The Olympic Games ended last night. For knitters and crocheters active on Ravelry it also meant the conclusion of the Ravellenic Games.
With millions of yarn lovers allover the world I know that whenever I’m casting on or completing a project it is very likely that at least one person (if not more) is at the same point as me. Sort of like knowing people share your birthday even if you haven’t met them.
Still, there is something extra fun about participating in a Knit Along or Crochet Along when you know people are intentionally starting a project at the same time.
While the overarching goal of the Ravellenic Games is to attempt to start and finish a challenging (for yourself) project between the opening and closing ceremonies, I prefer to approach it as an opportunity to expand my skills. That may be because my projects are usually too ambitious and I don’t finish in time!
That was once again the case this year. But I went into the Games knowing my actual chances of finishing my Three Lace Cardigan were slim and was using them instead as a way to stay focused on one project for an extended period of time.
Considering I was working on a lace cardigan knit using lace weight yarn on US 5 needles, I think I made pretty good progress.
Divide for Fronts and Back
When working a sweater all in one piece this instruction should not scare you.
Once you introduce the spaces for the arm holes into the garment they will prevent you from working in long, continuous rows. Think of it as the draw bridge is up and the roads a no longer connected.
Now it’s a matter of rearranging the stitches so you can work on the individual sections. When the shifting is taking place the instruction might way “work in pattern” or just “work” in either case you should continue working the lace, texture, or color changes you’ve been knitting or crocheting all along unless you are specifically told otherwise. If I’d stopped working the lace pattern I would have ended up with an odd stockinette row right in the middle of my cardigan!
In this case the pattern told me to continue working on the left front of the sweater first. Now that is the “left front” when I’ll be wearing the cardigan, not as I’m looking at it on my lap.
I opted to move the waiting, live stitches to a piece of scrap yarn until I’m ready for them. I just threaded a darning needle with the organ yarn and slipped the stitches over. I kept the markers in place to make it easier to track the lace pattern when I return to that section.
You can save some brain cells later on by making a note about which pattern row you ended with on the working copy of your pattern.
You can get a variety of stitch holders at your local yarn store ranging from giant metal safety pins to plastic rods. I have even seen people use a circular needle with point protectors on the ends.
But for a light yarn like Findley I prefer to use a piece of scrap yarn because it doesn’t pull on the knitting as much as one of those other options.
A Few Stitches Short of a Repeat
If you haven’t knit a lace garment before, or any lace project that requires shaping for that matter, you might become puzzled how to stay in pattern once you start decreasing.
It can be a little confusing when the lace has a six stitch pattern and suddenly you have only 4 stitches (or fewer).
The solution is to either work as much of the pattern stitch as you can or default to stockinette stitch (or another appropriate vanilla option that will fit in with your garment such as reverse stockinette stitch or garter stitch).
If the pattern stitch includes pairs of increases and decreases make sure you can work both of them before deciding to “work in pattern” otherwise your stitch count will be off. If you work a yarn over without the corresponding decrease you’ll run into problems later on.
Having the edge in stockinette stitch can also make finishing easier down the line.
In this case I have stockinette stitch along the armhole, which will be easier to attach the sleeve to when the time comes than an edge full of yarn over holes and decrease bumps.
Since it’s located right along the edge of the arm it won’t be very noticeable when I’m wearing the sweater.
My sweater is moving along nicely and I’ve got enough momentum to keep going even though the Ravellenic Games have ended.
Did you succeed in your quest for Ravellenic glory?