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MDK Karidalong—a knitalong for all Field Guide No. 18: Beginnings projects—has begun! If you’re planning to cast on a Simple Swoncho, I have two quick tips to offer from my experience knitting the samples to optimize your experience knitting up a garment to love.

First off, for tips to avoid the dreaded twist when joining in the round, check out Jen Arnall-Culliford’s Little Lesson here.

Markers FTW

After you knit the ribbing at the neck, you’ll work Set-Up Rnd 1 and place additional markers along the way.

Take a look at the color marker you used as your beginning of round marker and use the same color marker for the three “pm for raglan” instructions. For the four other “pm” instructions, use a different color marker.

Why? Take a look at the directions for Rnds 1–4 of the Shape Yoke section of the pattern and you’ll notice that the ratio of increases is different at the raglans than at the sleeves. Using different color markers will give you a visual cue about where to increase (and where not to increase!) every time you repeat Rnd 3.

Red markers mark my raglan increases and silver markers mark my sleeve increases. For good measure, I placed a locking stitch marker in the sleeve stitches.

For Symmetrical Eyelet Increases

You might find that the YO eyelet that follows sets of knit stitches is bigger than the YO eyelet that follows sets of purl stitches. This is because the length of yarn used when transitioning from knit to purl is greater than from knit to knit, purl to purl, or even purl to knit.

To shorten the YO when going from knit to purl, wrap your YO in the opposite direction—rather than bringing the yarn back between the needles to purl, then going around the needle again completely to make the YO.

You can see the opposite YO at the silver marker, and the regular YO at the pink marker. 

When working the following round, be sure to knit through the back leg of the reversed YO to keep the eyelet open.

If you’d like to read even more about refining eyelets, Patty Lyons covers this imbalance for shawl increases in her column here.

Oh, and this

Fellow MDK team member Cristina further simplified her Simple Swoncho in Organic Studio Worsted Broadway Market by swapping in garter stitch for the cables—same stitch count, but alternating knits and purls each round!

Happy swoncho-ing! You’ll find me and Allison in the Lounge if you have questions as you Karidalong!

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About The Author

A passionate perpetual knitter, published designer and enthusiastic teacher, Nell Ziroli continues to be inspired by luminaries and students alike. See all her designs here.


  • Nell, these are simple-to-do great lessons. Thanks. You really are the bomb!

  • I have a question about the swoncho pattern: when you finish all the increases it says to work a number of rows even; does that mean you no longer do the cable or do you continue with the cable at the appropriate row?

  • I have come to a screeching halt on my Simple Swancho, Have completed the first 4 rounds of Shape Yoke, and need clarification about repeating rows 1-4 25 times for a total of 432 stitches. I do not understand, under Stitch Patterns, how the left and right cables instructions for rounds 1-4 (for a total of 16 rounds) for each interface with the continuing shaping yoke instructions. I seem to do better if I draw a picture or make a chart of what I have to do as I knit along. Help, please would be greatly appreciated, as I am quite stuck 🙂 Thanks, Karen C.

    • Your cable sections are a 16-row repeat, with the crossing occurring on row 5. The front and back, along with the sleeves, have an increase pattern of 4 rows (front and back increase 2 stitches every other row – on rows 1 & 3, sleeves only on row 1).

      I hope that helps; I have ripped it all out and started again more times than I care to admit. I was at first frustrated with the repeats, but now it’s the yo’s.

  • I’m having problems with the count. I am knitting size 2 which ends up with 388 stitches. However when separating for sleeves and body it says I should have236 stitiches. With the sleeves on waste yarn, 56 stitiches each, that leaves 276 stitiches for the front and back,. I believe the additional 40 stitches are the 4 cable se cations however if I leave the counts the same that’s an additional 8 inches around the circumferences which would now make the bottom 55 inches instead of 47 inches. Is that right? What am I missing.


  • I would live a pattern for this beautiful swoncho please
    Thank you
    Kathy Archibald

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