Yea, I finally made it to the “divide for armholes and shape sleeves portion” of the Chiton Pullover! Happy day! As I’ve said before, this is my first real garment so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I got to this point, having not done this before, but really it wasn’t as daunting as I thought it might be…so far. As I often do, I over-analyzed.
That’s not to say this project has been without mistakes. I did run into a little snag along the way which my mother-in-law was able to expertly help me fix. Actually, I watched and she fixed it so I wouldn’t have to rip out a bunch of stitches. Somehow I knit when I should have purled or purled when I should have knit. Not sure which. Doesn’t really matter, it was wrong either way. What she did had me sitting there amazed: she turned a purl into a knit! This was huge! Okay so for all you experienced knitters out there this is no biggie but for me, it was like magic. I sooo need to practice this maneuver, I’m telling you it is SUCH an important thing to understand. It will take some practice for sure but when I’ve got it down I’ll blog about it.
Anyway, someone asked about this section of the pattern but I hadn’t actually gotten there at the time. Since I read the pattern through I had a basic understanding of what the instructions were saying so I answered as best as I could. Now that I’m there, and since you may have similar questions I thought I’d try to explain the “divide” section.
Up until now you have been knitting in the round. But in order to turn what has essentially been a tube into an actual garment, you need to create openings for your arms; fits better that way…trust me. You do this by dividing the garment into two sections, a front and a back. It’s really quite simple.To do this you will slip a group of stitches, in this case for the back, onto a holder (mine looks something like a giant not so safe safety pin) and then you will knit only the live stitches, for the front, still on the needles. You skip the back stitches by knitting back and forth instead of in the round. See, easy.
You will also have to add stitches to each side by using the backward loop method. Very simple, but has a tendency to be tight. You can find a great video here.
So now you will be knitting one row and purling one row, except where you need to knit garter stitch; then you will knit regardless of whether you are on a knit or purl row. Follow?
What I think may have been a bit confusing was the two sections that say “at the same time”. The designer, Neoknits, did say to read this section in its entirety before proceeding and you should DEFINITELY do so. If you do it’s not so difficult.
In the first “at the same time” section you are working on creating (shaping) the cowl and shoulders. Not difficult but you need to take care as you shift the stitch markers. Make sure you have extra!
The second time you will be binding off stitches for the shoulders; which I’ve not done yet but have analyzed, ad nauseum. You will start doing this after working either 56 or 64 stitches, depending on the size you are making, from the beginning of the cowl shaping, which began with Increase Row 1. Now you just need to count your rows or track them so you know when you get to the 56th or 64th row.
I of course made a table identifying where each BO would occur. Yup, my inner nerd is shining through. Anyway, here’s what it looks like to date: