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Help with top down sweater

Hello, I just ripped out my sweater again as I lost count of decreases and increases for v neck, sleeves and front and back. What is the best way to keep track with the rows and sections vary on quantity of increases or decreases. Markers? Written? I think I am at gauge but the length of the neck to underarm measure seems off. Do I follow pattern or just knit to length of neck to underarm that seems right? Thank you.

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So you will get MANY different opinions here, but I am a true believer in the value of stitch markers and counting rows. When I have differing rates of increase or decrease I also write it down to keep track, but I learn best when I write things.

As to the length of neck to underarm, I would follow your swatch measurements rather than just the pattern, because if your row gauge is off it won’t fit well.

Good luck.


Thank you. I did write it down. I think now I need different stitch markers as I have ones that move. I made a new graph so I will go forward. Jill

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It can be frustrating until you find what works best for you! I like to have a paper copy of the pattern and make a mark for each inc or dec made AND place a little brass safety pin (or removable stitch marker) on the stitch. One of my friends likes to use Excel to write the pattern out row by row before starting. Another just locks herself in the bathroom for the complicated parts.

When my row gauge doesn’t match the pattern, I will usually knit to what will fit. But think it through first, you want to be sure you won’t throw some other element of the design out of line by doing so.

Thank you. I am going to use the paper and marker method but different markers as I think I moved the lip style markers when knitting. Hiding in the closet may work too.

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First, always remember that patterns are written with the assumption of some standard body size and shape, so your own guage and your own preferences should always override the pattern as originally written. Compare the garment in progress to an existing garment for a sanity check.

Second, everyone needs more than one kind of stitch marking device. Solid rings or triangles are great for stitch repeat sections or warnings to change to another stitch for the next section. Locking (opening) markers are good for raglan or other shaping signals, or for marking the place you need to measure from to count rows or such. They can be relocated as you come to different points of your pattern, without having to shift the stitches on your needle first.

Third, bobby pins, safety pins and those odd little pin-like clips from dry-cleaned garments all open, are unique from your plastic knitting markers, and can be parked anywhere needed in your knitting. A small safety pin or bobby pin can also be attached to a plastic marker to add a special distinction when your markers are all the same color.

As long as you get to right number of stitches by the end of a string of decrease or increase rows for armhole shaping, the fact that one row isn’t mirrored exactly on the other armhole will be unnoticeable. Breathe, enjoy, and finish that sweater so you can begin again with new knowledge!

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