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Rio Rancho Cardigan Knit-Along Week 3: Binding Off the Back

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Hello Knitters! Thanks for checking in. I hope you are finding the rhythm of your seed stitch and enjoying the color changes as you work with Shawl in a Ball. You may have noticed a new video with a back view of the garment has been added to the pattern page. This will be helpful to look at when it is time to piece the items together.

Cardigan Back

The first piece you will be working is the back.  Here are a few tips and tricks for this section:

  1. Mark your front right away so that you know when you have ended with a wrong side row. I usually just place a marker or two on my first worked row so that it stands out to me.  For the first 11 inches, it doesn’t matter if you are wrong or right side, but it becomes more important when you get to the top shaping.
  2. I suggest binding off in seed stitch. I would love to read comments regarding which bind off you used. I experimented with knitting all  and seed and I found seed to be more flexible.
  3. When you get to the 40 stitches of bind off at the end of the 11” section, don’t forget to count! So often when we bind off, it is the VERY LAST thing we do in a project and we don’t have to count it. Here, we keep going for a while after the bind off.  If you get going and forget to count, it is hard to see the bound-off stitches with this crinkly yarn.
  4. When it’s time to decrease and knit two together, it’s hard to tell how to treat that stitch in the seed stitch. I found looking farther along the row helpful. I found a stitch I recognized and then I followed my eye back to the k2tog stitch, saying: purl, knit, purl, okay this must be a knit, (or vice versa).  Since it is the edge, it does not really matter at all if you stay in pattern—it will never show!

Look at that BEAUTIFUL Back Section:

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Front Sections

After you work the back you will be knitting the next half of your cardigan with two different front sections.  I found that as I settled into this cardigan, my tension got the slightest bit tighter.  If this happens to you when you knit, you may want to cast on all 3 sections (BACK and 2 FRONTS) at the same time, and then place them on waste yarn until you get back to them. Another alternative is aggressively blocking the pieces upon completion, so that they are very close in shape and size.  My pieces are only off the slightest bit, but I could see for a beginner knitter this could be a problem, so I just wanted to mention that here.

These front sections are mirror images of each other, so pay attention to “END with a RS row” verses “END with a WS row”.  Another way to think about this: just know that the RIBBED side of the front stays ribbed from beginning to end.  If you find yourself going to bind off, increase or decrease when you are in the 20 stitches of ribbing, HALT! That is the wrong section.

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Here I also want to open the discussion up about color.  I noticed in the pattern photos, the colors of the front section are slightly off from each other, including the sleeves.  I attempted to line mine up.  It took some exploration of the skeins I purchased, but I was able to match up the color to my satisfaction.  What are your thoughts on the aesthetics of the color match up?

These three sections are the bulk of the cardigan.  These are my “two cents” after knitting them up.  What are your thoughts? How is it going? What has tripped you up? What is going great?  Did you ALMOST have your Rio Rancho Cardigan confiscated at the airport in Mexico like me? I sure hope not!  Happy Knitting!

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