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Rio Rancho Cardigan Knit-Along Week 2: Reading Stitches and Swatching!

Spring2016KALmainI am so thrilled you are on board with our spring knit along: the Rio Rancho Cardigan. It is a flowy, open cardigan that I keep calling my cardishawl. I love how easy it is going to be to throw on when it gets a little chilly at night. I am also loving watching my color changes as I knit up this cardigan.

First things first! If you are new to knitting or choosing this knit along to improve your knitting skills, I want to point out a few important points.

I have to enourage you to knit up a gauge swatch. Not only does this aid you in choosing the correct size needles, but it also ensures the garment will fit. For this project, fit is not as important as this is a one-size fits all open “cardishawl”, but for more form-fitting projects, it is a crucial first step.

KAL_swatch
For this project, swatching serves two purposes:

1. How much air do you want in your garment? Examine your fabric to see how tight or loose you wish the garment to be. I was actually able to obtain gauge on a 7 and 8 needle. Using a 7 needle made my fabric a bit less airy than with 8’s. I liked that feel, so I went with a size 7 needle.
2. Am I comfortable with the seed stitch? If you are new to knitting or the seed stitch, knitting a 4” square is a great way to practice this new technique.

SEED STITCH

I hate to say it, but due to the texture of this yarn, it is a little tricky identifying the difference between knit and purl stitches. I took a few photos so that you could see the difference between the purl stitches (BUMPS) and knit stitches (V’s).

BUMPS:

KAL_bumps
V’s:

KAL_Vs
For seed stitch, whatever the stitch is that you encounter on the needle, you knit it the opposite.

When you see a bump (PURL), knit that stitch. When you see a knit (V), purl that stitch. When you get used to reading your stitches, it is easy to put it down and pick it up and begin again without remembering what you did last.

Taking the time to learn to read your stitching takes a lot of the stress out of it. And since the beginning of this pattern is 11 inches of seed stitch, it’s important to not be stressing out!

Speaking of the beginning, I suggest casting on using markers for every 10 or 20 stitches.

KAL_markers
There is nothing more frustrating than losing count on a large cast-on. Adding markers makes counting it much quicker. No stress knitting everybody!

Comment below if you have any questions or comments about beginning this project. See you on the Ravelry thread too!

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  • Barbara Jean Murray

    I am almost done with the back and have used one ball of yarn. Are 3 balls of yarn enough for this project?