The Inishturk Sweater is certainly a cabled sweater of “Olympic” proportions! I know I’m not the only one having fun knitting it while watching the 2010 Winter Games. One reason this sweater is a great project to work with cables is because there is very little shaping in this sweater. However, we do have necks and arms! So there is a little shaping at the top of the back and front as well as the sides of the sleeves. Some of you have been wondering how to keep your knitting in pattern while working the shaping of the neck and sleeves. On all the wrong side rows, the instructions are to knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches. This can be confusing when you shape this sweater, because all of a sudden, the patterns change.
The shaping for the sleeves (for all the sizes) has us increasing 1 stitch each side of the sleeve every 3rd row 8 times, then every 4th row 15 times. Keeping the Double Seed stitch pattern can be a challenge doing that when you will need to increase on the right side (RS) and sometimes on the wrong side (WS). The main thing to remember is on the RS, knit the purl and purl the knit stitches. On the WS, knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.
One of the best skills to have as a knitter is to be able to “read” your stitches. In other words, know if they are knits or purls. So, look at the stitches as they appear right now rather than how they were worked on the row before. So, if your stitch appears like this picture (to the right, in pink), it is a knit stitch (even though it was a purled the row before.) These are the stitches you purl on the RS and knit on the WS.
OK – so here (in green) is a picture of a purl stitch as it “appears” (there is always a “bump” at the base of it). One of my students told me she learned how to identify a stitch as a purl, by the “pearl” necklace it is wearing! These are the stitches you will knit on the RS and purl on the WS.
Sometimes the edge stitches might be difficult to “read”, so just look at the next couple of stitches to figure out whether that edge stitch is a knit or a purl. And if the edge stitches don’t look perfect – don’t worry – they will be in the seam before you know it!
What about those cables patterns when you are shaping the neck? The main rule is to not work a cable if you do not have enough stitches to do it. Just work those stitches in stockinette stitch. Below you can see the shaping I’m doing on the front left neck. It looks a little strange, but when I pick up stitches for the neck, it will look fine.
This sweater is “shaping” up nicely, and soon we’ll be at our own “finish line”!
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