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!