Bang Out a Sweater: We’re Halfway There!

By Kay Gardiner
February 14, 2019

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  • Yeah, I am not yet halfway there on my bangoutasweater project. But I am living on a prayer.

  • I had a ‘moment of drama’ earlier in the week when I realized that in the midst of watching ‘Victoria,’ I had crossed a cable the wrong way about 6 rows back. I was ready to pull out the whole sweater and start over…but thanks to my session with Dr. Fix-It last summer, I figured out how to fix it! I’m feeling very smart now, so undoubtedly there is a huge mistake just ahead…

    • That’s awesome! Crossing my fingers that you make it through the rest of the yoke with no problems.

  • I’m about at the same spot. Just finishing the yoke. It’s been very slow going for me but I’m NOT giving up!!! Love your Rowan Denim!!!

  • Yeah, me too, I love your washed Rowan Denim sweater. I’ve never wanted to knit one before, but I know I’ve got the pattern somewhere–and time is ticking on the yarn.

  • I haven’t knit cables for quite a while so I’m not surprised that I’ve spent the first half of the month trying to fix mistakes but ended up ripping out the entire thing once and several rows a couple of times. It was a learning experience and I am now plowing ahead.

  • I so hear you about reknitting! I noticed a dropped stitch ( well, a couple of ‘em) after an evening of knitting and wine. After trying to pick up and fix it – on row 40 something of the cables! – I decided to rip it all out, and restart with some reverse-engineered ribbing. I reasoned that I love to knit, and have a strong aversion to picking up stitches, so it was an excellent move.

    I’m now into the short rows, and extremely pleased with how it looks. ( Not sure how to get a photo link here, or up in the Lounge, but it’s Lightdove’s My Calligraphy on Ravelry.)

    Yours looks great! But I have a question. Are the markers in the photo above the ones placed for the start of the short rows? I placed mine 42 stitches in from each edge, as per pattern, and they’re way farther apart. It seemed too far from the get-go ( but of course I kept knitting. Hitting the stockinette was like getting past a one-lane-only construction zone on the highway. Full speed ahead!)

    Don’t think I’ll manage to finish this before the end of the month, but now that I have one less area of stitches to pick up, it’s a sure finish before long.
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • The marker in the middle was there because I forgot to take it out as I worked across the first row after the cable chart. The other two are placed 42 stitches in from the edges, and yeah, they do seem very far apart! Curious to see how this works. I’m on repeat 1 of the 7 repeats for the short rows…

      • Thanks, mystery solved! I’m on row 13 of short rows, and taking it on faith ( it’s Norah, after all, and MDK!) that it will work just right.

      • I am almost done with the short rows as well. And… it did seem that the markers were far apart. But I’m plowing along and figure that Norah knows best!!!
        I’m making Swirl.

  • I love the fade in your Whitby . Random question…if I could find the Rowan denim and if I knit a Gansey…shrink allowance would be approx ?????

    • Hi Donna, The shrinkage 15 to 20 percent no matter what you’re knitting.

    • Also if you can locate a copy of Indigo Knits by Jane and Patrick Gottelier (out of print but still around), they’ve got beautiful gansey patterns written for denim yarn, so they tell you exactly how much yarn you need and how long to knit it to account for shrinkage. Rowan also has great patterns for it. One of my favorites is called Sunday Best. My fave gansey from Indigo Knits is called the Cornish Knit Frock. I made one for my 6 foot 7 husband and it actually fit him and he loved it and that is a precious memory because obviously I didn’t knit enough for him, in retrospect. xoxo

  • Halftime show will commence as soon as I organize the marching band!!!

  • So did I interpret the instructions wrong? When I read 10 1/2 inches from the high point, I thought it meant from the top of the cables at the beginning of the piece. I only worked a couple of extra rows of stockinette before I divided the work. Do I need to rip back to there? How have others interpreted this? What is exactly meant by the highest point? Of what?Help!!!

    • Hi Maureen,

      I’m not done with the short rows yet, but I think you are interpreting the pattern correctly. You measure the piece from the cast-on to the highest (or another way to think of it: deepest, longest) point, which is going to be in the center of the piece, where you have worked the most short rows. I don’t yet know how many rows I will need to get to the prescribed measurement, but that’s how I’m going to measure.

      • Sounds good! I kept looking at the photographs and felt like I was on track, but you will be just a couple of rows short of the 10 1/2 inches when you finish the short rows. So you’re almost there!

  • Thanks for sharing where you are and how you are proceeding. I am at the exact same place. Loved working on the cables! Now to work on the short rows and then down to the divide. I will add 2 inches – hope that will be enough for the second to largest size.

  • I wish I were that far however with the nasty dreary weather and my work I am 1/5 of the way though the first part of the pattern part of my sweater and know that there is no way I’ll be done in a month. I am sad,

  • What a fabulous trick! I see that you first published this almost a year ago, but for some reason I never watched it…….I’m so glad I did this time! Thank you so very, very much! Although I’m not banging out a sweater with you all this month, I’m cheering you on from the sidelines! YAYYYY!

  • LOVE seeing all the progress on the bangout, even tho I’m unable to participate! The cable -correction video is priceless!

  • Kay, just wanted to mention that I just completed TWO baby wallaby’s in denim cotton ( for twins!!). I knit them 20% longer and throw them in the washer/dryer before giving them to Mama who is thrilled that the babies will love wearing them and they never shrink again. Best shower gift ever! Denim cotton is one of my favs.Mary in Cincinnati

  • This (holiday) weekend I’m going on a knitting retreat with some friends from my local “Sip ‘n Knit.” Sooo glad to be on the stockinette part of the pattern, ‘cause there’ll be a lot of “sippin” with the knittin;)! Thankfully no dogs will be attending (speaking of knitting repairs—don’t ask…).

    • I’m going away this weekend to sit by a friend’s fire and I plan to just powerknit the whole time!

  • Great notes to save, and when I saw that photo of Whitby my heart did a little flip…the beautiful raison d’être of denim knitting!

    • I need to make a fit correction to my Whitby (the neck is too wide and the weight of all that cotton pulls it wider) but even so I wear it almost every day this time of year, and my heart still flips at the sight.

  • Inspite of a mistake in the one cable and ripping out 20 rows I just finished the short rows. There is a hope of finishing this by Feb 28th ( this year).

  • Oh Kay, me too! I was on the last stretch of the cable yoke section–THIS close–when I saw that I’d knit a purled row or purled a knit row on the wrong side and had a garter ridge on one edge, smack dab in the middle of where button one or two would be. So I ran each stitch down, fixed it and ran it back up. That worked except on the edge stitch. The edge was a lumpy mess. Time for bed. In the morning I started un-knitting, row by row. During that process I managed to lose a stitch or two; it took going back 7 rows to get to the point where I could start knitting again. That was last night. So, I’m running a little behind… but determined to get there. I’m really truly looking forward to that long stockinette stretch.

  • I am on the rib section at the bottom and have decided to make it 2 inches instead if one to allow for the shrinkage factor if the denim. Hopefully will start on button bands by Saturday. My question is do I need to pick up more stitches since I have knit more rows? It seems to me that I should add some stitches on button bands to allow for the extra length but will it shrink the sand since it is basically sideways?

    • Hi Anita,

      You’re a little ahead of me, and you raise a good point. Yes, the length of the sweater will be longer in denim, because you’re knitting more rows. The edges will have more stitches from which you’ll be picking up.

      I think my approach will be to pick up the number of stitches called for by the pattern, with a possible addition of 10 percent of that number if it looks like it’s needed.

      One great reference is Kate Atherley’s article on picking up stitches:

      Kate explains that generally, when you are picking up along an edge like this, you want to pick up 3 stitches for every 4 rows along the edge.

      One other idea I have, which I think is pretty solid, is to wash the sweater and let the shrinkage happen BEFORE picking up the stitches along the edge. You will still have more rows in the sweater, but you will have a much better idea of how the bands are laying as you pick up the stitches. (Then when the bands are on, you wash it again to shrink the bands lengthwise; they will not shrink along the pick-up edge.)

      I’m not going to double the ribbing at the bottom, because denim doesn’t shrink 50 percent in length. I’ll just add maybe 4 rows.

      It’s exciting!

      • Thanks Kay that’s good information and advice. I ended up making the lower band 1.5 inches and bound off just because I thought it looked good then. I’m also thinking about adding a short band around my short sleeves but haven’t quite decided yet.

  • After trying numerous times to fix an enormous mistake in my cable within a cable, I gave up and frogged the whole piece, so I’m pretty much out of the February game.

    • Ugh! At times like these it’s good to remember that We! Love! Knitting! (and also that it’s not a race).

  • I am also banging the Calligraphy, in a pullover (probably 3/4 sleeves, but who knows? I may be too tired for anything beyond cap sleeves by 2/28), in Rowan denim! So, on 2/14, I was just a squeak ahead of you (just finished my short rows and increase row on 2/13) – now stockinette all the way, no worries about messed up cables while watching Victoria. It was my first time with denim, and also first time with significant cabling – my hands got a little achey from the extra tension I’m sure I was holding in my hands and arms and neck. I’m not crazy about how much of a hole the yarnovers were creating by going from cardigan to pullover – but I can’t face ripping all the way back – so, I’ll see if I can figure out a way to ‘sew’ them up after finishing, or, more likely, accept them as a totally intended part of the design. I am a zealous convert for Rowan denim – just as they are discontinuing it (sob!) Your Whitby above – so dreamy!

  • This post is so helpful. I have the Rowan denim and plan to make the Calligraphy cardigan. I wasn’t sure how to compensate for the shrinkage with the denim. Doesn’t sound hard at all!

  • I admire those who can fix mistakes, I make bigger messes. Had to restart mine but I’m back to row 23. Just love the pattern!!

  • The background sweater looks really pretty!