It’s time. As the Laminarus knit-along comes to an end, here we are with the obligatory round-up blog post. So if you are coming to this post as a KAL participant or as a knitter who is considering casting on this fabulous cardigan, you should be able to find what you’re looking for below.
Clue 1 – Casting on the Laminarus Cardigan.
For those of you who like to dive into knitting without a care for a gauge square, be warned. We fully encourage knitting a gauge square to figure out your colour options and to check your tension.
Our KAL started with us pitting the pink versus green options head-to-head on our social channels. So many of you replied, but in the end, it gave us no clear winner. Each was loved equally.
But we did put the most popular colourway choices in bundles here so that colour choices would be a lot easier. Also, if you skip to our gallery at the end of this post, you’ll find some pretty awesome FO colour inspiration from our KAL participants.
Now that you’ve knit your gauge square, clue one was all about the yoke. Yes, we dove right into needing that gauge square as we talked about neck and bust modifications.
If you are thinking of adding a v neck or changing the bust modifications, then please read my three-step guide for adjusting a pattern for your body shape and this post on knowing your shape so that you can make sure you’ve chosen the right size to knit.
The biggest conversation point in clue one was armhole depth. The top tip from Carol here is:
For your size you can calculate how much extra depth the armhole shaping takes up. If the addition of this isn’t deep enough to give you the armhole depth you need than you can work straight for longer before you do the shaping. This depth is for the armhole depth but if you want the fullest bust lower then the extra rows will be after you join front and back.
The length you want to keep checking is the outer edge from the top of the shoulder, this is the depth of your armhole opening and you want it to match the schematic size/your body size so add rows as needed for the adjustments you’re making.
Clue 2 – Working the body
Moving on to the body of the cardigan was fun for everyone. By now, you’ve eased into your colour combinations, know your size and where you want your waist shaping to start. This image gives a pretty good idea of what’s up ahead.
But what if you want to check first?
Yes, our KAL participants were very excited! But they also wanted to know when to start the waist shaping if they had made modifications earlier.
If you’re new to top-down knitting, the easiest way to check your length is by slipping half of your stitches onto a second needle so that you can stretch them out. This will allow you to try the cardigan on easily without having your stitches pop off the needle! (And yes, I’ve done this before……)
The pattern is written with a-line shaping, slowly increasing as you go down the body length. However, adding a more fitted shape by first decreasing stitches towards the waist and then increasing below the waist. Or even if you would prefer working, no body shaping at all.
Everyone thought that this cardigan really got going once those cables are placed. For those who might need a helping hand, this tutorial on fixing mis-crossed cables came in pretty handy. Yes, everyone has a cable whoopsie moment at some point. Bookmark the page now to come back later.
One of the best things about a knit-along is learning from others. In fact, because of a discussion with Kimmie Dee in our Facebook group, I wrote a blog post. In addition, I recorded a tutorial for an Icelandic bind off, which was an amazing addition to the Laminarus body.
And if you’re wondering what your project should look like at this point, let me share this fab image from Lynn Dayer. Isn’t this a fab colour combination too?
Clue 3 – The Sleeves
Go on, raise your hand if you just heard the dreaded sound of dun dun daaaaaaaaah as you read the title of this section, I don’t blame you. Knitters have ended up on sleeve island more times than I can count.
They don’t even mean to visit!
Some make modifications and forget to write them down as they go. (Please don’t do that) Some get bored, and some dislike small circumference knitting.
This is why a KAL is great!
The group and final KAL prize keep you knitting, and there isn’t anything like the friendly camaraderie to help you reach your cast-off goals. I personally enjoy this part of working the sleeves and front edging as each knitting section is a little smaller, so you can see your progress quickly.
The sleeve cap shape here is created using German Short Rows. You work back and forth across the top section of the sleeve, adding one more stitch each time you turn. Working these short rows creates a curved shoulder cap that is similar to the shaping on a heel.
For some of our KAL participants, this was the first time they encountered German Short rows, and they loved them, especially Diane!
If you want to change the size of your upper arm, it’s very easy with this type of sleeve construction. First, you need to pick up more (or less) stitches around your armhole. This made the modifications much easier for this section.
Clue 3 tip – use a smaller needle to pick up the stitches for the sleeves. Then knit the first round with your chosen needle size. Sherry Sullivan shared this wonderful image of her sleeve join and not a hole to be seen:
Now it seems fair also to share Sherry’s initial image. Fortunately, she discovered that the yarn was in the wrong place when starting the German Short Row:
If you see something similar, then maybe check your yarn placement or even try the wrap and turn technique but leave the wraps in place? This might give you a better result.
Because you are wrapping every stitch, when you leave the wrap ‘wrapped,’ it creates an attractive faux seamline.
Clue 3 – The Neckline
The neck is often the spot where you will get the most stretching out of shape in a garment, so it makes sense to ensure it’s got a firm edge.
Here the front edges are worked in the same way and worked in Double Garter Stitch and my favourite buttonhole method, the single row buttonhole.
If you haven’t tried it before, I’d suggest giving it a shot 😉. One of the questions that always rears its head at this point in a KAL is about weaving in yarn ends, and you can find a tutorial on that right here. Then it’s time for a block party—the final step to a professional finish for your handknit.
If you are coming to this post wanting to knit Laminarus, you can find all of the tutorials and step by step guides in my online workshop here and take advantage of the July workshop discounts using the button below. You can also see all the previous comments from KAL participants and you can add a comment of your own if you want to chat with me directly.
It’s always bittersweet as we end a knit-along.
But before we go, here is a small selection of some fabulous Laminarus FO’s taken from Teachable and our Facebook Group.
July Workshop Discounts
For the month of July, you can use the code SUMMERKNITS to get 20% off all of my online workshops. So if you’ve had your eye on one or two, now is the perfect time to try them out.
Once you have access to a Teachable course you have access forever so click the button below to check them out: