Day 5: Finishing and blocking the sweater

How is your sweater? Today's our last post of the Easy As ABC baby sweater knit along! We're going to finish it and learn how to set the stitches with blocking.

Read other parts of the knit along you can find them here: IntroSupply ListDay 1Day 2Day 3, Day 4.

Knitted baby sweater

Here's my sweater and all the knitting is done! It looks cute but there's still the ends to weave in and I wish the stitches were sitting a bit flatter. Did you accidentally knit with the wrong size double-point? I did! Three size 7s working around the cuff and somehow a size 8 snuck in there. I really need to block my sweater to help even out those stitches!

Weaving in yarn ends

First we have the duty of weaving in our ends. There's no two ways around this part of knitting so embrace it, love it. Take your time and make it count just like all of the other stitches. My grandma always said that the inside of the work had to be just as nice as the outside!

Weaving in yarn ends on a sweater

I like to turn the whole sweater inside out so I can see exactly what I need to work on. Here's how I weave in on the wrong side.

Weaving in yarn ends on the wrong side

Thread your needle and bring your yarn up through a stitch. This will make a duplicate stitch on the wrong side of the work.

Weaving in ends in knitting

Continue moving one stitch to the left, weaving your yarn from top to bottom and bottom to top.

Invisible ends

I usually do about three stitches like this to ensure my tail is nice and snug. Wooly Worsted is a washable yarn so I like to take care and weave the ends in as securely as possible. If and when this sweater does go through a gentle wash, I want those ends to stay right where I put them!

When you're finished with all of the ends, turn the sweater back to the right side and it's time to block!

Supplies for blocking a sweater

Blocking may sound like a big process but it really isn't for a project like this. We don't need blocking wires or special matts. All we need is some wool wash (I like Soak), a big bowl, two bath towels and a little drying time.

These blocking steps are going to relax and set your knitting stitches. It just kind of makes everything look better so when the mom-to-be pulls this out of the gift bag at the baby shower everyone there will ooh and aah! 

Soak wash on knitting

Put your sweater in the bowl, add a drizzle of the wool wash and fill the bowl with cool water. Don't worry about the colors blending because Wooly Worsted is meant to be washed. The yarn is colorfast! 

Wool wash, blocking a sweater

Let the sweater soak and get fully saturated in the water. Let your puppy inspect. The sweater might bubble a bit, press on it gently to release the air. Don't swish it around, just let it absorb the water for 15-30 minutes. Don't let your puppy drink the water.

Removing excess water from knitting

When the sweater has soaked for long enough gently hold it to the bottom of the bowl and pour out the excess water. The sweater will be wet and heavy but resist the urge to ring it out. 

Get one of your towels and very gently set the sweater out on the towel. This part does not have to be perfect. The goal here is to get it to the towel without stretching it out of shape.

Blocking knitting

Fold a section of the towel over the sweater and begin to squeeze the water into the towel.

Roll sweater in a towel to squeeze out excess water when blocking

Roll the towel over the sweater, pressing and squeezing to allow the towel to absorb the excess water from the sweater.

Set sweater to dry

Lay out your fresh towel on a flat surface, preferably one without puppies or kitties. Carefully unroll the towel and gently move the sweater to the new, dry towel. It will still be wet and the yarn may look a little skimpy. That is ok! Arrange the sweater on the towel, gently smooth out the body and arms, flatten the hem, adjust the collar.

When the sweater looks the way you'd like it to be just let it dry. It might take a day or two but let the sweater dry completely on the towel. All the way dry! It's hard but it's worth it in the end. This step of blocking gives the yarn a new memory and gives the sweater a polished and finished look! The yarn will bounce back to life and have a new softness. Love!

I hope you had fun knitting the Easy As ABC baby sweater with me! I hope you learned a trick or two and had fun knitting something new. I'd love to see your photos and would also love to post them so send them over to heather@eweewe.com or tag them #EasyAsABCKAL on social media! 

Read other parts of the knit along you can find them here: IntroSupply ListDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4.

KAL: Pattern update

Easy As ABC knit along

Hi everyone! During the course of the Easy As ABC knit along we have uncovered a stitch count error on the size 6 month sweater that makes the ribbing at the cuff not work out correctly. 

I have updated the pattern and if you purchased it on Ravelry then you should have a link to download the new version to your Library. If you purchased the pattern on eweewe.com please email me, heather@eweewe.com, and I will send you the updated pattern with the new sleeve instructions. The pattern is otherwise unchanged! Happy knitting!

Day 4: Knitting the sleeves

How did it go? Does your little sweater have a body now? You should have a nice little tank top that looks like the one below and today we're going to add cozy sleeves. 

If you need to catch up or read other parts of the knit along you can find them here: IntroSupply ListDay 1Day 2, Day 3.

Baby sweater with body done

We'll be starting with Color A and we'll need our double-pointed needles in the size 8 to start.

Yarn stitch holder

We captured the sleeve stitches on the waste yarn or a stitch holder. We're going to untie this, slip the stitches on to the needles and get knitting!

Moving stitches back to the needles

Begin at the underarm and carefully slip the needle into the stitches one at a time. Keep the waste yarn in the stitches during this step just in case you miss one or want to go back and rearrange some stitches. Think of it as a little lifeline!

Putting stitches on double-pointed needles

Move around the stitches dividing them up evenly on to three needles. The 6 month size as 30 stitches at this step so I'm putting 10 stitches on each needle.

Knitting with DPNs

Here's what it looks like, but wait... I got to the end and I didn't have enough stitches. I totally missed one that should have been on the second needle! Luckily my little lifeline was there and I just pulled back the stitches from that needle, captured the one I missed, shifted some things around and, phew! 30 stitches on my needles.

Yarn stitch holder

Count your stitches. Look around the edges, make sure you have the correct number for your size.

Removing a stitch holder

Because now we pull out the thread! 

Picking up stitches under the arm

Ok! Now with Color A we need to pick up two stitches from the underarm area. Find a nice secure spot a little bit down from the edge. 

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Insert your new needle through the knitted fabric, wrap your new working yarn around the needle and pull the loop through the fabric and onto your needle.

Picking up stitches under the arm

Pick up a second stitch a bit to the left of the first.

Continue knitting on double-points

When your two stitches are picked up continue knitting with Color A across your first needle.

Picking up last two stitches

Continue around the remaining two needles. Pick up two more stitches with the third needle.

4 new stitches!

 Now Round 1 is done! We are back to working in the round! You can put a marker on the needle if you choose.

Sleeve on the sweater!

Continue knitting in the round down the sleeve. Remember to change colors to match the stripes on the body. Carry your yarn up the inside and don't forget to change to the smaller double-pointed needles when you get to the cuff! 

Work the second sleeve in the same manner.

I learned a really great tutorial on avoiding an unsightly jog when knitting with stripes. I posted it here and you might want to check it out!

I will see you again at 10 am Eastern on Tuesday for finishing and blocking our sweaters! Keep posting pictures on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #EasyAsABCKAL. I love to see them! If you have a question you can ask it in the comments here or in the Ravelry group. Email me if you want, heather@eweewe.com. 

KAL parts: IntroSupply ListDay 1Day 2Day 3.

Day 3: Dividing for sleeves and body

Hello! Here we are already on our third day of the Easy As ABC knit along. Today we're going to be dividing the sweater at the raglan shoulder increases. Two parts for the body and two sections form each sleeve. After this step it really starts to look like a sweater for a tiny human!

If you'd like to see the first few posts check these: IntroSupply ListDay 1Day 2.

Raglan sleeve increases

Here's my sweater with the increases complete. I have 144 stitches on the needle and 4 little stripes. We'll need our yarn needle and two scrap pieces of yarn. 

Moving stitches to a stitch holder

The first section of the sweater between the first two markers is the first sleeve. We are going to move these stitches off to holders and then work on the body.

Moving stitches to waste yarn

You can use stitch holders for this step but I actually prefer to use scrap yarn because it's softer and I always have it available! It's a good idea to use a smooth yarn and it should be the same gauge or slightly less than the yarn you are using. I have about 1 yard of Wooly Worsted yarn in a contrasting color cut into two pieces.

Thread your yarn needle and gently start lifting the stitches from the left knitting needle on the the yarn needle. 

Placing stitches on a stitch holder

Gently slide them along the yarn making sure to leave a long tail so the stitches don't fall off the back end.

Securing knitting stitches for later

When you've captured all the stitches between the two markers, tie your scrap yarn in a bow.

Waste yarn stitch holder

Here's what we have! A loop of live stitches that are just hanging out, waiting for us to get back to them later.

Add a stitch

Our pattern now tells us to cast on a few stitches. To cast them on we'll use a knitted cast on. TURN your work to the WRONG side, pick up Color A and knit into the first stitch on the left needle. Lift that stitch up and place it on the left needle.

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Repeat the step for the second stitch by knitting into the previous stitch and slipping the new stitch onto the left needle. 

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Two stitches added in Color A.

Knitting around the row

TURN your work back to the RIGHT side and knit across the gap created by the arm stitches.

Continue knitting around the row

Continue knitting around the row and across to the next stitch marker. 

Knit to the next marker

Remove the marker. Thread the second piece of scrap yarn.

Move the sleeve stitches to a holder

Move the next set of stitches over to the scrap yarn toward the  next marker.

Turn work and add stitches

Turn your work and cast on two more stitches.

Replace stitch marker

Knit across the last set of stitches and replace your initial marker when you get back to the beginning. My little flock of sheep will just have to watch the rest of the sweater from the sidelines! Bye, guys! 😘

Continue knitting in stripes

Continue knitting around and around and remember to carry your Color B yarn along with you. Add your stripes when necessary and work down the body.

Knit down the body

As you reach the bottom change to the size US 7 16" circular needles for the ribbing. When you bind off you'll want to make sure it's loose and flexible. Baby tummies are squishy and we don't want the sweater to bind up on there! If you bind off tightly, try using your size 8 needle in your righthand and knitting on to that to help keep your bind off more relaxed. 

I will see you again at 10 am Eastern on Thursday for our arms! Keep posting pictures on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #EasyAsABCKAL. I love to see them! If you have a question you can ask it in the comments here or in the Ravelry group. Email me if you want, heather@eweewe.com. 

See the IntroSupply ListDay 1, Day 2.

Day 2: Increasing for raglan sleeves

Hello! I'm still here, I promise! I had a major computer crash/blow up issue over the past two days and I couldn't retrieve my images to get this blog post together in time. I'm so sorry for the delay! How would we survive without computers these days?!

Anyway... I am back online and today we have a TON of tips and things to show you about starting your raglan increases and adding the stripes to your sweater. Let's get knitting!

Changing needle sizes

Our first goal in the "increase" part of the pattern is to change to the larger needles. Have your other needles and stitch markers ready because we're going to do this all in one setup row. 

Adding stitch markers

Following the stitch counts in the setup row, knit from the first smaller needle on to one of your larger needles. Remember that our first stitch marker sits one stitch in from the actual beginning of the round. For example, the 6 month size says K6 so that includes the first stitch that is currently sitting before the marker. 

Adding a stitch marker to knitting

Place the stitch marker on the new needle. It's a good idea to have three stitch markers that are different than your initial marker. My little white sheep are a good visual difference from the blue one at the start.

Adding a stitch marker for knitting in the round

Moving along and around the project, be sure to keep counting and adding markers when necessary. 

Changing needle sizes in knitting

Here we go! Small needles out, larger needles in, stitch markers placed. Let's increase!

Increasing in knitting

Knit the first stitch and move the marker. Our instructions say to M1L and this is a left-leaning increase that is also called a bar increase. See the line stretching between the two stitches parallel to my finger? That's our bar! 

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Insert the left needle from the front to the back lifting the bar up and onto the needle.

Increase one stitch

Knit with the righthand needle into the BACK of the stitch.

Knitted stitch increase

Finish the stitch as a normal knit stitch bringing it up and on to the righthand needle.

Increasing before the marker

Then we are to knit to 1 stitch before the next marker. Let's find the bar!

Increase in knitting

Our M1R will be worked the opposite way to make these increases slant the opposite direction. Insert your lefthand needle from back to front into the bar.

Knitted increase

Knit into the front of this new stitch. This step should feel hard to do but that's ok! If it feels easy then it could make a hole. If it's hard to knit then you will get a nice, snug increase.

Keep working around the needles as instructed and don't forget to increase before the last stitch, too! (I did and I had to rip back.) Then we knit the next round.

Changing to circular needles

Continue increasing ever other round. Eventually your double-pointed needles will begin to fill up. That means it's time to change to your size 8 circulars! I like to move to circulars when my stitch count gets to between 70-80 stitches. I'm right at 72 stitches here so let's move!

Moving a stitch marker

Remember, our first stitch marker was sitting one stitch in from the actual beginning of our round so slip one stitch over, remove the marker and replace the stitch back to the left needle.

Beginning to knit with a circular needle

The pattern also calls for the 6 month size to change to Color B on this row so as I knit on to the new needle I'll also be switching to my Vanilla yarn.

Knitting on to a circular needle

Here's what we have going! Moving on to circulars, changing colors, increasing, slipping markers. A lot going on but it's ok, you got this!

Marking a round in knitting

When you make it all the way around replace your initial stitch marker right where it belongs. 

Stitches on a circular needle

We made it around with our new color! Now, DO NOT cut Color A. We're going to carry it along on the inside of the sweater the entire time. Less ends to weave in!

Changing colors in knitting
Carrying colors. Don't cut yarn.

Bring Color A under your working yarn for a little half twist. As you start knitting with your working yarn it will hold the non-working yarn tight to the inside of the sweater.

Carrying colors up in knitting

As you continue to work your rounds, repeat the little twist ever other round. Here's what it will start to look like on the inside.

Changing back to Color A

When it's time to switch back to Color A it will be right where you need it! Simply let Color B sit and pull Color A under and begin to knit with it as normal.

Carrying colors for knitted stripes

Twists mean less tails! Keep going!

Raglan increases in knitted sweater

Our raglan sleeves are really shaping up! The sweater is growing and the stripes are happening. 

I will see you again at 10 am Eastern on Tuesday for our next steps! Again, I am so sorry for the delay and now that I'm back up and running we will be back on track! Tuesday we will divide for the sleeves and begin working the body of the sweater.

Keep posting pictures on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #EasyAsABCKAL. I love to see them! If you have a question you can ask it in the comments here or in the Ravelry group. Email me if you want, heather@eweewe.com. 

See the Intro, Supply List, Day 1.

Day 1: Casting on your baby sweater

Here we go! This is the first post for the Easy As ABC Knit Along. I'll be showing you a step-by-step guide of how to knit Ewe Ewe Yarns' best-selling pattern the Easy As ABC Baby Sweater. We will have stripes, ribbing, increasing, circular needles and lots of our squishy Wooly Worsted yarn

If you're just seeing this knit along, here's the KAL intro and the supply list.

knitting supplies

Today we'll be starting at the top of the pattern where it says "begin". Awesome, right? Yes. Get your double-pointed needles and let's cast on! We are starting at the neck edge of the sweater and we want to make it very stretchy and flexible. If we cast on too tightly the sweater won't go on very easily, remember babies have big heads.

So here are two ways to cast on loosely by using the long-tail cast on method. If you know another stretchy cast on or are comfortable with a different method, you can always use that or modify yours with these tips. The long-tail cast on is not critical to this pattern, it's just what I am comfortable with.

making a loose cast on

It's good to know if you cast on too tightly. Do you ever have one end of a scarf that isn't stretchy enough? Or maybe you've knit something and one edge has been warped or looked pulled? Maybe you cast on too tight on that project. If you do this regularly a good way to overcome it is to cast on to two needles. Hold two of the suggested needles together and start with your slip knot.

Casting on loosely
Casting on to two needles for looser cast on

Cast on normally. Moving your needles around both sets of yarn and make sure not to catch the yarn in between. Don't try to be looser than normal, just tug as much as you always do, the extra needle is doing the work for you!

Casting on with a larger needle

I normally cast on a bit loose but maybe not loose enough for a baby's head so in this case I am going to cast on to my larger size US 8 (5mm) needle. This will give my cast on enough room to stretch and be flexible and comfortable.

Casting on to double-pointed needles

To cast on to double-pointed needles, just use one needle and cast on all of your stitches. They should all fit on one 8" needle no matter what size sweater you're making for this knit along. I'm making the 6 month size and here are my 48 stitches.

knitting with DPNs

Now knitting with double-points might seem intimidating but I assure that it is easy! You're only ever knitting with two needles just like normal. A trick I like to use to get started on double-points is to knit the first row flat. We will distribute the stitches onto three needles and will be sure not to have a twisted cast on. There will be a little gap where we started but a simple one row seam when we weave in the ends and nobody will ever know!

I like to distribute my stitches on to three or four needles. For my size I will have 16 stitches on each needle. If you're making the two larger sizes you may want to use 4 needles and work across 14 or 16 stitches. 

If you cast on to two needles, simply grab a third needle and K2, P2 across with your size 7 double-point. If you were like me and cast on with the size 8 needle MAKE SURE you pick up your 7s for this next step. K2, P2 across your stitches.

knitting with three needles

When you reach your count of 16(14, 16) stitches on one needles, go ahead and get another needle. Knit on to it normally. You just sort of pretend the first needle isn't there. Work the required number of stitches on to this new needle.

knitting on to DPNs

Our jumble is growing! Get another needle and work the last set of stitches. 

knitting with double points

You'll have a string of yarn and needles that looks something like this. I can hear you yelling. I know it looks insane but watch!

casting on to double pointed needles

Untwist those needles. Lay them flat! Line up the cast on edge so it sits neatly and nearly in a circle. Now we're going to connect them into a circle. This step is called "joining to work in the round" and it's not nearly as complicated as it sounds. That phrase just means that we're knitting from the righthand needle over to the lefthand needle with the yarn and POOF! This project just got in the round!

beginning to knit in the round

Get one more double-pointed needle. Knit into the first stitch on the lefthand needle using the yarn from the righthand needle on to the new needle. This first stitch takes of bit of balancing and making sure you don't get things twisted but once it's done you are on your way!

place a marker in knitting

When working in the round it is good practice to add a stitch marker so you know you've gone around all of the needles. When you reach the marker, you've knit and purled all the stitches for one row or "round".

Pro tip! Add your stitch marker after the first stitch and then it will stay on the needle. That one stitch holds your marker on those crazy double ended needles.

knitting in the round on DPNs

There you go! One needle knit across and suddenly our project is connected and in the round. Move on to the next needle and keep going!

knitting in the round

It looks and feels kinda crazy to have all of those needles floating around but it's ok. It looks like that for all of us. Keep at it. Your fingers just sort of find the places they need to go. Remember, you're only ever working with two needles and just take the rows one stitch at a time. You'll make it around before you know it. Knit two, purl two, knit two, purl two...

one row of knitting

One round done! Keep in mind this is actually our second row because we worked a single row flat when we distributed our stitches. You only need to work three more rows from this point to total your 5 rows of neck ribbing.

slip marker knitting

At the start of your next round, K1 and then simply slip the marker from the left needle to the right. Continue knitting the rest of the way around.

five rounds of knitting

Soon you'll have 5 rounds of knitting and that's a job well done! 

knit along part one done

Share your photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #EasyAsABCKAL. I can't wait to see them! If you have a question you can ask it in the comments here or in the Ravelry group. Email me if you want, heather@eweewe.com. 

I hope you had a great first day and I'll see you back here on Thursday morning for some stripes, leaning increases and lots more stitch markers!