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Inishturk Sweater Knit-Along: The Inishturk Shapes Up

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Inishturk Sweater Knit-Along: The Inishturk Shapes Up

The Inishturk Sweater is certainly a cabled sweater of “Olympic” proportions!  I know I’m not the only one having fun knitting it while watching the 2010 Winter Games.  One reason this sweater is a great project to work with cables is because there is very little shaping in this sweater.  However, we do have necks and arms!   So there is a little shaping at the top of the back and front as well as the sides of the sleeves.   Some of you have been wondering how to keep your knitting in pattern while working the shaping of the neck and sleeves.  On all the wrong side rows, the instructions are to knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.   This can be confusing when you shape this sweater, because all of a sudden, the patterns change.

The shaping for the sleeves (for all the sizes) has us increasing 1 stitch each side of the sleeve every 3rd row 8 times, then every 4th row 15 times.   Keeping the Double Seed stitch pattern can be a challenge doing that when you will need to increase on the right side (RS) and sometimes on the wrong side (WS).  The main thing to remember is on the RS, knit the purl and purl the knit stitches.  On the WS, knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.

One of the best skills to have as a knitter is to be able to “read” your stitches.  In other words, know if they are knits or purls.  So, look at the stitches as they appear right now rather than how they were worked on the row before.  So, if your stitch appears like this picture (to the right, in pink), it is a knit stitch (even though it was a purled the row before.)  These are the stitches you purl on the RS and knit on the WS.

OK – so here (in green) is a picture of a purl stitch as it “appears” (there is always a “bump” at the base of it).  One of my students told me she learned how to identify a stitch as a purl, by the “pearl” necklace it is wearing!  These are the stitches you will knit on the RS and purl on the WS.

Sometimes the edge stitches might be difficult to “read”, so just look at the next couple of stitches to figure out whether that edge stitch is a knit or a purl.  And if the edge stitches don’t look perfect – don’t worry – they will be in the seam before you know it!

What about those cables patterns when you are shaping the neck?  The main rule is to not work a cable if you do not have enough stitches to do it.  Just work those stitches in stockinette stitch.  Below you can see the shaping I’m doing on the front left neck. It looks a little strange, but when I pick up stitches for the neck, it will look fine.

This sweater is “shaping” up nicely, and soon we’ll be at our own “finish line”!

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  • I’m finished! I finished last night and I thought it looked great but that I’d wash it before wearing. EEEK! I hand washed of course but the sweater seemed to become enormous. I blocked carefully and it’s almost dry and appears to be returning to more what I expected. If it’s loose, I can wear it happily–just dont’ want to have to walk to the other side of it! This is truly a lovely classic sweater. I have admired this look since early childhood so I know I’ll enjoy it for years.

  • Congratulations on finishing Kathryn. Wow you must be a quick knitter!! I’m not even finished the back yet, but I will keep plugging along. Even with our Central Alberta winters I will probably have to wait until next fall/winter before I can wear mine! Oh well!

  • Congratulation Kathryn! I’m still working on the sleeves, but it’s coming along well. Didn’t get much knitting time in this week, but hope to make up for it today. I love KAL day. It gives me an excuss to knit all day……… Thank you Heather for your helpful hints on keeping in pattern for the sleeves when we do the increases. I had a hard time getting that straight in my head, before I could even start the sleeves last week. But all is well now!

  • Congratulations Kathryn. I can’t wait to get mine done but it may be a bit yet. I’m still on the front.

    Heather, thanks for showing the picture of the neck shaping. I wasn’t sure if mine looked right, although mine is the back not the front, it looked so long in between the neck stitches and top of the shoulder. I just keep telling myself that I’ll figure it out when I get there.

  • Wow, Kathryn! Good for you! Did you put a picture on the flickr page? I hope you did/will. (heading over there after this!)

    The Olympics are on? Huh. 🙂

  • as soon as I can get a good photo, I’ll get one up.

  • about my speed…
    I don’t think I’m especially fast, though I have committed this year to becomging a really good hand knitter. In the past, I have been much more expert at machine knitting and design professionally for that area. But I really want to knit lots of cables and bulky yarns and machines don’t do either as well as hand needles.

    I have 2 things going for me that help with speed:
    1) short arms! I shortened the sleeves to fit them which meant a little less work.
    2) I knit while cycling on my recumbent bike. I’m committed to this fitness routine and that much cardio is just plain dull so I have learned to do all sorts of things with my hands and brain while I am cycling. I don’t knit really fast while cycling but it means I do it for awhile every day.


  • I have a photo now but can’t figure out how to post it. Can anyone advise me?

  • Sorry for the momentary thread-jack, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY Vanna White!

  • Woo-hoo to Kathryn for completing your sweater! I’ve finished the front & back, sewn shoulder seams, and finished the neck ribbing today. Tomorrow I start on the sleeves and still plan to sew side seams then knit the sleeves down in the round. Will let you all know how that goes.

  • Wow Heather, you make it look so easy…I’m still working on the back but I was a little worried about the neck shaping…thank you for the picture. It makes sense now!

    Kathryn- There’s a link towards the top of this page (after Heathers post) but here’s a link. Post some pics there! 🙂

  • Congrats to Kathryn for finishing. I have just finished the 3rd row of the 4th round of the pattern repeat. There is still a long way to go for me because 1. I’m a slow knitter and don’t have lots of time to knit. 2. I’m knitting with a smaller yarn and had to adjust the pattern to accomodate that so I have about 40 stitches more in every round and I will have to do a couple of more rounds than would have been necessary with Fisherman’s wool. BUT, it is looking beautiful and I have not been making mistakes after about the first complete pattern repeat. My yarn is a Puruvian Alpaca and is a bit fuzzy so the stitch definition is not as great as with Fisherman’s wool either, but I sure do like it.

  • Thanks for the help. My sweater is now up on our flickr group. Since I knitted it in brown, I lightened the photo a little so the detail shows but you all know what the color really is. I did use Lion Wool.

  • I need to go look at the fix-it picture. Just looked at one of my cables and it’s wrong. Waaaaaa waaaaa, but thanks for helping me not have to tear it out.

  • A hearty THANK YOU to Ashlee for posting a web address so that we can see what the SLEEVES will look like! This is a great picture that shows a much better view than the one we’ve all seen with the actual pattern. I’ve forwarded this newer photo to several of my knitting buddies who know I am involved in this project. Thanks again, Ashlee!!!

    Finished the back of the sweater just last night…I love it.

  • more about my photo…
    NOW it is properly posted. Yesterday, it seems I succeeded in uploading it but not in putting it in our group files. Now it shows up correctly where it should be.

  • Thanks everyone for sharing your pictures, although if you are done with your sweater you probably don’t look at this. I never thought of taking pictures in progress….*duh* and I call myself a scrapbooker *laughing*, but I rectified that last night and took a lot so I can scrapbook my first sweater. Did any of you do the tree of life knit along? I was looking at pictures of it and want to do it so badly but I have 3 baby blankets to work on and a pink octopus for a friend at work who is having her 30th birthday and not happy about it at all. *smile* Have a great weekend. It’s beautiful in Seattle, my crocuses are blooming and the daffodils are budding. Really early spring this year.

  • Donna,
    I made the Tree of Life afghan it turned out great. I found it in Nov.and read everyones comments first and than made it on my own. The commment were VERY helpful, I did it in a neutral and did the leaf pattern in a green.
    I am only on my 3rd round of the pattern for the back of this sweater but really like how it looks so far can’t wait to see the finished project. Thanks for having knit alongs they are alot of fun and very educational I have learned alot so far.

  • Janet, I agree this has been so informational for me. I never would have started a sweater on my own. Well I did try a cardigan once and got discouraged and ripped it out. I have the back done of this one and a little on the front. I have learned so much and it’s been great to be able to ask people when I’m unsure of something. I plan on doing that afghan but it might be my “work in progress” that I only work on occasionlly between other projects. I definitely need more knitting time but darn I like at eat and have a roof over my head so I have to continue working *chuckle*

  • Donna,
    I am still reading even though I have finished my sweater. I want to know when everyone posts pictures. I love seeing how they all turned out. I am currently knitting on the tree of life afghan. It is challengening but that’s what I like. I would probably never started the afghan if it hadn’t been for the knit along. Seeing the pictures of the sweaters makes me wish I had knitted a tighter gauge on mine but maybe I’ll make another one.

  • !!OMG!! Really upset here. So I’m looking at my pretty sweater back in progress and I noticed something about one of my Cable C patterns…the pretty braid one..and I noticed that after the first or second cross over…it started to become a twist…I’m only in the second set of 16 but I CANNOT rip this sweater out Again…it would be the third time. I’m afraid I wouldn’t start it again. So I look at the rest of the sweater…EVERY CABLE C IS LIKE THAT! I must have been paying so much attention to the big cables that I didn’t pay ANY to this! So, I knitted up to one of these, put the rest of my work on my circular needles, pushed my work back and just ripped this part out…now, instead of my ball of yarn, I’m working with 2 dpns (nice and short) and a “ladder” of yarn…it will take me a few days but at least I’m not starting over…is this a tadpole? (Instead of a frog…just a little
    crazy knitter humor…)

    Your welcome Marie #15 but I really didn’t do anything…lol.

  • Don’t feel bad Ashlee,
    you are not alone. I had to do the same thing more than once. On the plus side, I got pretty good at it and you will too. Since it is unlikely that we’ll get through life without ever making another mistake, it’s nice to know how to fix one effectively!

  • Ashlee post 21, I have the same problem, but I can’t quite understand how you ripped out just the cable area and how you reattach it to the rest of the sweater as you knit it back. Would you be so kind as to explain it in real step by step instructions for us folks who have never heard of being able to do this? I would sure appreciate it. I ripped out my sweater 4 times and really don’t want to do it again. I tried doing the duplicate stitch to fix the cable, but it doesn’t work so well for changing the twist, just makes it look fat. Thanks again for any help.

  • Ashlee and Kathryn, I’m curious also how you just ripped out the cable part. I ripped out about 4 rows over the weekend because I had one of the C cables messed up. I was going to leave it but as usual just kept looking at it, and knew it had to be corrected. I tried the fix that Heather showed but I couldn’t make it work. Did you just rip out that cable and reknit it until it got up to the rest of the sweater? Thanks, have a good day.

  • Ok…I put all my work on a circular needle. I knitted up to the first Cable C. Once I got there I slipped those 6 (OH NO! Lol) off my needles and pushed everything else onto the cable of the circular. (So the needles wouldn’t get in the way and the rest wouldn’t accidentally fall off the needle.) I “frogged” the whole cable (keeping track of each row pulled out so I would know where to start again.) looking at it, it’s a row of ladders. And you would grab a pair of DPN needles and just…re-knit each row. Say I had to start at the beginning. I would frog the whole cable, put the 6 sts on my DPNs, and do the first row using the first “ladder”, just Pretend your yarn isn’t attached to the other side and do your YO. (the cable 2 to the front, k2, k2 from the CN and k2.) Then, don’t even turn your work, just slid your 6 sts to the right of the needle again and knit the next row (row 2) slide again and do the 3rd row (k2, cable 2 to the back, k2 then k2 from the CN.) Then slide everything and do the 4th row from the right side again…knitting all 6 sts. I guess you can turn your work and purl all 6 but it’s such a pain when you can just knit it! If you’re nervous about doing this, just take some scrap yarn and knit the cable a few times (with a border of some sort) and give it a try.

  • About ripping “just a section”…I have had to do this on two parts as well (cable c and small cable a). I don’t know how the rest of you do it, but for me it goes as follows. First you have to get to that section but don’t knit it. I had two dp needles the same size as I was using to knit the sweater and a crochet needle (size not as important). I then took the stitches out so it looks like I dropped those stitches (you end up with a lader and your working stitches somewhere lower than your current finished edge) until I reached the row that needed to be reworked. I put the stitches back onto the dpns and instead of knitting I took the “ladder rung” part of the yarn and with the crochet hook (inserted through from front to back) pulled it through from the back and then slipped it from the crochet hook to the other dpn (this will give you the look of a knit stitch, if you have the “ladder rung” in the front and pull it to the back it will be a purl). You can even work the cable this way, you just have two dpns and the cable needle to work with instead of just the dpns. I hope that was helpful, if not I learned to do this from the “Stitch ‘n Bitch” book by Debbie Stoller and her explination was wonderful.

  • Side note, this cable will be a little loose but just make sure all your knits are loose and it will look alright at the end. I just finished redoing the second cable…looking great! I wasn’t sure about this the first time I did it but I figured…if it worked then AWESOME! And if now? Well…I would have to rip the whole thing out anyway…but IT WORKED! YAY! Lol.

  • Awesome information on reapairing the cable C. I did not know that was possible. I’ve been knitting for years and years and never knew you could do a large repair without ripping it back full rows. This has been a wealth of good information for me.

  • Oh thank you so much for explaining it. When I make my next mistake I now know how to fix it in a much easier way.

  • I really wish I read this yesterday before I ripped back to my lifeline. Oh well live and learn, and this is quite a learning I have committed to making another one in cotton ease stone, my order came in last week, so I am certainly not giving up, just progressing slowly. I’ll probably still be able to wear it at least once before it gets to warm here. :o)

  • Thank you, Ashlee and Kristi. I have several mistakes in my C Cables and was about to rip out the entire back. Now, I’ll try to repair the work. The thought of ripping it all out and starting over was very discouraging. I have learned so much from this Knit Along – I’m so glad I joined in. So far, I’m about half way done with the front of the sweater and have only made one mistake, which I will try to fix before going any further with the work. Thank you, thank you, thank you – I’m so grateful for your help.

  • I repair in basically the same way as the others have described. I have used crochet hooks in the past and also done all the work from the front but have decided that my preference is to re-knit in EXACTLY the same manner as I did before. I use shorter needles for the repair, leaving the main portion of the completed work on the long ones but do turn the fabric and knit both sides normally. Doing so helps me to avoid confusion. Anything that works for you is a good thing, though.

  • Even with DPN’s I tried turning the work but my needles always ended up on the back of the work and it was such a pain to switch them through the 2 sections and under all the ladders…lol. Not turning was pure laziness on my part…lol.

  • Those infamous “C” cables. After I bragged that I was no longer making so many mistakes in my knitting, I came across three C cable errors. I too just repair the section that is wrong. I learned how to do it several years ago when I was knitting my second Aran sweater. It does turn out a little loose, but I just pull and yank and pull after everything is back in place and then when the whole garment is blocked, voila’, can’t tell anything happened.

  • I got started late and I’m still on the back, but it’s going well and I was thrilled to find the graphs last night, they make the knitting go so much faster.
    Great job Kathryn!!

  • Wow what a learning experience I too was hit with after about 10 rows looked back and saw many error where I would knit the same row over 2 times in the C cables will be the same problem I am getting it and last night took all the section out that was wrong and reknit that section. I have done that before with slipped stitches. and I really thought I might be getting in deeper with the cables fron tand back slips but was able to get them in now this morning looking at this in the light of day I see one of my 6 stitches is cabling up wrong about the same area… I am learning how to recognize the errors now before I go any further being a long time crocheter I haven’t knitted much till last years Textured Knited Circular Schrug which I did 4 and will do one more as I gave away to my daughter as a late Birthday present it is in the Blue Mist of Wool Ease great yarn I just love it. Been thinking I need to just go back to that one as now I know its pattern repeats really well and after 4 I didn’t have to read the instructions at each turn as I do with this and well love to work the return row but I was totally perplexed when I started that knit in the knits and purl in the purls I was sure it wasn’t going to work out right… but that is what happens when I over think something and don’t just follow the instuctions…. I have now found my second love and am in the early stages of obbsession with this knitted pattern. I just finished my first 16 rows of the pattern and getting to the next batch of this pattern repeat has anyone devised better way to track where they are on the shorter rows I have been numbering them and well earasing the earlier number and replacing them where I am the two stitch repeats are easy as the fronts are the slip to the front or back I wrote a note on the placement of the pattern repeats. Thanks for everyones posts and tricks to get those cables going in the correct direction I am goint to correct that 6 stitch section tonight and watch my overs and unders. It is starting to make sense each row is easier and making more sense to my Crocheting mind…. So glad I have started this KAL as I am learning something new each turn of the cable and right now I am hearing about the sleeves but I think I will focus on the next section and maybe start the front ribbing as I can do that with out much thinking and I really don’t like the starting rows once I have the pattern set up things should go a little smoother now that I know what areas I am having dificulty with.

    Thanks Lion Brand wonderful web site and great patterns and yarn!!! been in love with your yarn for as long as I can remember Jamie prints and the baby colors where the best I still have some and will get back to crocheting will do up a bunch of scarfs for next winter!

  • […] Inishturk Sweater Knit-Along: The Inishturk Shapes Up […]

  • QUESTION on the neck. I know there has already been alot of questions on this but I can’t find the answer to mine…so excuse me but….Since we are starting on the RS with the Shape Neck instructions, does that mean we are going to be decreasing on that first row? I’m assuming not. So then you would come back across with the row 2 of knit the knits and purl the purls, then start with the decreasing on row 3??? Is this right….I’m stuck right now and not going any further until I can get an answer!! Thanks so much. Also if we are going to do the 3 needle bind off to put the shoulders together do we NOT bind off like the instructions say to do for the shoulders….and just slip them onto a stitch holder?? Thanks very much. I’m really enjoying the sweater but haven’t done this much and get a bit confused…at these points.

    Heather says: “Hi, Kelly: The neck shaping for both the front and the back has you decreasing 1 stitch at the neck edge every other row. I found it easier to work the dec on the RS for both sides. So, just make sure you decrease 1 stitch at the neck edge every other row and use those markers to keep in pattern. If you want to work the 3-needle bind-off, just leave the stitches on a holder with yarn attached to work the 3-needle bind-off. I hope this helps you with that neck!”

  • Question. I have rather skinny arms….is anyone planning on not increasing quite so much for the arms so that it will fit a little closer?? I’d like to do this but don’t know how many stitches to stop with. Will it still stitch together right at the body of the sweater??? Heather thanks for your answer on the neck line. Since you didn’t say whether you decreased on the first row of the neckline or not, I just started my decreasing on row 3. I’ll leave the stitches on holders so I can try the 3 needle bind off. Thanks.

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