Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Count Twice, Cast On Once

I’m kind of paraphrasing the old carpenter’s rule of thumb here – knitters know what I’m talkin’ about.

I’d been having some issues with that weird thing that happens in stockinette where every once in a while – like once every 2 or 3 thousand stitches, I’ll get the lines twisted. It’s like I’ve knit into the row below or something, and it results in a weird bump. If I try to fix it but choose the wrong column to ladder down, I ended up twisting two lines of yarn over multiple stitches. It’s bad. I’ve whined about it before, but can’t find any evidence of this happening to any other knitter on the planet.

After one such game of Crochet Hooks and Ladders, I decided to count my stitches, just in case I might have accidently created one or knit a few together – you know, the kind of spot check one does. I was 5 stitches off! I went back and counted several times. Instead of 288 stitches, I had 283. And I had done this on the cast on row!

Here’s what I think happened. As I cast on, I added markers every 50 stitches to ease in double-checking (hah!), when I got to 250, the digit 5 got stuck in my head, and I thought – “I need to add 33 stitches.” But of course I needed to add 38 to make 288. Because I was off by exactly 5 stitches, and because the start of the sweater features 2x3 ribbing, it looked right. But it wasn’t. I suppose I could have soldiered on, but I didn’t’ want to have to deal with all the weird little adjustments I’d have to do later to make sure that decreasing, and sleeve holes, and sleeve sizes, and all that stuff matched up.

So, I ripped back all that work and cast on again. Repeat after me:

283 ≠ 288


  1. I understand the wrong number of stitches problem (I'm good at that one myself!) but I don't understand the other problem.... Do you have a picture of it?

  2. I feel your pain. But you know how satisfied you will be with 288.