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Curvy Girl Knit-Along: Let's Get Started!

CGKAL

You've voted on a pattern, you've watched our Facebook Live video, you've gotten your supplies, and now it's time to start knitting! Welcome to week 1 of the Curvy Girl KAL, where we are making the Curvy Girl Cabled Cardigan.

Let's start by making sure we've got everything we need, then we can really get into the fun stuff.

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1. The pattern -- you may prefer to print it out and have the paper version, but I like to use my iPad. I use an app that allows me to write on documents, so I also go through and circle the instructions for my size when they differ.

2. The yarn -- you need six, seven, or eight balls of Lion Brand Heartland®, depending on what size you are making. Remember, use the code Heartland2016 to get 20% off when you buy six or more balls. That offer is good through September 30.

3. The needle -- size US 9, 36-inch circular. You can use whatever kind is your favorite -- I personally prefer metal but we have some lovely bamboo circulars as well.

4. Stitch markers -- have more than you think you'll need, because you will inevitably lose some or decide to put them in more spots than you originally planned.

5. Cable Needle -- try to make sure it is similar in size to your main needles, but it doesn't have to be exactly the same.

6. Stitch holders -- get them big enough to hold a lot of stitches. It's super frustrating to try and put something on a holder that isn't big enough and then won't close properly.

Not pictured: a row counter. You can use one that sits on your needle or go high-tech and find a phone app, but somehow you'll need to keep track of rows when you're working the cables.

Before starting, glance ahead at the pattern (if you haven't done this already). If there are any terms that are new to you, now's the time to look them up and maybe jot down what they mean in the margin. For the back you need to know how to cast on, work a one-by-one rib, work stockinette stitch, decrease, bind off, and work from two balls of yarn. When you get to the front pieces you'll also need to know how to do a simple cable, and for the sleeves you'll need to know how to pick up stitches. At the end you'll need to be able to sew the pieces together. If you hit anything that confuses you, feel free to comment on one of the KAL posts and ask! I'll do my best to answer every question that comes up. You can also join our KAL-specific Ravelry group!

To determine your size, you need to measure your chest and hips. For the bust, the sizes are 48 (1X), 52 (2X), 56 (3X), and 60 (4X) inches. For the hips, the sizes are 52, 56, 60, and 64 inches, respectively. If you measure between the sizes, use your own judgment to decide on which to make. Different people want different fits. I measured between 2X and 3X in the bust, and decided that I wanted to have a baggy piece that I can layer a lot of things under, so I went up to the 3X. But it's personal preference.

To start, we're going to work the cast on and part of the back, up until the point where we begin decreasing. Feel free to do more or less as your schedule permits, of course, but we'll be working in manageable bits and checking in each week.

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Now the fun begins: cast on. Depending on size, you'll cast on 105, 113, 121, or 129 stitches. I prefer long tail cast on, but the knit-on method would work as well. If you're doing long tail, it can be tricky to estimate the amount of yarn you need, but it does provide a stable border that's still stretchy enough to be comfortable.

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Next we work the ribbing and the even stockinette stitch section. If you need to, you can use a row counter to keep track of the rib part, but it's only eight rows, so you may prefer to just keep track mentally. There is one decrease row, then you'll just work in an even stockinette stitch (knit the right side, purl the wrong side) for about eight inches.

That's where we're going to stop for this week. Up next, we'll work the decreases and start the shaping. Check back next Friday for more!

If you're just joining us, that's OK! Get started as soon as you can, and if you need a little more time, take it. And don't forget we extended the Heartland® coupon for an extra week. Use code Heartland2016 to get 20% off of six or more balls until September 30.

Please leave comments about your progress! We'd love to hear how it's going, and see pictures of your pieces as the go. You can also join the Ravelry Group!

If you're a crocheter, there's a crochet version of this cardigan as well. The Curvy Girl Crochet Cabled Cardigan also uses Heartland® yarn, so you can use the Heartland2016 discount for that project -- just buy six or more skeins. Feel free to make it alongside us knitters, and if you do, we'd love to see your progress too!

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