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Shakerag Advice--Split Hem

Hi, I have some sylph and am going cast on for the Shakerag! Yay. I went back and read all the posts on this sweater, as well as on the Ravelry project pages (super helpful) and realized that I wanted to lengthen mine a bit and start with a split hem. I saw info on an after thought split hem and one using a provisional cast on, but was wondering if anyone made one that starts with the split hem? I have never modified a pattern in this manner–I was going to cast on half the stitches, and knit the front and back pieces separately at first, and then join them in the round. Does that sound right? What do you guys suggest? And should I knit the back longer than the front and if so, how much longer.


I like to make the splits a few stitches wider and overlap the join, because I think that it’s tidier.
If you cast on 4 extra stitches (2 at each end) for both pieces, the over lap would be 4 stitches on each side - I stack the 4 stitches and work them together as I would for a 3 needle bind off (without binding off!) and overlap with the front on the top.
Let me know if you want more info!


Thank you so much for your response. I think I understand but is there a way you could walk me through it so I can be sure? I would “three needle b/o” the extra two stitches on the front with the extra two on the back on each side without the b/o part when I join it in the round?

I am happy to make a swatch of this to show you.
You are going to cross over 4 stitches on each side if there are 4 added to each side, if you want the overlap to be 2 stitches, just add 2 stitches to each side.

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Starting in two pieces works, making the back between an inch and 3” longer can look good. I suggest making the back a half-inch longer even if you want to have it look even. The simple rectangle of the Shakerag has poor accommodation for rounded upper backs or larger busts, so it may not hang level on most folks without a slight tweak. (Yes, this is visible in pics posted) Splitting the hem is one of the easiest of those sneaky tweaks!

Think about your body shape at the high hip, then decide if right there, you need more room in the front or back. Measure each half of yourself, side-seam to side-seam, around back and around front. Weight the division of total cast on stitches a little extra toward whichever half of you needs more room, or divide evenly. Then add two extra stitches to the back side, and knit the extras together with the first of the front side when you finally merge them all one one circular needle. OR, do several extra and make a deliberate overlap as another writer has suggested.


Just casting this on today. Decided to do a split hem with 2 extra per side. Will figure out how to join when I get there :slight_smile:

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I’ve read on Ravelry that some did helical stripes for the single stranded. Thoughts on that?

Hi there -
I am doing this currently. I added two stitches to the front and back. Once I join, do I just do 4 decreases by K2tog?


These 2 images show the stacking and knitting together of the overlap at each join.
The join is similar to a 3 needle bind off, without the bind off.
The final 2 stitches are placed on a spare needle, held behind the 1st 2 stitches of the section to overlap, or the 2 stitches are held in front, creating mirrored overlaps.

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Thanks for the pics. I will see if I understand when I get to that point. Will have to review what I do with the two extra stitches held on the third needle with the 3 needle bind off. At some point, they need to be decreased? Thanks!

When you knit the first stitches from the stacked needles together to overlap them there will be no need to decrease further.
My comparison to a 3NBO might be more confusing than helpful.

Ok - it’s been a minute but I’m now ready to join. I need to decrease 4 stitches - have 126 x 2 - want to end up with 248 in the round. Do I knit across the 248 to complete a round and then do the decreases on each side? :thinking:

You’re not decreasing in the traditional sense, though.
You will overlap 2 stitches from each end at both of the edges and knit the front and back stitches together to create a small pleat - which will reduce the number of stitches and create a beautiful side vent.

The final 2 stitches of the front band are overlapped over the first 2 stitches of the back band. I am ready to knit the first stitches from each of the 2 needles in my left hand together to create 1 stitch and will repeat that once more.

The final 2 stitches of the back band are overlapped under the first 2 stitches of the front band. I am ready to knit the first stitches from each of the 2 needles to create 1 stitch and will repeat that once more.
You will then have joined the work in the round and reduced the 4 extra stitches.


Duh. Now I completely get it and the reference to the three needle bind off. For some reason, I was fixated on knitting the two stitches together.

Thanks so much! You are a rock star. Or classical star. Whatever :star: star you’re feeling today.

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It’s my pleasure to help! :star2:
Thanks for the :love_letter:

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I did it! :sweat_smile: one side a bit wonky because the two stitches fell off my needle and I dropped the side stitch but it’s all good. I’m now in the round. Fingers crossed I don’t run out of yarn.


Super helpful! Thanks!

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Super helpful visual!

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@nellknits…thank you so much for the advice and help! I finished my sweater and I love the high/low hemline.


Beautiful blue💙 Looks fabulous on and off the hanger!