I decided last Sunday that I was ready to cast on for the Alice Starmore fair isle sweater that Rebecca and I are doing simultaneously. (Hers in different yarns and colors.) So I decided on how wide and long I wanted the sweater, worked out how many pattern repeats and thus how long would I want the ribbing. I took everything up to my mom’s house because each Sunday we have a visit in front of the TV watching golf. I figured “No sweat…..I’m just casting on and doing a rib; I can do that while watching Golf and talking to Mom.” Welllll……I was wrong by 100 sts.!!
After carefully casting on what I thought was 289 sts., I joined the circle and knit the first row. Horray! I actually managed to not twist the sts. But after 3 rows, it looked a bit big and loose….much looser than my swatch. I thought maybe it was the cast-on because I had used a knit-on cast-on, guessing it would be nice not to worry about how long the tail needed to be for the long-tail cast-on. It took me four hours to cast on and knit 3 rows, but it already looked wrong.
Having been inactive on Ravelry for 2 years, I actually went there, updated my project page and went on the forum, desperate to ask some questions about corregated ribs in general. One kind lady answered my worry. “Keep knitting,” she said. “It takes time for the corregated rib tighten up and look like your swatch. It’s normal to knit looser than your swatch.” So I did! I knit 3 more rows. Then I measured my guage on the work and saw it was pretty close to my swatch. She was right! Then I took a tape measure, like she suggested, and measured around the work to see how long it was.
Eeeek! 10 inches too long!! What did I do??? Turns out I had cast on 389 sts. instead of 289 sts. Good grief. I have never done that before!! I also noted that I had done the steek sts. a little wrong.
Yesterday I frogged it all and started over. Happily today I am back where I started, 10 inches slimmer. (If only diets were that easy.) I went ahead and used the long-tail cast on because I was much more comfortable with it, and I could guess how long the tail needed to be based on looking at things as I was pulling the knitting apart. Take advantage of your mistakes whenever possible!
Here you can see that the edging is tighter and looks better. The circle is smaller too.
Here are the edge sts. and steek sts. that I’ll eventually cut through once the tube is done. A rocky start, but at least a start.”
And this is how far I’ve gotten as of this morning. The shorter circle is much more fun to knit around!