Grace Notes: 4 Tips and Tricks

By Ann Shayne
January 6, 2023

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31 Comments
  • And even better, though it’s kind of a heavy lifting exercise: try knitting both sleeves at the same time with magic loop (keep your knitting in a bag that allows lots of free movement)….

    • You win! Laura, that is totally next level. Maybe there’s a thing where we could magic loop both sleeves AND the body, just get it over with.

    • That’s an awesome tip

  • Hi Ann – I was plagued with rowing out until I realized that it wasn’t completely me!! Because I’m a thrower, the wraps for the purl stitches travel a little further than do the wraps for the knit stitches, resulting in a stripey effect in large areas of stockinette. I’d learned to knit backwards just for the fun of it one time, and that has solved all my rowing out problems! It’s not as fast, but it’s extremely consistent 🙂

    • Knitting backwards is definitely one of those things I’ve wondered about. #buildingabetterknitter

  • I am a thrower and to avoid rowing out use one interchangeable needle. Except the needle I knit with for the purl side is one size smaller than the other. This has worked well for me.

    • This is where technology gives us a brighter day. I’m totally going to try this, Susan. It makes So. Much. Sense.

    • I’ve really enjoyed knitting this sweater in yummy Atlas. Such a dream to work with. I’m at the point of picking up stitches, plus I added some sleeve circumference for my ‘custom’ size, so in addition to not watching White Lotus, I also need to be fresh from a good sleep to brave through it. I do loooove this sweater and look forward to wearing it!

    • I didn’t know there was a term like rowing out, but I recently tried the ‘one size smaller tip’ for the purl side and it seems to work great and meets my predilection for keeping it simple. I hope pattern writers will start documenting this type of hint when needed in an otherwise circular knitting project.

      • I , too, have found that this solution works well.

  • Speaking of Thing #1 – getting gauge. I did do gauge squares but I didn’t soak and block. Although I am still working on my Grace Notes I have just soaked my Cider Mill, Mabel, and Old Friend sweaters all made in Atlas and they have grown! This was a good thing for Cider Mill and Mabel as the sleeves were borderline short but the Old Friend! – the sleeves pretty much cover my hands. So now I’m unsure how to measure sleeve length and anticipate the lengthening of the sleeves. Any suggestions?

    • I have been known to leave the yarn hanging and soak and block my sweater projects at random points. Then I know.

      • Wow, midproject blocking! I took Kay’s advice a while back and started steaming my stuff while still working on it, because it smooths the fabric and especially with stranded knitting it makes you feel better about how it’s going. Of course, Kay will talk you into waving a Rowenta around just for the humidity of it.

  • I love this sweater and the Atlas yarn that I knit it twice! First time it was too big (I wish you had written this earlier, Ann) so I ripped it out and made a smaller size. The yarn is a dream and knit up the second size like it was brand new – no kinking, twisty mess! Unfortunately the drop shoulder wasn’t very flattering on me so I gifted the sweater to my niece and now I’m prepared to knit it for the third time with set in sleeves. A little trial and error and some math will see me through.

    • This is such a tale, Natalie, wow. I’m glad to hear Atlas held up under the circumstances. And to knit a third one with shoulder modifications? Amazing!

    • Sadly, the dropped shoulder was a non-starter for me too and this sweater was definitely not flattering on me. I will avoid these styles in the future with anything except a fingering weight yarn – Too much bulk under the arm. I decided to frog and knit something else with my yarn (I bought some other colors) and will knit a yoked colorwork design.

  • Just beautiful Ann! I wish I had the time and talent you have! Thank you for the tips!

  • Thanks for the advice on the riggy rows. That is a problem for me as my purl rows tend to be a bit looser than my knit rows. When I do short rows, I place a removable marker on each wrapped stitch (or if using German short rows, in each pulled stitch). That helps me keep track of my short row count and tells me where I need to knit the wraps when I’ve completed the short rows.

  • When attempting to see the comments on “rowing out”, a warning appears on my screen, informing me that the site is a dangerous one.

    • Me, too. My antivirus software (Norton) gave me that warning and advised that I should not visit that site.

    • Hi there! That was my site, and for reasons beyond me, Norton has incorrectly flagged my blog for phishing. I’ve filed a dispute with them and will update here when I hear back from them. I suspect it might have had something to do with the pop up I was running a while back so people could sign up for my newsletter more easily. Apologies for the confusion!

      • Following up on this to confirm Norton has redesignated my blog as safe. So frustrating to know it was giving warnings for no reason! But you should be able to visit now with no problem.

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  • I have found Norwegian purling really helps to avoid rowing out, as the yarn stays at the back.

  • I’m a continental combination knitter – I don’t have a problem with rowing out as the yarn doesn’t travel as far on a purl stitch as it does for “normal” purling.

  • Echoing the tip 1a to use markers at each w&t !
    I am making this sleeveless = a vest to try the business part of the sweater until I can order Atlas, swatched worsted yarns from stash, a Blacker yarn DK gave exact gauge.
    Hadn’t thought about bulk under the arms with this sweater shape and sleeves, there must be a way to adjust that.
    Trying also a U-shaped stitch holder for the ribbed wide cable. Interesting tool. Gorgeous cable.
    Sign of a circular knitter, doing the flat part I have to concentrate on the WS ribbing or I forget to tbl the purls…
    Thanks for the tips!

  • I am a “picker” I think you call it and rowing out is sometimes a problem. I learned how to throw for 2 handed co!or work and I find that if I throw, my stitches come out much more uniform. It might just be because I have to go slower but it does work. I am also left handed and was taught to knit in the opposite direction as a kid. I think the left handed woman who taught me knitted that way. That could be pi art of it as well.

  • I solve the rowing out problem by throwing on the knit side rows and switching to combined continental (picking) on the purl side rows. I only noticed the rowing out when I switched to continental knitting and through experimentation realized my knits in continental were looser that my purls. Since I learned English style many years ago, and taught myself continental in the last few years (and it’s now my preffered method) it works well. (I do find myself using continental on the knit side occasionally and have to go back and correct it… 😀 )

  • Thanks for the tips, Ann! For me, Rowing Out depends on what yarn I use. Sometimes it’s a problem. Sometimes not. Years ago, I learned to knit backwards from the Internet and noticed that sometimes it was a breeze and sometimes not. Then I read – somewhat later – that knitting backwards is more fluid in the English style. Just throwing it out there in case it might help someone. It’s been years since I practiced this (back when my brain was younger) so I can’t remember which style I used that was so easy. Regarding fit for Grace Note, I knew immediately that I don’t have the shoulders for it. Very rarely in store-bought clothing can I wear dropped shoulders, so too tricky to try with all that knitting. But like someone said above, it might make a great vest! I love the v-neck. Chloe

  • P.S. Maybe should have inserted with respect to short rows that I haven’t tried Atlas yet, but certainly plan to. Chloe

  • “Onward to the grand finale of this quick knit”
    You’re selling this to me! Truly quick? or…