Casting on Fewer Stitches

Ok I'm finally going to clear this business up about the 320/340/342/344 stitch count on the latvian dreaming sweater project

I said to cast on, 320 stitches, the charts cover 342 stitches, and I've been saying that you need 344 stitches. What gives?

Well, I want to avoid having the bottom edge of the sweater flare out. Casting on fewer stitches keeps this from happening. Elizabeth Zimmermann recommends casting on 90% of K (or 344), and that would give us something like 310 or 309. Meh. For starters I know that 320 is divisible by 4. Also, in laziness, it's easy to cast on 320 stitches, because it's divisible by 80 and therefore also easy to increase evenly across, because it's so evenly divisible. The dirty secret of making KnittingMath easy for you and yours is choosing good numbers.

Secondly, I don't want the lower edge of the sweater to pull in as much as I want it to not flare. Often people suggest casting on with a smaller needle and not having one at hand (and not much liking my US 0s anyway,) I'm just casting on fewer stitches. Feel free to modify this point if you like.

I should also admit that in the first draft of the pattern (the key number was 340, good thing that draft never saw the light of day: I didn't realize that I needed 4 extra stitches for borders and turning stitches,) so I thought increasing 10 stitches on the front and the back would be really easy. But no matter, it'll still work out.

That answer your question?

I'd like to see pictures and hear reports of your projects as they develop. Also, if you make any cool modifications I'd totally like to hear about them too. I know that I'm still ahead of the gang with the knitting on this one, so I hope that by dragging out the cast-on and the bottom rib, I've been able to let at least a few of you get your yarn and get caught up. It's also let me get done with my last sweater, but next up we're going to increase so we can begin the color pattern.

I see math in my future.

Knit in good health! I'll be in touch. You be too.

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