In this week’s post, we will cast on and work through the YOKE of the shrug. The yoke of the sweater is the part that contains the cast on edge, the beginnings of the sleeves, and the top part of the body.
Now that you’ve found the perfect yarn, the correctly-sized needles, made your swatch, checked your gauge, and breathed a sigh of relief…LET’S CAST ON!
Gather up your yarn, needles, two stitch markers, and cast on 60 (60, 60, 68, 68, 68) stitches. (I’m making the 3rd size.)
Do not join to work in the round. Even though we are using circular needles, because the shrug is left open at the front, we work back and forth.
RAGLAN SET-UP ROW (WS):This is the portion of the pattern in which we place our markers and set up the placement of the raglan increases.
The instructions say to begin working in stocking stitch or stockinette (which looks knit on the RS of the fabric.) Because row 1 is a WS row, we need to purl. So, purl along, placing markers as indicated in the instructions. (pm = “place marker”)
RAGLAN INC ROW (RS): [KFB, work to 1 st before marker, KFB] twice, work to last st, KFB — 66 (66, 66, 74, 74, 74) sts.
Written in this shorthand notation, these instructions may confuse the beginner knitter. Written in longhand, they would look like this:
In other words (because even written out longhand, it’s a lot!): Increase in the first stitch, increase one stitch on each side of every marker, and increase in the last stitch. (Increases 6 sts.)
NOTE: KFB = knit into both the front leg and the back leg of the next stitch on the needle. This increases one stitch. Here’s a video at www.knittinghelp.com showing how to KFB (continental) (English).
Here’s what my knitting looks like after finishing this section:
Here’s a closeup of how the raglan increases look:
NEXT ROW (RS): Begin textured stripe stitch pattern, and at the same time, continue working your raglan increases until you have 180(204, 228, 242, 266, 290) sts.
Here’s what my shrug looks like (on the needles) at the end of this section:
When you break the yarn at the end of the last row, be sure to leave a tail. Any time in knitting when you cut or break a working yarn, you MUST leave a tail so that that end can either be tied off and woven in, or attached to a new length of yarn and worked later.
TIP: At this point, I suggest that you thread a darning needle with a long length of waste yarn and place the whole shrug onto the waste yarn. You can now try on your shrug and make sure it fits you properly.
This may sound like a lot of extra work, but it’s so much better to take the time to check fit now than it is to find it doesn’t fit later!
Here’s what my shrug looks like on a length of waste yarn:
You an see that we’ve formed (from L to R) the cap of the left sleeve, the back of the shrug, and the cap of the right sleeve.
To see if your shrug fits, try it on, matching the points indicated with arrows in the photo above at the under arm.
Next week, we will separate the sleeves and continue to form the back of the shrug.