The Sweater with Kathleen Dames | Episode 5 : The Shaping

this is the sweater with Kathleen Dame’s over our 12 episode season I will share some of my best sweater knitting techniques with you while we knit a sweater together hello my friends and welcome to episode 5 today we’re still working on the body but we’re talking about shaping and when you want to start shaping why i chose the specific stitch that I we’re going to recommend and any other shaping questions you might have so we’re going to be dealing with the middle third of the body of the sweater today so you are the boss of your knitting if you want a longer sweater totally cool there are a few different options of how you can adjust if you’re going to make a longer sweater but first remember get enough yarn get an extra skin if you’re worried if your clothes go ahead and get an extra scheme if you don’t wind it up most of the time your local yarn store will take that scheme back as long as it’s intact if it’s not keep it do something else wonderful with it sell it on ravelry give it to a friend donate it to whomever might get some benefit out of your beautiful yarn if you are making your sweater longer you can choose to just make the bottom section longer before you start the decreases or you can choose to add a few more rows between the decreases and between the point where you enter decreases and begin your increases so you can spread it all out or you can just you can keep that shaping section the same and just make this letter longer so when you’re ready to start your decreases you’re just you’re following the pattern it will tell you exactly what to do you will slip your first stitch you’ll do your button band you’ll change your arms if you’re changing yarns and then you will knit over to a stitch at that point you are two stitches before what will actually be yours or decrease stitch because what we’re doing is we’re decreasing three stitches to one and that makes its that’s going to make it symmetrical and the cool thing about decreases is the first stitch you put your needle into generally especially on the front of the work i should say becomes the top stitch or the the new decrease stitch so with what we call a centered double decrease also called slip to knit one pass to slip stitches over or SL to dash k 1 hench beep to SSO which is why I call it CDD or it’s centered double decrease you’re putting your needle into the second stitch first so you want to put your needle into the second stitch and then the first stitch on the needle as if to knit but you slip them off to your right needle then you knit the third stitch and then you lift those two slip stitches over and the second stitch becomes the stitch on top it’s really cool the other two double decreases are knit three together and for that you put the needle through the third stitch first and that becomes the top stitch and it leans this way for me now if you want to have the first stitch be on top and that happens in a lot of lace patterns and it’s the sort of usual way people think of a to stitch decrease you slip one stitch knit the next two stitches together and then lift that first slip stitch over and that puts that right stitch on top now i’m going to show you the different kinds of decreases here we have three stitches and we want to turn them into one so first i’m going to show you our center double decrease we slip the needle into both stitches slip them knit the next stitch grab these two slip stitches and lift them up and over you can see there that’s the centered stitch right there check it out so nice and tidy now i’m going to show you the other two leaning decreases just so you get an idea this is slip one knit two together pass the loop slip stitch over you can see this one leans to the left because that is our top stitch the first stitch we put our needle into and now we do a few more just we have a little space between them and now we’re going to do knit three

together for that oh and you can see that leans to the right that’s there see how that leads to the right so we’ve got our beautiful Center double decrease here slip one knit two together pass slip stitch over here which leads to the left and knit three together which leads to the right so now you know all the different double decreases and i’m going to move a little further along and i will show you the two single decreases there are variations on them but usually we have slip slip knit which can also be knit two together through the back loop and net Gabe so that gives a slightly different presentation but you can see this one leans to the left and how we will knit two together which leans to the right and you can see how those work angling the decreases and we can use that to our advantage in knitting a lot of lace patterns take advantage of that lean but we don’t want the lean I suppose you could want the lean but I don’t i like the center double decrease the great thing about it is also as you’re going forward or up i should say tells you what to do so once you do that decrease i tell you to put a pin in it or a coil of safety pin a removable marker it goes right into the stitch and now that’s on your stitch and you’ll know exactly what to do and as you work up you’ll come and you’ll do the second center double decrease we do two sets of decreases on the body and then as you keep going and you keep going and keep going and you get to the point we’re going to start your increases for your bust that is where you will now be able to follow that line up from your Center double decrease stitch and you’ll start increasing on either side of that stitch to do the the bust increases and I just think it’s so great it’s so tidy and elegant and we’ll use those decreases again in the Raglan yoke and you’ll notice in the Raglan yoke of my solstice cardi then it looks like there’s this little delicate line of stitches and there isn’t that line down here in the body shaping the reason for that is we’re doing the decreases for the Raglan yoke every other row so it’s sort of pushing those stitches up just a little bit away from the other fabric and here you just don’t notice to notice it as much because they’re not stacked up that there aren’t that many rows stacked up so that’s the great shaping we’re going to we’re going to do decreases at four points around the body two on the front and two on the back and they’re sort of centered in the front panels and the same thing in the back then when it comes time for us to do our increases we’re doing the increases all at the front which is where we want the additional fabric as we’re moving up the body I’ll a I think of you know the waist it’s all the way around you want that decreasing and then we’ll do the sort of narrow part of the waist but then most bodies most female bodies need more fabric at the front and it’s fine if you have other patterns that have you do the increases all the way around the great thing about knitted fabric as I’ve said before is that it stretches and it’s flexible and so it can sort of move around the body so there’s nothing wrong with that I have other patterns that do that kind of shaping but for this sweater we want the the wow factor to be in the front and so that’s why we put the increases there there are other patterns that do the shaping all at the sides and that’s fine again we want we’re making the shaping part of the look of this sweater when I do a cabled sweater I’ll often do the shaping at the sides because there’s a really room with you know other crazy things going on in the front or the back to also get shaping in there so shaping at the sides again the flexible fabric it’s not a problem it really isn’t but we definitely we’re doing it here so that we’re making the most of our shaping as you can see I have gotten to the point where I am ready to start doing my decreases then I’m very happy with my

yarn my color choice it’s perfect for spring this is from round table yarns as I’ve said it’s the camelot yarn it’s got a little bit of kashmir in it it’s the Orkney colorway which is just so pretty and as always we’re going to slip our first stitch we’re going to do our button band and I need to do my buttonhole I knew there was a reason I paused right there so that I could do a buttonhole with you knit two together yeah over knit one and two and then I’m going to change my skins I know one other thing I wanted to tell you another option for doing the buttonholes even though I have you do the button holes on both button bands a clever knitter on ravelry suggested doing two purl stitches instead on the second button man on the button band that you know you’re going to sew your buttons on and instead of doing it together yarn over she does pro two purl stitches and that way she’ll also know exactly where to sew on her buttons I thought that was a great alternative for those of you who are worried that you’ll forget or just don’t want to have to worry about sewing clothes that other buttonhole I don’t have a problem with that I do it numerous cardigans but I could understand if you’d rather not and I just realized I’m not actually counting the stitches so I’m not sure how far over I have to go for my shaping but that’s okay i will count now okay i’m almost there former and we are now ready to do the center double decrease and put the needle in to the second stitch and then the first it’s just like you’re going to do a knit two together but don’t wrap the yarn and just slip them over to your other needle then I knit the next stitch and I use my left needle to lift those two stitches up and over and as you can see that means that the second stitch ends up on top and becomes the center double decrease when I was talking about double decreases I forgot to mention that the needle through the stitch that when that leaning decreases are the same for single increases a single decreases as well so if you are doing a slip slip knit versus the knit two together if you look at while you’re doing it you will realize which stitch will be on top and which way your stitches are going to lean and you can use that to subtle effect so that you don’t really notice the decreases you can also use it as for a fully finished effect and that can mean that you have those decreases stand out and show off against the fabric for your sweater and I now need to find my removable stitch markers I have these great little Edison bulbs stitch markers I’ve talked about them before I think in the first episode and they’re really just a safety pin that have kind of been stretched out a little crazily and what you do is you put it right into the front leg of the stitch that you want to mark and because it doesn’t it isn’t a regular safety pin it won’t get caught in the yarn you won’t have any snagging but now my stitch is marked and so I won’t have to worry about decreasing for a few rows then when it’s time to do it again I can follow the line from the marker up the rows of stitches to see where my next Center double decrease is going to be if you’re a new knitter you may want to move dis marker up every couple of rows just so that you know exactly where it is if you’re worried but if you gently pull down a little on that stitch you’ll be able to see that line follow it and then you’re reading your knitting which is something i highly recommend you learn how to do because then you can easily see if you’ve made mistakes before they become a real problem so now i’m going to move along and i have three more centered double decreases to do i won’t do them here on camera for you but you should go ahead and do them and then you will work even as we call it and that means you won’t make any increases or decreases for however many rows you’re going to do until you do you’re next shaping row and once you’ve done the to shaping rose and assuming that that is enough shaping for you you will work even again for however many inches i tell you for your size in the pattern and that will bring you up to the point where you’re going to be ready to start working your increases but before you do that when you think you’re ready I want you too if you’re working on a shorter needle maybe place your stitches on a longer piece of waste yarn what you want to do is hold it up to your body hold it

up right under your bust and make sure that you have knit enough fabric that makes you happy for the body of your sweater before you’re going to start your increases and that way you’ll be sure that it’s going to fit you properly it’s going to give you that nice elegant shaping for the bust right where you want it to be when you’re ready to work your increases you can remove the removable markers conveniently from your back stitches you don’t need to worry about them anymore and then I would also move the marker up to the top for before you start your bust increases that way you’ll know exactly which stitch you want to increase along and we’re again we’re creating that nice long line we’re using sort of an optical it’s not quite an optical illusion but it’s telling the eye where to go we don’t need to add it besides we want to be following those princess seams up all the way up to our beautiful faces so here you can see our marked stitch and it’s got the stitch holder through one of the legs and it’s the front leg and you can see now I pull gently down you can see the line up to our next double decrease look at how those line up so nicely right there and now we’ll keep following that row sorry that column of stitches and we come all the way up here where I am ready to do my increases and I make one knit one and then I make one the other way and now i have three stitches and then I will continue on until I get to the other front centered stitch and I’ll just show you here so of course I’ve removed the backmarkers and now there’s my other one and I just follow the line up up up and I will make my increases around here and at this point I probably will move my marker up to this stitch so in fact i’ll show you how i do that so take it out on open it up it’s just like a safety pin pull that gently and we’re following this line of stitches and we go up here and to put the marker in it doesn’t actually go into the yarn of the stitch it goes between the front and back legs of the stitch well there we go and you see how it can just hang there nicely it doesn’t interfere with the knitting and it doesn’t it shouldn’t change the side of the stitch at all but it goes through the legs of the stitch and there’s your marker and then we’ll make our increases on either side of the marker so we’ve moved the markers up and we’re ready and now once again we’re going to do those directional make ones like we did for the sleeve and we’re going to knit right up to the first March stitch make one in one direction knit that stitch and make it in the other direction and as you can see it creates this nice sort of expanding look for this for the stitches because each stitch when it starts when you have this new made stitch it’s going to have all the subsequent rows are going to sort of glide out like that and once you’ve finished your increases you can remove those pins you won’t need them until it’s time to bring everything together but we’ve still got quite a bit of knitting before we get to the point where we’re going to put the sleeves in the together I’ve had a couple of additional questions about shaping including what to do if you need more fabric in the bust and if you’re changing from one size to another going between your hip and your bust so my recommendation is to add a couple more increases if necessary here in the bust but I wouldn’t do more than two more rows of increases if you need more fabric than that I would suggest doing second pair of increases outside of the original pair as you go up until you have enough stitches now the other question is what if your bust isn’t as big as the way the bust is written in the pattern if you’re more of a pear shape so then you could still do these increases here but in that case I’d recommend pairing them with a decrease hidden here at the underarm and that way you have the right number of

stitches but you still get the look of all of those increases there and the in the bust so I think that’s it for today if you have any questions be sure to ask them here on the YouTube page for this episode is great otherwise I recommend joining the ravelry forums the Kathleen Dame’s design group and there’s a thread for each different episode so that way we can really focus on the issues that come up in a particular episode and so you don’t have to scroll through the whole thread of the main sweater there are a lot of posts there so thank you so much for joining me I’m having a great time I’m loving my sweater so far I hope you are too and I hope whatever mods you’re making are going well if you’re following the pattern exactly thank you that’s pretty cool too but remember you’re the boss of your knitting it’s a sweet fun it’s just to make you happy this isn’t supposed to be stressful you can always find the episode they will live on in YouTube and now i’m on itunes yay so feel free to go and download if you prefer listening to watching i’m on itunes now the sweater with kathleen dames and if you do listen please feel free to leave a comment share review give stars all those usual things and help get the word out about the sweater I hope you’re having a great time and I will see you next week where we will talk more about the rest of knitting the body and I hope you have a great day thanks so much and happy knitting by this season one of the sweater and we are knitting the solstice party together many thanks to karen at round table yarns Natalie it remembrances pottery Corinna at picnic knits Torah swagger and my fellow starship captains and you for being part of this knitting adventure don’t forget to visit Kathleen names calm / the sweater to sign up for the newsletter for march 25th and get your free copy of the solstice cardi pattern in the welcome email is it after March 25th purchase your copy of the solstice cardi from my ravelry shop and be sure to share your project on social media using the hashtags KD sweater and solstice cardi questions comments just want to share your progress visit the kathleen Dame’s design ravelry forum for support and camaraderie thanks so much for joining me and happy knitting