and draw the working yarn through the loop that you’ve created.

  • HINT: It may take a few attempts to end up with the right distribution of picked up stitches along the front of the sleeves.  Something that helps is to divide up the fabric into smaller sections and make sure to pick up the appropriate number in each section.  For example, I had to pick up 70 stitches along the right and left fronts.  I had 10 stitches at the top of that section from the cast on, so I had to pick up 60 stitches along the diagonal.  I could have (just by eyeball, and using markers) divided the length of the fabric into 6 sections and made sure to pick up 10 sts in each section.

Begin picking up stitches at the right back section, and continue around the right front.

  • HINT: Fold the sleeve in half to bring the points together.  You may even want to seam your sleeves now, to make it easier to see where to pick up next.

At the cast-on edge, you just pick up one stitch for every cast on stitch, and then continue down the left front, and end at the left back right at the spot that your stitches are waiting for you on the scrap yarn.

Transfer these stitches to the needle.  Now you’re ready to work your ribbing in the round.

  • NOTE: Some people have asked me why I decided not to do a provisional cast on at the neck, so that the stitches could be seamlessly worked into the ribbing.  This is a possible alternative, but I like having the structure of that back neck cast on edge.  It really helps the garment to keep its shape.

For people who have added stitches at the under arm, you will fold the little flap of extra stitches up, and pick up sts along that top/cast on edge.

Place markers like I have in the photo below, so that you remember which sts are added, and which are part of the original pattern.  This way, you can still follow the original pattern instructions for your size when you are ready to do your increases.


  • NOTE: Several people have commented on the Ravelry page for this pattern that they think there is an errata in the next (increase) section.  I want to comment on that for those of us who are itching to go on ahead.

The pattern instructions themselves are fine, but the way that RLI is described in the pattern notes makes the increase section not quite work out.

  • RLI is defined by the pattern editor as knit into the right leg of the stitch below the next stitch on the left hand needle.
  • BUT, in order for the instructions to work, you also need to knit into the next stitch on the needle.  When I do this, it is one fluid motion, and I consider it one operation.
  • So to ME, RLI means to knit into the right leg of the stitch below the next stitch on the needle, and then into the next stitch on the needle…and that is how the pattern is intended to be worked.
  • Here is a video for RLI (the instructions are just the way I describe above, to do the increase and then knit the next stitch in one operation…except that the abbreviation on the site is KRL)

My next post will describe the increase section in detail.

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