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Inishturk Sweater Knit-Along: Choose Your Yarn & Make a Gauge Swatch!

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Inishturk Sweater Knit-Along: Choose Your Yarn & Make a Gauge Swatch!

It is a thrill for me to host another Knit-Along with all of you!   I am really looking forward to making this great Aran knit pullover named the Inishturk Sweater.   It didn’t take long for me to decide to make this one for myself.  It has been quite the winter so far, and still a lot of winter to go.  I’m really anxious to get started and make a new sweater — and I hope you are, too!

I have printed my pattern for the Inishturk Sweater, and you can print your copy out anytime you wish.  Now, what size to make?  Many times, my knitting students have wondered what size to make a sweater for themselves and I tell them to measure a sweater they already love to wear.  I have a favorite pullover that is one I wear again and again.  I measured across its chest and it was 21″ — so it is a 42″ bust.  Looking at the sizes of the Inishturk sweater, I’ve decided to make the medium, which is a 44″.

I’ve decided to make this great Aran knit in the Fishermen’s Wool, because I love to work cables in a natural fiber or a yarn that has some wool in it.  The cables just seem to look better in a fiber like wool.    I chose the Oatmeal color that will go with almost anything I will wear.  For my size, I will just need 3 skeins of the Fishermen’s Wool!

Fishermen’s Wool is a “Category 4” medium worsted-weight yarn.  If you don’t want to use the Fisherman’s  Wool, there are other great yarns that would be great with this pattern. Other yarns I think would be great would be Wool-Ease (a washable wool-blend), Vanna’s Choice (with its huge array of colors), or Cotton-Ease (with its cool hand and great drape) to name a few. (The latter two are good choices for those who are sensitive or allergic to wool.) Any yarn that gives a gauge of between 16-18 sts =4″ will work, but solid colors will show the cables the best.

Once you have your pattern, yarn, and know what size you would like, a swatch will be what will guarantee a sweater that fits.  Although there are different stitch patterns used in this pattern, the gauge is given for the Double Seed Stitch pattern.

Now, here is the thing about swatching with the Double-Seed Stitch — and I only know this because I remember panicking while knitting a project I made using that stitch pattern years ago —  I thought I would show you what happens when I work that stitch alone:

It can slant!  Not to worry, because when this stitch is dampened or worked within a pattern, it straightens out.  So, here is how I did my swatch.  I cast on 26 stitches and knitted for 5 or 6 rows, then I knit 3, worked the next 20 stitches in the pattern, and knitted the last 3.  I kept the garter stitch border, worked my pattern for 4″ then, knitted for another 5 or 6 rows and bound off:

Then, I dampened and dried the swatch and all I had to do is measure between the garter stitch border.

(1/26/10 – Swatch photo updated; original swatch photo was squished by the scanner.)

What size gave me the gauge?  A US 10 — glad I made this swatch as my sweater would have been much too small for me with the recommended US 8.

So, I’m ready to cast on and happy we can do it together!

How are your swatches turning out? Have you cast on  your sweater yet? Let us know!

Don’t forget to join our Ravelry or Flickr groups for discussion forums, sharing your photos, and more!

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  • I thought I was crazy when the only needles that gave me the right gauge were 10’s! But I checked with my sister (who is knitting this also) and she had the same issue. Glad to hear that we were on the right track!!

    Heather says: “Hi, Nicole: Sometimes knitters and crocheters think that is something wrong if they are not using the same size needle or hook that is called for in a pattern. Just remember that the needle or hook size given is a guide. Now, since you have obtained the gauge with the US 10, use a needle 1 size smaller for the ribbing…a US 9. I’m gllad you have made your swatch!”

  • I am also stitching with 10’s (I think) 6mm or size 4 needles here in Canada! I cast on, but I’m not crazy with how panel A is looking. I’m debating changing the panel slightly – thinking of a simple seedstitch panel.

  • I casted on this morning using Fisherman’s wool and size 8 (circular) needles. I’m nearly done with the ribbing. Darn all this work I have to do that interferes with my knitting!

    I did gauge swatches over the weekend and mine were way off. I decided to stick with size 8 needles and just knit one of the larger sizes because I like the stitch definition I get with 8’s better than with the 11’s that came closest to gauge. (I will also use an 8 for the ribbing. I prefer looser ribbing and a straighter bottom edge.)

    I will be posting progress pics and comments on my [pathetic] knitting blog, Yarn, Become What You Are, probably on Fridays.

  • Good morning everyone. When I made the swatch, it was slightly too small with the 9 needles, but looked too loose with the 10s. So I went with 9 and I’m following instructions for one size up. I did the ribbing with 8s. It all looks good so far.

  • Can anyone tell me what kind of cast on they used?

  • I did my swatch from Wool-Ease last week and was unable to get gauge also with size 8s. Got gauge from 10s, but also did not like the look because it was too loose. I went a different route to correct the problem – desided to change my yarn to wool-ease chunky which gave me perfect gauge from the size 8 needles and maintained the definition of the pattern. The sweater will be thicker, but that’s okay. I’ve finished my ribbing and have started on the body of the sweater, I Love it!!

  • Good morning,
    I’m new to Knit Alongs. Will the next post be on next Thursday or will there be something each day? I am using Vanna’s Choice and had to use Size 9’s to get my gauge. I’ve gotten the ribbing done and the first 16 rows of the cable pattern. It’s beautiful and I am very excited as this is my first adult sweater project.

    Heather says: “I’m glad your excited about this KAL! I will have a new post every Thursday for six weeks. Just have fun working your sweater, learn a new thing or two, and knit along with many others!”

  • Finally got to do my gauge this morning, and it’s a bit off. I’m using Wool Ease, and from what I’ve seen, most are moving up a size and switching to size 9 … I think that may be what I do as well. The problem I’m running in to is that I think my yarn is too dark! I can hardly see what I’m doing using the Forest Green Heather! However, I love the color! I will hopefully be casting on this afternoon and getting started. By the time I finish this one, doing one for my husband will be a piece of cake!

  • I feel behind already. I am still working on my gauge swatch and still can’t get the right gauge, but am relieved that many others were using 10s as that was my next step. I thought of trying plastic needles over bamboo as well as I think that might help.

    I was going to make the sweater in the oak tweed, but was worried that the tweed might not show the cable. I have plenty of the Oatmeal…now I am considering switching. I was thinking of doing a cable swatch to see if I have enough definition, but don’t want to get too far behind everyone else.

    Do we have a goal to reach for next Thursday?

    Heather says: “Hi, Jeannine: Don’t worry about not “catching up” as this KAL will remain on after the six weeks. Also, take your time choosing your yarn and the swatch will tell you everything about gauge, and about stitch defininition. After you get your gauge with the double seed stitch, you may want to try one of the cable patterns to see how it looks with the yarn you have chosen. This is a “no stress” KAL – just enjoy doing what you can!”

  • I published a couple of pictures on my Facebook page. I don’t know how the links will work, though.

  • I did a gauge swatch and it seemed fine on a size 8 using Fisherman’s Wool. Everyone seemed to seriously go up some sizes. I hope that I didn’t measure it wrong! I measured a sweatshirt I love which has a similar shape as the sweater we are making but it looks like I am going to have to add 3 inches to the sleeves. 17 inches seems like a short sleeve… Any suggestions on how to extend the sleeves? I like to have all my math figured out before I get too far into a project – I am paranoid about having enough wool.

    Heather says: “Hi, Judy – If you are getting your gauge with the size 8 – that is just fine! As for the sleeve, when you get the back done you can lay it on your sweatshirt and see how the sleeves compare with the pattern. Then you will have a good idea if you will be making the sleeves longer or shorter.”

  • My swatch came out just right with 5mm needles so I cast on and went to town. I have done the ribbing and the first 15 rows of the back. Already found and fixed some booboos {sigh} but better now than later! I’m using brown because I already have an off-white cable sweater and I want some variety. Sure am enjoying the feel of the yarn as I work.

  • What type of cast-on do you reccommend for this sweater?

    Heather says: “Hi, Sarah: I usually use a “long-tail” cast on for most of my projects, but any cast on you normally use would probably work just fine! You can see how to do a simple knitted cast on at our Learning Center at:

    Hope this helps you!”

  • In answer to the cast on question, I have a favorite cast on that I think I invented and am using that. I begin with a chain as if crocheting, then use a Tunisian crochet hook to pull up a row of loops in the chain as if beginning a Tunisian project. From that, I knit off the first rowfrom the Tunisian hook using the normal knitting needle in the ribbing size. Working around the hook is only a slight challenge. To my mind, this is tidy, stable and easy to do so I use it often. It produces a chain of fixed length at the bottom of the piece but is flexible enough to allow the sweater to go on and off with ease.

  • Kathryn, that sounds like an interesting and practical cast on method – I’ll have to try it with my next project!


  • Heather – thank you for the helpful post. I got gauge with size 9’s and thought I had done something wrong! Also, I am wondering what the time frame is for the KAL?

    Heather says: “I’m glad you have found the post helpful and I think a lot of people are seeing that you have to check that gauge! This KAL will have a post every Thursday for 6 weeks. However, you can knit at your own pace and the KAL will be able to be read anytime.”

  • Glad I’m not the only one with swatching problems. My horror was that the swatch was slanted. Good to know that was normal. I like the idea of a garter stitch border for swatching. Nice tip. Wow, I’ve learned something new already. Guess I won’t fret about the needle size issue either. I’ve settled on size 8 as I like the look it gives the pattern. Went up to size 10 but thought it looked loose and sloppy.

  • I have decided to try to knit this in the round… front and back together up to the arm pits and then I will just split it off and use two skeins. I guess I hate to sew it up at the end!

  • Hello, this will be my first KAL and my first sweater so I’m very excited. I’ve done cables a lot so I can’t wait to try out this pattern.

    It was mentioned in earlier comments in the last post that you would be posting about creating a chart for this pattern. Should we only do the ribbed edge this week and wait until next week to start the cable pattern so we can follow the chart?


    Heather says: “Hi, Kim: I will be making charts for this and should have them up for the next post. In the meantime, you can certainly work the patterns as they are written, because the the charts will be the same patterns only written in a different form.”

  • I too want to knit this in the round. So do I just eliminate the selvedge stitch on each side and go for it? Also, I had some really nice alpaca in a heathered cranberry color that I wanted to use for this sweater. However my gauge was way, way, way off so I did a conversion dividing MY gauge with the gauge in the pattern and came up with a ratio of 1.3. Next I multiplied the number of stitchs to be cast on by 1.3. My swatch looks beautiful and I have high hopes. I guess I could have just made a larger size, but I couldn’t quite figure out which larger sizer to make. I will add the extra stitches to the double seed stitch side panels and hope for the best. Next step is, I will chart the various patterns on my computer and print them out as I have trouble following written directions for so many different cables.

    Heather says: “Hi, Norma: If you want to knit this in the round, you can eliminate the selvedge stitches or work them as the double seed pattern. As for working the sweater in the yarn you have chosen, you may want to do a swatch in the cable patterns to see how it will look and what it will measure. The gauge for the double seed stitch is very different than for the cable patterns, so you may not be able to figure out a finished width by just adding more double seed stitch. Swatching will tell you everything!”

  • I got gauge with plastic 8s which is unusual for me as I’m a loose knitter and usually have to go down up to 2 needle sizes.

    I’d like to know what the plan is for the next post especially re charting. I’ve never done this complicated a pattern before and want to take advantage of all potential tips before moving on to the more complicated sections of the back.

    And I have another question — what increases did people use at the end of the ribbing?

    Heather says: “Hi, Holli: I will be creating charts for the patterns, but for now if you get to that part, just work the patterns as written (they will be the same.) As for increasing on that last WS row of the ribbing – you can either knit into the front and back of a stitch or increase by using make 1 (m1). Just make sure your 22 increases are fairly evenly distributed.”

  • I did my swatch this morning and I knit pretty loose, so the size 8 needles are going to work great for me.

    Those talking about cast ons, I was planning on using the Old Norwegian cast on (also called the Twisted German). I use it for socks and it has a little more give than the regular long-tail. It takes a few times to get used to, but worth it in the end.

  • Does anyone have any suggestions for a smaller size? I think at 38 would be more to my liking!
    I haven’t even picked out a yarn yet, so am open to many possibilities.

  • I have another question about the increases in the rib row. Am I adding knit or purl stitches? Does it matter? Do I maintain the pattern otherwise or alter it as I add stiches?

  • Holli – I don’t think it matters so long as you end up with the required stitches. I maintained the pattern and it look like it came out right. Hope this will help.

  • Wound my yarn up into center pull balls (I like it that way) and will be off to the races tonight at my knitting group! woo hoo!

  • Dear Kathy,
    Another question regarding gauge. If we end up with 120 sts. (sm) across the back, and there are 4 sts. to an inch, won’t the back end up 30 inchs wide? I assume the cables will pull up somewhat, but 10 inches is alot.
    I’m very excited to be working along with some experts. I am rather new to knitting.

    Heather says: “Hi, Helen: The cables do pull in the sweater a great deal, but all you have to do is get your gauge with the Double Seed stitch and the rest will work out. I’m glad your excited about making this with so many other knitters!”

  • I am so glad to know I’m not the only one finding correct gauge too sloppy on bigger needles. I wonder if going up a sweater size with smaller needles will give me correct sizing in finished product.

  • BTW, really looking forward to the charts. Will those be available next Thursday??

  • I’m off to a good start, finally. I usually start over a time or two til I get the pattern down and this was no exception. I have completed the cable pattern once and really am liking it. However, I was into the pattern when I realized I was not working row 3 on the double seed pattern. I wasn’t willing to take it out so I have what I will call ” mistake ribbing” on the edges instead. I kinda like it and will be a bit more flexible on fit I think.

  • Judy – I bet the ribbing will look great!!

  • This is great to read about everyone’s work and what they do with their projects. I started with size 6 needles and cast on for the largest size. The pattern is comfy snug. I’ve completed 6 inches up from the ribbing. I am really happy with how it looks. I use a self-made chart of 1/4 inch graph paper and numbering the patterns in horizontal sequence with vertical according to rows. What do others use to maintain the cables?

  • Hollie, I have placed markers between each series of stitch patterns so I can keep up. It has been a great help to me. The use of a row counter and the markers keep me straight most of the time.

  • I also have used markers between each series of stitches. I also wrote out each row of the 16 row pattern, on index cards. Between the two, I have been able to keep everything straight.

  • I just tried the swatch and am surprised to find it smaller than the 4 inches since I usually knit loose. Reading other people’s comments I guess I need to decide if I try a larger size (I was going to make the medium) or try the next size up needle. I am using the Fisherman’s wool.

    Heather says: “Hi, Cathy – If your gauge swatch is smaller than 4″, then go up in needle size until you have your 4″. This is better than making a different size sweater, as it will assure a good fit and that you will have enough yarn.”

  • I’ve not finished my gauge swatch, it will have to wait till tomorrow after work. But I did get it started at least!

  • I have never done a KAL though I have knitted for many years. I am excited about the discussion.

  • Thanks for the tip on the swatch! I’m using Vanna’s Choice (can’t wear wool) and was all ready to move up to an 11 (not pleased with how loose it was though). After reworking it your way I might be back at a 9 :)….much nicer look imo.

  • I also got the closest to correct guage on the US 10 needles, however, it’s still a little short on the width, yet the length is correct. I’m making this for my SIL and she’s a size Small. After reading the blog questions, I’m thinking of making it in Medium with the US 8 needles. How far should I go in the pattern before measuring to see if it will be right? – I really don’t want to be starting over on this. This is my second KAL. The first was the Cable Luxe Tunic for my grandaughter and I’m still not finished with that one. I really need to keep up with the group this time.

    Heather says: “Hi, Fay: The most important part of getting your gauge is the stitch gauge as this will determine the width. (The pattern tells you how long to make the sweater, so you don’t have to worry too much about row gauge.) If you are getting 16 stitches = 4″ in the Double Seed stitch pattern, you should be fine. Remember that the cable patterns may pull in, but ease up when your sweater is blocked or washed.”

  • I made my first swatch with size 9, as suggested by Vanna’s choice but the swatch was too big. I also tried the cable cast on with this swatch. My next swatch was with size 7, this was perfect and I used the long tail cast on this time. My third swatch was with size 8 and it was slightly larger. I’ve compared the 2 cast on’s and will use the long tail cast on for this project. Now I just need to purchase size 7 circular needles long enough to knit the sweater in the round.

    I charted the pattern using MS Excel, with the stitch pattern as the column headers and the rows needed for each stitch pattern down the columns. Then I color coded the columns.

    Heather says: “Hi, Marla – Thank you and all of you who are giving advice on how you keep your pattern rows in order!

  • I was thinking of making this sweater for my husband. Will it fit well if I follow the “large” directions? Or would the pattern need to be modified in order to fit a man properly? For example, would I have to make the body longer?

    Heather says: “Hi, Jen : This sweater is a great unisex sweater since there is little shaping and it is a classic Aran sweater. Measure one of your husband’s favorite sweaters to see what size you would like to make and if you want to add any additional length, you can do that easily since the sweater is knit straight up with no armhole shaping.”

  • Thank you for the tip on making the swatch. That was a big help.

    I am just starting with only six rows done above the ribbing. Cables are so much fun to watch develop. This pattern has such a variety I had to rewrite the instructions to help me keep it all straight. I used an Excel spreadsheet and wrote the instructions row by row for each element. It keeps me focused and I have not gotten lost since I did that.

  • I charted panels A & B using Excel. I used my own made up symbols to show knit and purl stitches and merged cells for each of the various cable crossings. Then coded what each crossing was using slanted lines to indicate “hold to the front” and “hold to the back”. I have used these symbols before and so I’m used to them and they are so easy to read. I color coded the right side rounds and left the ” knit the knits and purl the purls rounds white. It drove me nuts to make the charts because I am sort of dyslectic and had to go over and over to make sure I was getting it right. That’s why charts are so much easier for me. I’m hoping that Heather will get her charts up soon.

  • This is my first KAL, but I’ve been knitting for years.
    As far as following along with such a complex pattern goes, I like to print out the pattern/chart, highlight it as needed, cut out all the parts that apply to the size that I am making, paste them to a piece of cardstock and laminate the cardstock. This makes the pattern much more durable (no rings when the children use it as a coaster), harder to lose and as I go along, I can mark the page with a wet erase marker to show where I am at a glance. It also shortens the pattern quite a bit, which to me makes it less confusing. The last complex cable item that I worked on went from 4 pages, to show instructions for all sizes, down to 1 page for just what applied to my size. I have my own laminating machine, as I need it for my business and my husband uses it for his work, but the last time I had lamination done at an office store it was about $1 a page- not too expensive if you’re doing just a couple of pages.

  • I just came across this KAL – I also have never joined one before, but love the idea. My question is: Why not do the main part of the body in the round as well as the sleeves? Splitting front and back at the yoke, joining shoulders using a three needle cast off aids in joining the patterns more accurately; Then joining the sleeves is the only sewing that needs to be done. I find written instructions for Aran patterns difficult to follow, but love doing charted patterns – I may try to chart this one as I think it is lovely. Charting allows me to follow the pattern in the size I am making so much more accurately.

  • Opps! I just read the note from Norma (post 43) Thanks for the Excel suggestion! That will make charting soooo much easier — and eliminate the eraser marks. Also, I can try using different colors to define the patterns. I am working a gansey now (for my son-in-law)that needed some pattern adjustment – my chart is a mess; that will be my first Excell chart.
    Thanks again!! 🙂

  • I wouldl love it if someone would share their chart with me or let me see it so I can make my own.

    I used the knitting into the front and back of the stitch to do my increases at the end of the ribbing but tore it out because it looked messy. I am going to try the M1 method now to see if it looks any neater.

  • I finally finished the ribbing and the first 16 rows of the back. It took me hours (like 5) and I usually find that I am a quick knitter. Is this slow going for others? I am beginning to doubt my chances of doing this in 6 weeks… I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge and I charted the pattern last week (fist time I tried that) and it was such a great learning experience. Maybe I am more snail like than I thought. 🙂

  • Judy – It’s going fairly slow for me also. I got a headstart on it this last weekend, hopeing that would help, but not sure 6 weeks is enought time for me either. This project is alot of “firsts” for me–first time blogging, first KAL, first complex project, first cable project, first time charting!! I am totally enjoying the challenge, but my husband won’t be wearing this sweater until next winter.

  • Made the swatch and started with the same size needle as it calls for, but went up one size larger. If it doesn’t fit me, it will fit my daughter and the pattern stitches are really pretty once you knit enough to see how they look in the pattern.

  • i have made the guage swatch and I had to use 10 1/2 needles. How do I adjust the size for the ribbing needle? In the pattern it is a size 7. I am guessing that I should use a size 9 but maybe it should be a 10. Thanks.

  • Here is my spreadsheet to Panel B, which is the center cable. There are 4 more columns to the right which are CC, PA, CC & DSS, respectively. I color coded the columns, ie DSS at the beginning and end are color coded in light orange. The 4 CC (cable c) are color coded light green. I tried to attach the spreadsheet itself, but no luck.

    1 1 1 1 1 1 1
    2 2 2 2 2 2 2
    3 3 3 3 1 3 1
    4 4 4 4 2 4 2
    1 1 5 1 1 5 1
    2 2 6 2 2 6 2
    3 3 7 3 1 7 1
    4 4 8 4 2 8 2
    1 1 1 1 1 9 1
    2 2 2 2 2 10 2
    3 3 3 3 1 11 1
    4 4 4 4 2 12 2
    1 1 5 1 1 13 1
    2 2 6 2 2 14 2
    3 3 7 3 1 15 1
    4 4 8 4 2 16 2
    1 1 1 1 1 1 1
    2 2 2 2 2 2 2
    3 3 3 3 1 3 1
    4 4 4 4 2 4 2
    1 1 5 1 1 5 1
    2 2 6 2 2 6 2
    3 3 7 3 1 7 1
    4 4 8 4 2 8 2
    1 1 1 1 1 9 1
    2 2 2 2 2 10 2
    3 3 3 3 1 11 1
    4 4 4 4 2 12 2
    1 1 5 1 1 13 1
    2 2 6 2 2 14 2
    3 3 7 3 1 15 1
    4 4 8 4 2 16 2

  • Wow, that didn’t display they way I expected it to. Sorry.

  • Just got my yarn today. Going to a quilt show tomorrow. So probably won’t get my swatch done until tomorrow night…I’ll start with size 10 needles and see where it goes from there.

  • By the time I got to Michaels they were all out of most of the Fishermans yarn, I was able to secure 5 skeins in two different dye lots. Is that going to be a problem? The color is oatmeal and they look alike. Is it possible to dye them to get an exact match? Also does it matter what cast on you use?

    Heather says: “Hi, Mary Lee – Sometimes if dye lots are very similar you can use them for different parts of a sweater. My best advice would be to make sure you use the same dye lot within a piece (like a back, front, sleeve). Even the most minor color variation can show up if you work the two next to each other. As for the cast on, you can use your favorite – mine is the “long-tail” cast on.”

  • I just saw post 13 about the long tail cast on and will try that one. Thanks.

  • I finally got my yarn. Chose Wool Ease Seaspray. Will hopefully get to the swatch tomorrow. My question is how many skeins of the Wool Ease will I need for a medium size. Each skein is 197 yards. Is it the same as the Fisherman’s wool which is 3, or will I need more?

    I have knitted sweaters in the past, but never did a swatch for guage. Since everyone seems to be finding they need larger needles to get guage, I will start with a 10 and hopefully that will do it.

    I looked at Marla’s Excel chart. Am not sure what it means, hopefully it will become clearer as I start the sweater.

  • Mary Anne, I’m using Wool-Ease too, and I calculated that size medium will need 7 skeins.

  • I’ve never done anything this detailed before, just finished the first 3 rows after the ribbing….all I can say is OH MY!!! But I will press on. I understand now why everyone is talking about charts. I’m going to see if I can come up with something. I’m having fun though.

  • Knit Along – What a great idea! I’m in Malaysia teaching English, and the time zones do not allow me to call family to answer my knitting questions. Does it really only take three skeins for the sweater? Does anyone know how I can get some yarn here in Malaysia? I would need to make this as a gift for dear mom in Ohio as we do not see winter here. (I met a a new friend on the Great Wall of China from Ireland. She sent me yarn from Ireland, but I gave it to my high school students. Don’t forget to check out the history behind the cable for this island.)

  • be careful Kerrybeth – the skeins are 227g each so probs around 700g total for a ‘normal’ skein at least! I think the average worldwide is 100g per ball or Aran / worsted weight!

  • This is my first KAL also, although I’ve been knitting for years. I was really intrigued by this pattern and need a new cable sweater for myself, so I thought, why not? I’m using Vanna’s Choice in Linen and size 9 needles gave me the right gauge. Now onto the ribbing.

  • Re: Excel chart. Column A is for the double seed stitch DSS. There are 4 rows to this stitch. Enter 1 for row 1, next row down enter 2, then 3 in the next row and finally 4 in the next. You will have to copy/paste these 4 rows 4 times, because Panel B in the center has 16 rows. Highlight this column light orange. Column B is the cable c CC. Follow the same steps as in Column A, highlight in light green. Column C is for Panel A which has 8 rows to the pattern. Follow the steps in Column A, only number each row 1 thru 8 and copy/paste once. Do this across the columns and rows, ending with a DSS in Column K.

    To preserve my printout I slip it in a sheet protector. Also in the sheet protector, behind the printout, is a thin metal 8 x 11. Place a magnetic strip on the outside just under the rows you are working. Ie, row 4 of DSS will be row 2 of cable b CB. Hope this helps.

  • I’ve done my ribbing now on to the tricky stuff. Today my goal is to get the set up rows and one complete set of the 16 row pattern. I’ve basically rewritten the pattern so that I have the stitches for each of those rows. I think I’ll insert a lifeline above my ribbing just in case.

  • I am excited to try this knit-along. However, I get itchy wearing wool. My local yarnshop does not carry cotton-ease, so I decided to try this sweater with Lionbrand Organic Cotton. In order to obtain my gauge, I had to use 6mm needles. I seemed to have to go the opposite of most, who have had to move up needle sizes. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

  • My initial swatch with size 8 needles was too small, so I went up to 9s and it looks good. I’m making the pattern for me, size large. I’m still undecided on if I am going to knit in the round or not. I guess it may come down to whether I can find my size 9 circular needles…

  • Dear Marla in Bellflower, Thanks so much for your chart. I’ve never used a chart before, just struggled along row by row. This is going to be much easier to keep up and I’m sure a lot less ripping out and re-knitting for me. God bless you.

  • Got my swatch done, ribbing done, and am on the 2nd set of 16 rows. I love the pattern. I am doing it in a steel gray color and making it for my husband in the largest size. It is knitting up much faster than I imagined it would.

  • Hi everyone- I’m late starting and have a question already. It’s on the example of how to knit the gauge swatch. Maybe my math is bad but the way I read it you would measure the gauge over 20 stitches -but the gauge is 16 st =4″. So when I measure the inside should I get 5″ to be at the correct gauge? Don’t know if this makes sense… any out there who could help?

    Heather says: “Hi, Jane – Sorry for the confusion with the swatch instructions – you should be measuring 16 stitches within the square for your gauge with the Double-Seed stitch.”

  • For following a complicated pattern I do 2 things: 1) I use the stitch markers between the pattern stitches – Cable A, etc. that way I know I’m starting and ending at the right place for each stitch pattern rather than ending up with 1 stitch too many or too few at the end of the row and THEN trying to figure out what I did wrong; and 2) color code the written instructions. Cable A is highlighted in yellow on the row instructions and on the sheet with the pattern instructions. Cable B in pink, etc etc. That way I can glance at what’s next without searching – or reading the wrong instructions. (colored pencils work well, too)

  • I am knitting mine in the round which is fine for the ribbing, but…if you always are on the “right side” when knitting in the round instead of going back and forth between wrong and right sides, won’t that make the pattern different for the cable stitches? Thanks for any advice!

    Heather says: “Hi, Sarah – The great thing about the stitch patterns used in this sweater is no matter whether you are doing the sweater as flat pieces or in the round – the even rows are still “knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches”!

  • My swatch on size needles was too small too, but I liked that fabric produced by that size. My swatch was 3 and 3/4″, not 4″. I divided 3.75 by 4 to get .9375. Knitting at this guage will produce the stated size times that amount. For example if I knit the 48″ size it will actually measure 48 x .9375 = 45″. Hope this helps someone. I’ve done the ribbing and first 16 rows so far, with a couple of mistakes which I am chalking up to the learning process! And they’re on my back, so at least I won’t have to look at them!

  • Sorry, I meant to say size 8 needles.

  • Markers are a great help. Thanks to all who suggested them. I got through my first 16 rows of the pattern, and it took all day! But I think I was getting faster. I hope I was getting faster.

  • Judy, I wish I had seen your post earlier. I ended up doing the same thing, after much knitting and unknitting, except when I color coded I did every other stitch or series in a row. I also realized markers are a great help. Since I finally feel a little like I know what I’m doing now and I messed up the double seed stitch in the beginning, I ripped out my 17 rows and am starting at the end of the ribbing again. Good thing I’m stubborn. *chuckle* But I plan on having a beautiful sweater when I’m done.

  • sorry, I means 7 rows not 17. 🙂

  • Hi, I am an experienced knitter but had many stitches left over at the end of my first row of pattern, I noticed that the cables have so many rows, but they say work only a certain amount of stitches? Not sure if my question makes sense lol! I will put it aside and try again tomorrow.

    Heather says: Hi, Kimberann – I’m not quite sure why you would have stitches left at the end of your row, but you may want to go to your pattern and circle the numbers for your size, especially for the Double-Seed stitch (which is different for each size.) You may also want to use markers to separate all the different stitch patterns from each other. The first few rows are the hardest in this sweaters, so markers can help you a lot!”

  • I have learned so much by trial and error *laughing* I was knitting the set up row as part of the pattern. I couldn’t figure out why my double seed stitch looked okay on one side and not on the other. I ripped it out once again and am going to give it another go. Nite all.

  • Thanks for the note Vicki! Judy Bishop, your 2 ideas are helpful, Thanks!

  • Have finished my gauge and working on ribbing. Guage worked up best for a size 9 needle. As I start the cables I will use stitch markers as suggested, my question is are they used on every row or just on the first row of cables? Also, how do you get the stitch markers off the sweater when you are done, I assume you just cut them off? Thanks for all the good posts they have been very helpful to me as I start this project.

    Heather says: “Hi, Mary Lee: I’m glad you have your gauge! The type of markers I’m using are ring -type stitch markers, that stay on your needle as you knit and separate patterns. You just slip the markers from your left needle to your right as you are working. No need to cut off markers later!

  • I have really enjoyed everyone’s comments. This is my first knit-along. I thought I would be smart and get ahead, so I made my swatch before the first posting, and sure enough, it was slanted, and hard to count. So, not knowing what else to do, I just started working on the back. I got through the ribbing, the set-up row, and the first row of the pattern. On the second row, I got messed up somehow, and had decided to start over! By that time the post was up about the great idea of bordering the swatch in garter stitch — THANKS!! It worked great! Serves me right for trying to get ahead, huh? My knitting must be off, though, because my gauge was right at a size 8 needle, and everyone else seems to be going larger. Can’t wait to see the chart!

  • Got the ribbing finished last night. I cast on using a #9 needle and then did the ribbing in 8s. I do OK at spreading out the increases (usually use a piece of paper and a lot of dots), but I was wondering if there’s actually any kind of mathematical formula for evenly spacing increases?
    I’ll be using ring stitch markers for the patterns.

  • Fay in #67, you’re welcome. Judy in #69, thanks for the question on the # stitches in the gauge. I had it wrong also. I will go back and remeasure my swatches.

  • Anne, my guage came out right with the size 8 needles too, so that makes two of use using them *smile*. Off to try this once again, I will make this sweater, I will make this sweater, I will make this sweater. Happy knitting everyone.

  • Anne and Donna, are you using fisherman wool?
    I wonder if that yarn seems to up work thicker than the ones with synthetics? I can’t find my 9 needle points or my longest cable, and I want to use them either with the 8’s and make a bigger size, or the 10’s. I prefer the tighter appearance of the 8/9s, I think, I just don’t have a swatch with #9 to see. So, looks like you’ll all be ahead of me, working out the bumpy spots 😉 Thanks!

  • This is my first knit a long and I can’t wait to get startd. I just found the tree of life knit along 2 months ago and just finished it. Thanks for all the responses everyone has writen because it has helped me with this project and I’m already reading the comments on this new knit a long, I find them very helpful and plan to pick up my yarn this week, meanwhile I will work on setting my pattern up for easier knitting. Thank You all.

  • Janet, I’m not useing fisherman’s wool. I had some medium weight yarn and decided to use that, since this is my first attempt at a sweater. It’s nothing special but I think it will make a nice sweater.

  • Hi Nancy, Yes, I am using Fisherman’s Wool, in Nature’s Brown. Because of the darker color, it might make the cables a little harder to see, but I’m making it for my husband, and he really likes that color. I made the hat from this pattern for my daughter, using the same color,and it really turned out nice. Hope the sweater works out as well!

  • Hi Heather – Thanks for the answer. I just finished my swatch and size 8 worked out perfect. I’ll be casting on tomorrow and try to get the ribbing done this week. I’m looking forward to this challenge!

  • If you’re knitting beyond the ribbing you need to remember that seed stitch pattern is not Knit in Knit and purl in purl on the wrong side….you will end up with ribbing rather than a seed stitch pattern.

  • Hi! Getting the pattern established, just noticed the note about the seed stitch, ooops! I’ve been knitting the knit and purling the purl on the wrong sides! Just wanting to know how everyone is keeping track of the pattern rows seeing as there are 3 rows in the actual pattern but up to 16 in some of the pattern stitches!

  • stitches but not as they transitioned between kniI finished my ribbing and added my stitches. I consulted my Big Book of Stitches which suggested using a twisted increase stitch to reduce the appearance of a hole where the stitch was added. It worked beautifully for the purl stitch but the knit stitch has a weird cross over on the front of the stitch that results in it pulling inward when you stretch the stitch. I rechecked the instructions and looks like I did the knit stitch correctly. Has any one else used this twisted added on stitch and how did the knit stitch work out. Also, I found it helpful to add the stitches between the knit or purl t and purl. Hope this helps.

  • Sorry, not sure what happened to the previous posted. This one should make more sense. I finished my ribbing and added my stitches. I consulted my Big Book of Stitches which suggested using a twisted increase stitch to reduce the appearance of a hole where the stitch was added. It worked beautifully for the purl stitch but the knit stitch has a weird cross over on the front of the stitch that results in it pulling inward when you stretch the stitch. I rechecked the instructions and looks like I did the knit stitch correctly. Has any one else used this twisted added on stitch and how did the knit stitch work out. Also, I found it helpful to add the stitches between the knit or purl stitches and not where they transition between knit and purl.

    Heather says: “Hi, Mary Lee: I’m not sure whether your “twisted increase stitch” is actually what we call a “make 1”, but as long as there is not a hole where your increase is, it should be just fine. You can also work the increases by knitting into the front and back of a stitch as well.

  • I have made 4 gauge swatches and still haven’t found something that works. I’ve made 3 with the Wool-Ease and was hoping to be able to use it. I think I’ll need 10’s, but can’t find mine to try them. The 10 1/2 was too big and the stitching is loose so I fear the pattern will be lost. I might try the chunky wool-ease as someone else did with the size 8 needles, but that will require a trip to the yarn store, so not sure when I’ll get very far on this. I’m going to work on charting the pattern in the meantime. I am enjoying everyone’s comments and learning quite a bit already!

    Heather says: “Hi, Amy: I think the best thing to do is to try the size 10 needles – it sounds like they just might be the ticket!”

  • Still can’t find yarn here. I will keep looking though. I might just need to do a few practice pieces with my dark purple synthetic yarn and my bright orange until I can find some normal yarn. I don’t want to get behind!

  • Hi,
    I feel like an idiot asking this but I’ve always been confused about how to count the stitches in double moss…

    Heather says: “Hi, Heather – Counting stitches in Double Seed is similar to counting for regular seed in that every purl stitch “bump” counts for two stitches.”

  • Hi, I have also restarted the cable part a couple of times, but i think i have it right now.

    Wanted to really post about a question Kathy (#23) had about making a smaller size. What I ended up doing is casting on 90sts, then making sure to alternate starting with K(RS) or P(WS) for the ribbing. Increase by 22 like it says then simply do not use any double seed stitches (the parts that have the different numbers per size) This will shorten the pattern by 8 stitches and should produce a finished chest of 36 (or so I hope) You might want to also adjust the overall height of the ribbing and pattern if you are short like me!

  • Finally made it through the weekend and finished up some other projects so I could devote more time to this one! I’ve managed to get an inch of ribbing done and hopefully will be moving on to the main portion of the back later today.

    One question – is there a version of this pattern for kids sizes? I don’t know if I could trust my conversion abilities to reduce this so I could make one for my son!

  • For those of you who are thinking about charting the pattern, you can Google graph paper and print out any size you wish. Once I did that and then diligently wrote out the pattern, I found the whole knitting process went much quicker with fewer “redo’s” needed to keep the pattern going.
    For those of you who are having difficulties with the pattern, writing it out/charting it will help you “see” it.
    I am so happy that I am retired and can spend lots of time doing this very nice project. It offers enough challenge to keep me motivated but not so tedious as to wear me out THINKING.
    Thank you, Lion Brand for all you do for us.

  • I am using Cotton Ease did my swatch had to use sz 7 and was wondering if I need to go down a size do the ribbing since it says to do it on smaller needles. Could someone please answer this for me, thanks.

    Zontee says: Hi Cindy, yes, that’s correct.

  • I’m two sections into the first panel of the sweater (32 rows) and it’s really coming together. I made a chart so I could keep track and also am running a “life-line” every 8 rows in case I need to back track. The guage was way off for me, I’m using 10’s for ribbing and 11’s for the sweater.

    I love the idea of using the smaller needles but knitting a larger sweater – wish I thought of doing that when I started.

  • Heather,
    There is some discussion on Ravelry about gauge in a couple of threads regarding this pattern. I was able to get gauge using #9s but the fabric is see-through. I clicked on the picture of your gauge swatch above and I count 5 stitches per inch. I think the gauge is 4 to the inch??? I have not been able to figure out how to get the correct gauge and NOT have the fabric turn out to be see-through. Any suggestions? Here is the thread I started on Rav about it:

    Heather says: “Hi, Bob – I looked at that swatch picture close again and realize that it must have bunched in a little when I put it on my scanner. That swatch is 4 sts=1” and I will be mailing the picture on to you. Here’s my suggestion and it sounds a bit odd… go up one more needle size. I think what is happening is that you have stretched the fabric during the blocking and it is looking “see through”. Just try your gauge again on a 10, and just dampen it – and let it dry without pins. Blocking is best when you already have the gauge in a piece, and then need to block it to size. Just give it a try and let’s see what happens!”

  • I’m learning my first very important lesson on gauge swatching … I nelected to do it, opting to jump right in with my size 8 needles. Now I’ve got about 10″ of the front of the sweater done and it’s going to be at least 3″ smaller around. Oops.

    My game plan is to get the front and back done, pin them together, and see how much too small it is. Then I’ll make an armpit-to-waist length panel a couple inches wide for each side and use it to increase the size (also, figure out how to make the sleeves work with these extra panels). Sound like a good plan? I’m not starting over at this point – I suppose if the sweater is too small for me I will gift it to somebody more narrow.

  • Thanks my yarn is coming tomorrow and I can’t wait to get started.

  • I am well into the ribbing using my smaller yarn and needles, having done a conversion of 1.3 to compensate. It is obvious that the underarm portion done in double seed stitch is going to be too wide to look good with the rest of the patterns so I am planning to add another panel to the sweater. I have a couple of cables in mind but am undecided on which one to select. I will be adding a total of 40 stitches over the entire round when I do this additional panel, so I will need a pattern of about 8 stitches plus a background dividing stitch on each side. I am thinking of either Twisted Tree or maybe a Claw pattern. We are in the midst of some home improvements, so I’m not having a lot of time to do this, but will try to keep up.

  • I finished the back last night and getting started on the ribbing for the front today. It goes pretty quickly once you get familiar with the patterns.

  • I made several gauge swatches yesterday afternoon on size 8, 10, and 10.5 needles. Then dampened them, let them dry overnight, and measured them this morning. Size 8 is definitely too small. With the 10s my swatch measured 3.75. The 10.5 swatch was 4.25! aargh! I did the size 10 swatch with a circular needle, so I’m going to try it again with straight needles and see if I can get that extra .25 inch that I need.

  • Denise (101) what a good idea with the life-line. I’m going to do that to. Thanks.

  • I am still working on my swatch.This is my first sweater and KAL. I tried using Vanna’s choice with 9’s, but I didn’t fninish because my stitches were looking like Heather’s.I then switched to the Fisherman’s wool in size 8.My stitches still did not look like the swatch Heather has posted. I haven’t completed the 4 inches yet, but I have counted 24 rows. I don’t think it will change much by dampening and drying. I am thinking of ripping out and trying 10’s. According to my Knitting for dummies book, the double seed stitch row 1 is K2, P2. Row 2 is P2, K2. I am working on a scarf the same stitches, and it does look like Heather’s. Am I on the right track? Thanks!

  • SOS!!!HELP!
    I have done two swatch gauges and I am having trouble getting gauge and do not know what to do. My dilemia is this —- I am using the Fishermen’s Wool and when I used size 8 needle and swatched I got 12 stitches for 2″ for a total width of the double seeded fabric of 3 1/2 inches. Then when I swatched using a needle size of 9 I got 10 stitches for 2″ and my width of double seeded fabric was 4″. I totally did not get even close with size 10 needle and I did not like the look of the big stitches. I am a petite size (normally wear a Petite small to a medium depending on the fabric) and I am 5’0 on a good day, I just do not know what to do, I was going to make the small (40). Any suggestions, Heather or anyone else.

    Heather says: “Hi, Leslie: Just work your gauge over 20 stitches in the Double-Seed and make sure that you dampen the swatch and let it dry completely before measuring. It looks like a 9 or 10 needle will probably be what works for you. Whatever needle you get the closest to 4 stitches to the inch is what you should use. It also sounds like the small size will work for you as well.

  • It’s me again, #109. I should have said my stitches in neither swatch do not look like Heather’s. It seems the garter are the more dominant stitch rather than the purl as in Heather’s. I’m frustrated and I haven’t even gotten to the cables yet.

    Heather says: “Hi, Barb: Sorry you are having problems with your gauge – I think the garter edges are confusing you, so here is a simple way to try your gauge. Just cast on 20 stitches and work only in the Double Seed pattern. Then dampen your piece and let dry completely. When it is dry, then measure 16 stitches to see if you get the 4 inches.

  • My first KAL. I’m so excited! I’m using Fishermen’s Wool – as pattern suggests. I’m right on with gauge using needles listed.

    I’ve just finished the ribbing & came back to “Comments” to find out what method of “increase” to use when adding additional 22 stitches. (Found my answer [#93], thank you.) But, now I find the term “life line” mentioned in a couple of comments (#101) (#108). I would like to have one. Please explain what it is and how you add one. Thanks.

  • Life line:

    I’ve never used one (never heard of them until now), but now I can think of several instances when I wish I’d used them! 🙂

    That said, once you get the cables down they’re not that difficult. Use stitch markers between the panels to keep track of where in the row you are and after the first 16 rows everything goes pretty smoothly.

  • Another trick to keep track of what row you’re on: I penciled in row numbers for all the other pattern stitches up to row 16 so as to match panel B. For example Panel A row 1 is also row 9, Cable C row 1 is also row 13,9, and 5. That way I can keep my row counter going from 1 – 16. I started this after realizing I messed up Cable c by repeating row 3. (another symbol of being homemade).

  • I finished the ribbing yesterday afternoon, and last night started the pattern on the back. I’ve also marked off all major panels/sections with stitch markers to help me keep place … which I’m glad I’ve done since I think I just made a mistake that I’ll need to backtrack for, but this way I can look at it by section instead of counting out stitches. The markers help me to “see” the sections easier. The markers I have came in three colors, so I’ve tried to color coordinate as best I can to keep some semblance of understanding of the row as a whole!

  • Anna, 113 Thanks for the link to Knittinghelp. I too did not know what a lifeline was. That link was very helpfull, I have bookmarked the site for future reference. Judy 114 Thanks also to you for the suggestion on the row numbering on the pattern. Wish I had done that yesterday. I too have missed or repeated a cable and not sure where it is. How do you count the knitted rows to determine what row you are on. Is there a better way other than just counting the stitches. It is hard to detemine where the pattern started on my piece and I am not sure if I am on the 9th or 11th row. Note to self, do not watch TV while establishing a cable pattern! Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Heather says: “Hi, Mary Lee – I like to write down on a piece of paper where I am in each pattern just by making “hash marks” I write down the pattern and row repeat #, then I just make marks on the paper after every row. I’ve done that ever since my cat knocked my multi-row counter that had pegs in it!

  • I did my swatch using Wool-ease Natural Heather 98 on size 8 circular needles and found if I keep my tension on the loose side my gauge works at 4 stitches = 1 inch. I love Wool-ease for its machine wash and dry. If 4 stitches = 1 inch and I want to have a comfortable loose sweater at the finished chest size of 48, I divide 48 by 2 and get 24 and times that by my 4 stitches and it equals 96 stitches total, plus you need two extra stitches for the selvage per notes [#2] stated on the pattern, which would give me 98 total stitches. So I can follow the pattern using Wool-ease by going with the small size by casting on 98 stitches.

    My question is how are you doing the selvage stitch since this is a part of the pattern? I understand that there is more then one way of doing a selvage stitch.

    Heather says: “Hi, Inge: The 4sts=1” gauge is only for the Double Seed stitch. All the other patterns are going to pull in the fabric greatly, so you need to use the number of stitches called for for the size sweater you want to make. Also, you mentioned that you found you had to knit loosely on the 8 to get the gauge. Instead of doing that, I would just go up a needle size and knit as you normally do. The selvage stitch is just worked in the pattern as a knit on the right side and purl on the wrong. Some knitters like to just slip the first stitch of every row, to tighten up the edge – that is up to you. Good luck starting the sweater1

  • Hi Heather,
    It’s Barb #111,again, thanks for your help. I ripped out the first swatch and have restarted using the 9’s in only the double seed stitch. Is it alright to reuse my yarn from the first swatch?

    Thanks Anna,#113, for posting the website for the lifeline. It was very helpful and I have it bookmarked for future use.
    The KAL has been a fantastic learning tool.

    Heather says: “Hi, Barb – I’m so happy you are learning new thing with our KAL! You can certain reuse your yarn for the next swatch, but if your yarn looks a little worn after swatching, you may want to start new for the sweater itself.”

  • This is my first KAL and really enjoy everyone’s comments and I love this pattern. Here’s what worked for me to keep track of pattern sections and rows. Definitely use markers as you knit to keep track of the various pattern sections. I don’t like the plastic rings, so I made my own using 3 strands embroidery floss and size 10 crochet hook: ch 8, slip st in 1st ch to form a ring, 14 sc in circle, finish off. You can make these in any color.

    For pattern rows I use a row counter and index cards as suggested by someone in an early post (don’t remember who). I have one 4×6 index card for each RS row with detail instructions for each panel, color coded to match my markers. As I knit, I only have one card in my lap for the row on which I’m working. This has worked like a charm and I’ve now done two pattern repeats with no problem.

  • I read some of the comments people already posted on the pattern and decided to start on the sleeve to slowly acquaint myself with the cable panels. I am also planing on knitting this sweater in the round (sleeves with dpns). That way I can try it on as I go to make sure it fits – and can make adjustments as needed before I get too far along. As an added perk, I don’t have to seam nearly as much. I am trying to think of a way to join the shoulders without seaming as well. (Can you tell I hate seaming?)

    I found I had to readjust my division of stitches after I started the pattern rows so I wasn’t splitting any of the cable panels on two different needles. I am one and a half repeats through on the panel A, and the patterning is definitely getting easier as I go – hopefully faster too.

    I took the time to chart the pattern out so I wasn’t shuffling through three sheets of paper and have found that very helpful. I found a free online charting program that was quick to do and simple to use. (

    I am also loaded with ring stitch markers at start and end of each cable repeat, start of the round, and front and back of the double seed. Horizontally, I am using locking stictch markers to note where I am doing the increases so ‘if’ I get interrupted I can follow where I need to make the increases. I think there is more plastic markers on my needles than yarn, but it’s keeping me organized so far.

    To Judy #107, I was also 3 3/4″ over 16 stitches on #10s and decided to do a bit of math and added a stitches so my final size would line up with the pattern sizes. (I got tired of making swatches and my #10 fabric looked quite nice.) The extra stitches that I needed to add I am working in double seed.

    To Inge #117, I would want to caution you as the cables will pull in more than the double seed. I wouldn’t count on the entire sweater being a 4 stitch per inch gauge, just the double seed. If you want a final sweater size of 48″, I would suggest that you make a large with the number of stitches listed in the pattern for that size.

  • I have been reading all the comments and have learned a lot, even tho I have been knitting a long time. The KAL is my very first one and I hope it isn’t my last.
    I wasn’t going to do this pattern because I am very tiny and size 40 is going to be “large”. After reading how everyone seemed to be having trouble making gauge I was hopeful mine was going to be too small too, which would have made the sweater smaller. I found some acrylic in my stash and of course mine came out perfect with size 8.
    I have the ribbing done (I only did 2 1/2 inches) and will now start the pattern, My plan is to do at least the first 16 rows and measure it against a sweater that fits me. If it is too big I will have to decide who to give it to or start again with smaller needles. I am doing it in the round – I think I hate seams as much as #120.

  • You very tiny ladies could leave all the seed stitches off of the edges or, alternatively, you could leave out one of the smaller cable panels on each side to get almost the same look but reduce the width of the fabric. If that interests you, I can measure the width I am getting on various panels which would give you an idea what to omit to achieve your ideal size.

  • I knew something was up when my swatch came out perfect the first time using the needles suggested. I just finished the ribbing and realized I used my sz 8 instead of 7. Anyone know just how much this will make a difference if I keep it that way. Or should I rip it out and start over on the correct needles.

    Heather says: “Hi, Lisa: Oh, I think we all have made that mistake before! (Or forget to change the needle size after the ribbing!) If you like how the ribbing looks, you can keep it that way – it just will not pull in as much at the bottom. If you are unsure, you can start the ribbing for the other side and you will see pretty soon which one looks better. “

  • I have a question. Is there a secret as to where to put your cable holder when you aren’t using it? Mine falls off the chair arm, slides off my lap, or gets stuck and falls someplace and I end up fishing for it a lot. I’ve thought about trying to figure out how to tie a long string on it but haven’t figured anything out yet. Does anyone have a tip? Thanks

  • Donna I wind up sticking my cable needle in my mouth most of the time to hold it for the next row I need it. I don’t suggest that. I do have a little knitting tools bag that has a netting pocket on the outside and I stick it through the netting to keep it handy. Anything with a small pocket could work.
    I am about 1/2 way through with the back. I like it even though the work is not a tight knit using the larger needle size because I am making it to wear as an over sweater like a jacket and not a blouse. I can see how I might finish in 6 weeks.

  • Judy, after I posted that I tried to stick it between my glasses frame close to my ear. It worked okay but kept getting lost in my hair. Now, I’m trying to slip it under my wedding ring, it’s worked pretty good so far. I’m really enjoying doing this sweater, I’ve never done such a detailed pattern and never a sweater but I’m really liking how it’s turning out. I’m not halfway on the back yet but I am going to push to have it done in 6 weeks. If I don’t I won’t be able to wear it until next winter.

    Heather says: “Hi, Donna: It is fun hearing where people keep that cable needle while they are not working cables! I’ve also found attaching it to your knittting, expecially behind one of the smaller cables keeps it from getting lost. Keep the ideas coming!”

  • Donna, I usually just slide the cable needle into the knitted piece a few rows below where I need it, and when I come around to the next cable it is there for me. I wouldn’t recommend leaving it around for the cat to get though. (Done that already) LOL. Haven’t gotten my yarn yet, or done my swatch (insisted I had to finish the last sweater first). I will be picking the yarn up tomorrow and getting started. Glad for all the advice.

  • My first adult sweater! What a pattern. Judy 114, I also noted the rows of Cable C & Panel A to match the 1-16 of Panel B. But I decided to write out 4×6 cards (as someone else suggested) to keep all instructions clear for each odd row. Only need to make cards for 1, 3, 5, 7,etc. Then will use one card at a time. It is helping me sort out the pattern as I copy the instructions. I also plan to use a row counter. It seems like a lot of work now, but I’m hoping it will pay off with not having to pull out rows… I already have my “homemade” signature since I forgot to change needle sizes when doing the pattern set up row – but since it IS the back side & only I know about it… I’m not ripping out. Hoping my flash cards help keep me organized & go faster than flipping sheets. I’m looking forward to seeing a pattern chart when it’s posted. This is the most complicated piece I have done but it still looks doable!

  • I’m just finishing up on the second set of 16 rows. I love it!! Mary Ann, you will love the cards. That is what I did and am able to keep track of the patterns quite well this way!! It’s fun to work on but my day job comes first of course. I’ve never done a KAL and really have learned alot. Thanks everyone and Happy Knitting!!!

  • About cable needles. Sometime ago I began stubstituting a bobby pin for a cable needle. I held the stitches on that, knitted the others, then returned the held stitches to the left needle to knit off. Worked well and did not slide out as that annoying cable needle will.

    But then I tried something new: now I knit all the stitches to be croseed, slide them off the right needle, reorganize them with my fingertips and slide them back on in the new order. No cable needle is required. I like this method even better. I’ve knitted the last several cable projects using this Drop and Swap technique.


  • I have measured my cables for the benefit of petit knitters who need to reduce the pattern from its minimum size.

    Small cable is 1/2″ by itself
    Cable C is 1.25″ by itself and 2″ between the 2 columns of knit stitches on either side of it
    Panel A is 4″ from one column of surrounding knit stitches to the other.

    Hope that helps some of you figure out how to get the size you need by omitting just enough from the pattern to make it fit you.


  • I’m into the home stretch (4 rows left) of my 3rd repeat. I think I’ll try that drop and swap method from post 130. I don’t love my cable needle. I’m hoping to get at least halfway done with the back today.

  • SOS! Barb is having trouble with the double seed stitch for the gauge. I am #109, 111, 118. I have ripped out my swatch for the third time. This swatch is looking like the regular ribbing. Could someone explain rows 2 & 4. My knitting for dummies book shows this stitch as R1 K2, P2, R2 P2, K2. which does not look like the work posted for the swatch. The stitch finder on this site does not show the double seed stitch.

    Thanks so much!

  • Barb, here’s DSS per this pattern.

    Row 1 (RS): *K1, p1; rep from * to end.
    Row 2: K the knit sts and p the purl sts.
    Row 3: *P1, k1; rep from * to end.
    Row 4: K the knit sts and p the purl sts.
    Rep Rows 1–4 for Double Seed st.

    For Row 2 you k1, p1 to the end and Row 4 you p1, k1 to the end. When you are looking at the work as it faces you on the wrong side you knit knit stitches and purl purl stitches

  • Thanks Holli in Memphis for your help with the double seed stitch. I’ll give it a try.

  • barb 133 – the same stitch can sometimes be called different things. I think of a double seed stitch as the K2, P2 you described. Your book might have the stitch we’re doing listed as “moss stitch,” which is what I’ve always known it as.

  • Chris 136,
    Thanks for the post.You’re right, my book does show this as a moss stitch, with a slight variation, but looks the same. Swatch is ready to be dampened.

  • I am doing the cable set up on 120 stitches and im lost, my first cable sweater and I cant get the set up row right, I end up being done in the middle of last pattern, can you tell me the correct way to do it? and thats skipping the beginning and ending double seed stitch HELP Please

  • Hi ulli,
    All sizes use the same number of stitches for the cable patterns, and the various sizes are achieved by adding double seed stitch on the sides. Since you are working with 120 stitches, it looks like you’re making the size small. Did you cast on 98 stitches for the ribbing and add 22 stitches on the last row? Size small has a narrow panel of double seed stitch that is 5 stitches wide, counting the selvage. I may not be understanding your question correctly, but if you skip the double seed stitch panel it will throw off the cable patterns. If you’re getting to the end of the row before you have finished knitting all of the cables, you may not be reading the directions correctly. Since you’ll only be knitting the pattern set up row once for the back and once for the front, it might pay to use a pencil and tick off every stitch as you go. Take your time to get this row right. I probably didn’t help at all, but maybe you can give more details on the trouble you’re having.

  • Thanks for all your ideas for holding the cable, I’ll probably give them all a try and then pick the one that is easiest. I thought about taking those little elastic bands for ponytails and putting one on my pinky finger and sliding it in there. I think it will stay better than under my ring.

    kdoublrey (130) I’m going to try that cable trick later tonight, sounds like it might even solve my cable stitch holder problem *smile*

  • I guess all the swatching I did loosened up my grip! It looks like size 9 needles are going to work for me instead of the 10s! I work four days per week and am taking two college classes online so I don’t have much time for knitting right now, so I will be progressing very slowly! Maybe I’ll get started on the ribbing this weekend.

  • Heather, I really need some advise. After swatching for three days, I am truly in a dilema once again. I even went to my favorite knitting store, and there answer was that since I wasn’t on gauge that the Fishermen’s Wool would not work for this project for me, do you agre? As I said in previous posts, when I used 8 needles I got in double seed stitch over 20 stitches 3 and 1/2 inches or 6 stitches for 1 inch. In size 9 needles I got 4″ in double seed over 20 stitches but was 5 stitches per inch. And then in needle size 10 I got 4 and 1/4 inches in double seed for 20 stitches but was at 5 stitches per one inch. I know how important gauge is to a project that fits right so I am troubled as what to do, give up on the project. As I have said in my other posts I am a petite person normally a size small, who is right at 5 foot on a good day, with a bust size of 34. I need some help. Thanks!!!!

    Heather says: “Hi, Leslie: Sorry you are having a problem getting the gauge for this sweater. The Fishermen’s Wool will work with this pattern, so I think this is what you might want to do. Make a swatch of 20 stitches with your 10 or even 10 1/2 needles. Work up for about 4 inches and bind off. Then dampen your swatch and let dry completely. Then measure only 16 stitches inside the swatch to see if there are 4”. Don’t worry if the fabric is not dense, as the cable patterns make this yarn work very well for the sweater. I hope this helps you and that you can start casting on soon!

  • […] Inishturk Sweater Knit-Along: Choose Your Yarn & Make a Swatch […]

  • Just wanted to say thanks to Heather and Jeannine for the good advice. I’m following the pattern for size large but sticking to needles size 7 and 8. I was using wooden circular needles size 8 which made the tension more loose, but I change to aluminum circular needles, which I can knit faster on plus my tension is more even. I have one inch to go on the ribbing before setting up the pattern. Looking forward to the next instruction segment and hoping for more good advice on following the pattern.

    Zontee says: Hi Inge, the newest post went up this morning. You can read it by clicking here.

  • For anyone interested, I have described my bobby pin and drop and swap cabling methods a bit more fully on the hand knitting page on my website.

  • I don’t want to fall behind but after awhile, I get tired and tense so I’ve found a way to relieve “cable anxiety” and keep knitting. when I get tired of working on the back I do a bit on a sleeve. It is so much smaller and less complex that it feels like vacation! I have memorized all the patterns by now except the big center panel on the front and back so I don’t have to consult my notes all the time while working the sleeve.

  • Thank you Kathryn 122& 131. I am still getting this started, I have another sweater I am knitting which has to get finished but am doing both. I really appreciate all the advice everyone is giving. It is going to be real helpful.

  • Hi all my KAL’s

    I was just wondering how far along everyone is, I have am 1/2 way through my very first panel.

    Since I am doing it in the round, with lots of stitches it is very slow going. I am trying not to get frustrated but just breathe and enjoy the experience.

    Have to admit I was totally freaked out at the beginning when I saw all the intricate patterns but I just decided to take each step as it came, make sure I had all my markers in place to correspond to the colors for each pattern, which I will admit did take a lot of time, but now that I am finally knitting it was totally worth it.

    Hope everyone is enjoying there experience and know we will all have beautiful sweaters when we are through!

  • I am not sure if this is right place to ask a question. I just finished the ribbing and about to increase the stitches on the next row. Are the increases done in a ribbing pattern or do you just knit that row with the increases.


    Heather says: “Hi, Linda: That row is done in ribbing – and you can check out the hints on increasing at my newest post:

    Happy Knitting!”

  • Linda, I did mine in the ribbing pattern. It turned out okay.

  • Well almost halfway done with the back. I have a few love mistakes but they’re staying as a reminder of how far I advanced when I do the front with no mistakes. Only one problem, work is getting in the way of my knitting *chuckle* Have a happy Saturday everyone.

  • I finished writing out my index cards with each odd row – each cable & panel is highlighted in a different color. I put markers on my needles to correspond with the colors on the index cards. I thought it was a lot of effort, but I am really progressing at a good pace. All that effort of the index cards and markers was worth it.
    Since I have to finish the other sweater I have going can’t work on this one as much as I want.
    All the advice and hints are great.
    Thank you everyone.

  • oh, boy. So last night I admitted that the varigated grey/black/white yarn I was using was really hiding the patterns in this sweater, and I pulled it all out and got a beautiful charcol grey. At least it wasn’t so far done, I was on the fourth set of sixteen rows. Sometimes you gotta be harsh.

  • Oh Carol–that is tough. But considering how disappointing it would be to knit all those cables and then be unable to see them, I think you made the right decision.

  • A Milestone!
    I have finished the back. Looks good. I’m feeling very encouraged.

  • […] Inishturk Sweater Knit-Along: Choose Your Yarn & Make a Swatch […]

  • I would love one of these sweaters! My Grandmother came to Boston from Innishturk. I hope to go visit this summer 2012. How could I order one of these sweaters?

    • Hi Jill, sells yarn and provides patterns; we don’t sell finished garments. However, you may be able to find a knitter at a local yarn store and/or on who can custom-knit the garment for you. Generally, you will pay the cost of yarn and the hours it takes her/him to knit it for you. We do allow our patterns to be used in this way. Hope that helps!

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