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Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Final Post!

June 18th, 2009

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Hi Everyone!  It’s been fun knitting with you these past few weeks!  Time really flies!

Today’s post is my last, and will focus on the second round of increases, casting off, and sharing an FO (finished object in knit-speak)!  My FO is a little bit lopsided, since I added about 10 stitches to only one sleeve (so that I could show you how that looks), but I still think it looks awesome and will actually wear it!  (You can’t even tell that one sleeve is about an inch wider!)

Increase round 2 is performed much like increase round 1.  It just brings us back to k1 p1 ribbing. You simply work a M1P (Click here for a video for M1, but instead of knitting the bar between the stitch just knit and the next stitch on the needle, you’d purl it.) between the two knit stitches in every wide rib between the sleeve markers.

Then, for the finale, we switch to seed stitch (also called moss stitch in the UK) and work a few rounds, then cast off. I recommend casting off in stitch pattern (if you are supposed to purl, purl, then pass the cast-off loop over, and vice versa if you’re supposed to knit.) Click here for a video. This will create a more elastic cast-off edge.  I also recommend casting off with a needle size that’s 2 sizes (1 whole mm) larger than the needle you used for the rib…so…use your “body” needle to cast off.  I cast off my shrug a few rows early, your seed stitch border will be a few rows wider than mine.

When your shrug comes off the needle, the seed stich border may seem a little bit wavy.  You’ll just want to lightly steam this edge, so that it will lay flat. If you find that your edging seems too loose (this may be the case if you’ve added a large number of stitches at the under arm) your best bet is to mist the ribbing lightly with water and stretch it lengthwise. Let it dry like this, and it will be tighter and less floppy.

In my photos, I’m wearing my shrug pinned at the front to show what this looks like, since we’ve had a few questions about adding a button.  If you want to add a buttonhole to the front edge, a good point to do that is in the first few rows of the seed stitch border.  You could just do a “yo k2tog” which will make a small hole.

Here’s the back.  My husband took the photo and didn’t tell me that the collar wasn’t lying exactly flat…but you get the idea! :)  I could block this so that the back is flat, but I like the ribs that the Textured Stripe pattern creates, so I’ll probably leave it like this.

This has been a lot of fun!  I can’t wait to see all of your FO shots in our Flickr Group! Or share them with us in the Customer Gallery (like this one from Mary Jo).

Look out later this summer for our charity KAL/CAL!

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Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Increase Round 1

June 11th, 2009

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Hi Everyone! I hope you’re having a great week!

In our last installment of the Textured Circle Shrug KAL, we picked up all around the neck opening and started working on our ribbing.

In this installment, we will proceed to Increase Round 1.  In this round, we work a few RLI (in every other knit rib) between the markers that we placed to denote each “sleeve” portion of the shrug. (The pink arrows in the picture below show the stitches over which the increases are worked.)

You work your ribbing from the beginning of round marker to your sleeve marker, then begin the increases.  Work increases all the way around to the second marker.  Then, work normal ribbing across the top / back neck of the shrug, all the way to the second sleeve.  You’ll work increases all the way across this second sleeve section, and then work regular ribbing across the back.

  • NOTE: If you’ve added stitches at the under arm, you will have placed markers as in the previous post to keep those stitches separate.  Do not work increases across those extra stitches, only across the original number of sleeve sts as denoted in the pattern instructions.

I talked a little bit about the RLI at the end of last week’s post, if you’re just joining us, be sure to check it out.

Here, again, is the link to the video on that shows how to do a RLI.  In this pattern, RLI means to knit into the right leg of the stitch below the next one on the left hand needle, and then knit the next stitch.

I took some photos of how this looks in our shrug:

Here is how the stitch pattern starts out, with a k1 p1

Next, we knit into the right leg of the stitch below the next one on the needle:

Next, knit into the next stitch on the needle.  (Once you do this a few times, this step will become very fluid.)

Here is what the ribbing looks like after this step.  Every OTHER knit rib (between the markers that denote our sleeve sections) has two knit stitches.

Now, just proceed in this new rib stitch until we get to Increase Round 2.  Next week, we will work this second round of increases and FINISH THE SHRUG!

How are you coming along with your shrug? Where are you up to? Let us know!

And, for those of you who are finished already, share your project with us in the Customer Gallery.

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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 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.

Related links:

Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Sleeves

May 28th, 2009

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Time to move on to to the SLEEVES section.  This week’s installment is pretty easy, technique-wise, but there’s a lot of knitting to do (both sleeves).

The last time we talked about the sleeves, we had placed them on a length of scrap yarn to be worked later:

Now transfer the sleeve stitches back onto your US8 needle.

When all of the stitches are back on the circ, the sleeve will look like this:

If you are happy with the width of the sleeve, you’ll just attach your yarn here at the beginning of a RS row. Continue with the pattern, just following the directions as indicated.  You’ll begin working in Textured Stripe wherever you left off in the stitch pattern.  On my sleeve, before I put the sts on the scrap yarn, I had completed 5 rows of reverse stockinette and so now I’ll start right in on 8 rows of stockinette stitch.

The instructions say to work 2 rows even, this just means to work two rows straight (no increases or decreases) whether you should knit or purl according to the stitch pattern.

Sizes 40-42 (44-46, 48-50, 52-54) begin working decreases to narrow the sleeve as it goes down the arm.  If you don’t want to narrow the sleeve, just work straight (no increases or decreases) in textured stripe until the sleeve is the length indicated in the pattern, or to desired length.

Other sizes just work straight (no increases or decreases) in textured stripe until the sleeve is the length indicated in the pattern, or to desired length.

The length indicated in the pattern is FROM THE UNDERARM…so measure from where you are starting TODAY, not from the very top of the sleeve.


You simply cast on a few stitches at the underarm.

I’ve cast on about 10 st (using the “knitting on” method) at the under arm, to show those who want to modify the sleeve width how this would look.

To see how to cast on sts, check out the “Cast on” videos

Here’s what the sleeve with extra stitches looks like as you knit it:

You can cast your stitches on where I did, at the beginning of the first RS row, or you can cast half on at the beginning of the row and half at the end, or all at the end. It depends, really, on how many extra stitches you need. The more you cast on, the more the seam will move around the arm. If you’re casting on more than about 10 sts, I’d cast on half at the beginning of this first row, and half at the end, so that the seam stays in the center of the sleeve.

Here is what my shrug looks like with the sleeves finished.  (I’ve lightly steamed mine, just so that you can see how it looks; you do not need to steam your knitting at this point.)

You can see that I’ve done two different sleeves.  The one on the left is done “normally” without increasing at the under arm.  For the sleeve on the right, I’ve added extra stitches at the under arm.  I’ve done this so that I can work the next step of the pattern as an example for everyone.  Your sleeves will (hopefully) be the same.  Your sleeves may also be longer or shorter than mine, depending on how you prefer them to look.

Next week, we’ll pick up stitches and start working on the ribbing.

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Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Separating the Sleeves from the Body

May 21st, 2009

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Just to recap: last week we cast on for the shrug, knit the yoke, and tried on the shrug to make sure it fits.

In today’s post, we will go through some of the possible fit problems that you may have run into while trying on your shrug after last week’s installment.

Once we do that, we will make fit adjustments, place our sleeves on scrap yarn to be worked later, and finish the body of the shrug.

Next week we will finish the sleeves, and in the following post we will begin the neckline trim.

By this time, you’ve completed the yoke portion of the shrug, and are ready to move on to finishing the body (the pink-filled area in the schematic above.)

This is the point at which you have an opportunity to try on your shrug (if you have not done so already) and make any adjustments in the size before continuing with the project.

In my last post, I transferred my whole shrug to a long piece of yarn so that I could show you how the project looks at this stage, and also to show how you could make sure that your shrug fits.  (See last post for photos.)

There are several possible fit issues that might come up at this stage, and we will discuss possible solutions to them in today’s post.

Some possible fit problems:

  1. My shrug fits fine across the back, but the armholes feel too tight.
  2. My shrug is tight across the back and the armholes feel too tight.
  3. My shrug is too big across the back, but the armholes feel fine
  4. My shrug is too big across the back and the armholes feel too big.

Fit issue #1 will be handled next week when we get to the section of the pattern marked “SLEEVES.”  Since we are simply finishing up the body for right now, and your body section fits properly, we don’t do anything different at this point.

Fit issue #2 is corrected by just working a few more rows of the shrug, continuing on in both Textured Stripe AND increasing every RS row.  You can simply knit a few rows, try the shrug back on, see if it fits, and repeat that process until you get your custom fit…

OR you can figure out figure out exactly how many more rows you need to complete by doing the following:

  • Figure out how much wider you need to make the back in inches.
  • Figure out how many stitches you need to make up that measurement.
  • Work enough raglan increase rows to bring you to that width. (At the same time that you are adding width to the back, you are also increasing the sleeves, so this *should* also help the fit of your sleeve.)


  • Say I need to make my shrug bigger across the back by about an inch.
  • Using my gauge, I know that I have about 4.5 stitches in one inch, so I need to add about 4.5 stitches to the back of my shrug to make it one inch wider. (To make the math easier, I’m going to round down to 4 sts.)
  • I increase 2 stitches in the back of the shrug every RS row, so I need to work 2 additional increase rounds in order to increase ~1 inch of width.

Working these extra rounds will also increase the width of my sleeve by one inch.  If that isn’t quite enough extra width at the sleeve for your fit issue, you can add more stitches next week when we get to the “SLEEVES” section of the pattern.

Fit issue # 3: For this fit issue, you will need to rip back a few rows, until the fit across the back feels good to you, and then add more stitches to the sleeve next week when we get to the “SLEEVES” section of the pattern.  You can use the steps in the example above to determine exactly how many rows to rip back in order to get your exact fit.

Fit issue # 4: For this fit issue, you will just rip back a few rows until the back fits you the way you like it, and should not need to add stitches next week when you get to the “SLEEVES” section of the pattern. (Since both your back and sleeves were too big) …but you can if you do need to!

The arrow on the left in the photo below shows how ripping back a few rows will make both the back and sleeves smaller, while the right arrow shows that adding a few rows will make both sections larger:

Now that you’ve solved your fit issues (if you had any) let’s move on to finishing up the body of the shrug.

At this point, the pattern reads:


NEXT ROW(RS): Place next 50(58, 66, 69, 77, 85) sts for first sleeve on scrap yarn to be worked later, rejoin yarn and work to marker, place last 50(58, 66, 69, 77, 85) sts for first sleeve on scrap yarn to be worked later.

So, what you do is just thread a darning needle or tapestry needle with a length of yarn (abot a foot long or so) and use the darning / tapestry needle to remove the 50(58, 66, 69, 77, 85) sts from your circular needle.  Then, you knit or purl (whatever you should do according to the Textured Stripe pattern) across the back, then just place the last 50(58, 66, 69, 77, 85) stitches onto another length of yarn.

It will look like this:

Skip ahead in the post to: NEXT ROW (RS)

  • NOTE: If you already have your whole shrug on a long length of yarn, you can just run your circular needle back through the stitches for the back and leave the sleeves on the scrap yarn. (You’ll have to work one extra row of the back in stitch pattern in order to be caught up with the pattern):

Step 1:

The entire shrug is on a length of waste yarn.  Run your circular needle through ONLY the back section (section between the 2 markers.)

Step 2:

Cut the scrap yarn at center back, pull the cut end out of the back stitches, tie.

Now just tie the ends of the scrap yarn.

Now, the pattern says to “work one row even.”  This just means to work one row in Textured Stripe pattern without doing any increases or decreases.  From this point in the pattern until we begin the next section, you will only be working with the stitches used for the body.

So, work your one row, then go on to:

NEXT ROW (RS): Continue in textured stripe, bind off 3 sts at beg of next 10(8, 0, 16, 0 0) rows.  Then, 4 sts at beg of next 6(8, 14, 4, 16, 16) rows.

  • If you have a zero in the first set of instructions (3rd, 5th, and 6th sizes) you start right away decreasing 4 sts at the beginning of the next 6(8, 14, 4, 16, 16) rows.

Stitches are decreased here in order to give a curved shape to the back of the sweater, so that it slopes inward and will help the ribbing to hug the wearer’s lower back, rather than hanging loosely around the body.

  • Fit tip: If you would like to extend the length of your shrug, I suggest that you do it by lengthening the ribbing, rather than extending this section.  When you add the ribbing, it will pull the lower edges of the shrug, and you will get a “bubble-back” look to the sweater!

Here is what my shrug looks like at this point:

(See my flickr set for more photos)

Here’s how to transfer the stitches onto scrap yarn.  You can do this same process to save the sleeve stitches:

Thread a darning needle loaded with waste yarn through the stitches on the needle.

Remove the sts from the knitting needle onto the darning needle.

Transfer sts from darning needle to yarn.

I’d like to invite everyone to post your progress shots to the flickr pool for this KAL.  And, if you’re still having any “so…what am I doing wrong here?” questions, this would be a great place for you to post photos of what your knitting looks like, so that your fellow “KALers” (including me) can help out.

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