I've been clicking around, looking at blogs, checking the Flickr group, there are some beautiful sweaters happening out there!
And you all knit fast! I'm not sure I can write about knitting as quickly as you're knitting. You're begging for Row 11 and beyond. I'm driving to soccer (and ducking out for a creek day). Fortunately for all of us, Elizabeth has notes on Row 11 all good to go. So, knit on my friends!
Here are the good lady's words of wisdom:
So we are done with row 10. Hopefully you've gotten into a rhythm, you have something tied or clipped on the right side of your work so that you know when it faces you, you are about to start an odd numbered row.
But before we begin row 11, let's look at our knitting. This is the trickiest row, and since we promised the folks at Schoolhouse Press that we would be so careful to respect their copyright of the pattern, make sure all of our knitters had their own to work from, and only post our collective wisdom or information freely available on the internet, they agreed to let me type out stitch by stitch instructions for this row. Once this row is done, all the rest is easy, easy, easy.
But back to looking at our knitting. You might have read that there are several ways to keep track of where your decreases are supposed to go. I like the one we chose, with the two pairs of markers, and counting in from them each row. Once those markers are in the right place, it's just a matter of counting up to five (or four, or three :-) But you might have wondered what we're going to do when we use up all the stitches between the markers? It turns out that we run out of those stitches at the same time as we have to add stitches on the sleeve... but also at the same time that our knitting is big enough that we can really look at it and learn from it.
Being able to read your knitting is such a valuable skill. I guess some people don't need to know how, if they never forget where they are in the pattern or if they never make mistakes, but being able to look at the stitches and match them up with each other and the pattern makes life much easier for the rest of us. So we are going to practice, right where those decreases are.
When you look at your work so far, can you see where you're making a corner? Believe it or not, that's going to be the top of the cuff. Put your knitting down, right side up, and look at that corner. You should be able to see a diagonal row of stitches from that corner up to the live stitches on your needle. Remember when we do the PSSO? We take the slipped stitch and drop it off the end of our needle and it ends up being a necklace around that first stitch on your right needle If you look at that diagonal line from the corner, you should be able to see those stitches with necklaces, all lined up.
We are going to want to continue that diagonal line for a LONG time. You have several choices about how to mark it.
Brave knitters just look at their knitting, and when they get close to that diagonal line, they watch carefully... they know that they need to turn three stitches into one there, and it needs to be centered over that diagonal row. When they are one stitch before the one over the diagonal, they slip it, and then knit the next two together, then pass the slipped stitch over. ... then knit along will the next one.
Knitters who are often distracted, or usually are listening to husbands or children or watching soccer games while they knit sometimes need a bigger clue that their decrease is coming up. (I fall into this category) You know how we've tied a piece of yarn on the right side of our work? I tie another piece of yarn right on one of those stitches with the necklace on the diagonal line. When I come to that yarn, I know to pay attention. But I still have to read my knitting.
Your third choice would be to move your markers five stitches out every ten rows... and just keep decreasing the way you have been. If you don't feel confident looking at your stitches yet, this is very safe way to go.
The other thing we need to do this row is to increase. There are lots of ways to increase, or to add a stitch. Every knitter has her favorite, and different methods work best in different situations. Your pattern tells you what Elizabeth Zimmermann suggests. I do something different. When I need to increase, I knit into the front and back of each stitch... this is abbreviated KFB. And here's a video to show you how:-) When I teach children how to knit, I have them say "IN AROUND THROUGH OFF" as they make each stitch. When you KFB, you would say "IN AROUND THROUGH... but not off! You would sneak your needle around behind and go IN the back leg of your stitch. Then AROUND THROUGH OFF. Since I know YOU know this kind of increase, let's just do this one.
So here we go, row 11, all written out, with permission of Meg Swansen, copyright holder:
Knit two, then KFB in the third stitch. (so you now have four stitches on your right needle) Keep doing this "Knit two, then KFB" nine times total. You should now be right up to your diagonal line. At this point I take off my markers, but you can do whichever of the three ways above you want to do. Do your slip, knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over routine. Then just knit regular until you get to the other diagonal. Do your slip, knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over trick, making sure it's centered over that diagonal line. Now you are to the other cuff (yes, I know it doesn't look like a cuff :-) This time, do KFB, knit, knit, KFB, knit knit... until you run out of stitches.
Big breath, sigh of relief, you have finished the hardest line in the whole thing. You have done increases and decreases in the same row, you have done a centered double decrease that you knew where to put just by looking at your knitting, and you are ready to turn around and knit back. Wow.
The rest of today's knitting is easy. Row 12, and ALL the even rows for a while, are "just knit back."
Row 13, and all the odd rows for the next few days, will be exactly like the earlier odd rows, with your decreases lined up over the diagonal line.
If you are a fast knitter, and you're doing more than ten rows per day, look at your pattern so you know when to stop doing these rows with the decreases. Don't worry, for the rest of us, it's not today or tomorrow :-)