And miles to knit before I sleep, and miles to knit …

I knit top down sweaters all the time and I love it. But after the excitement of knitting the yoke, there are all those rounds/rows of knitting to go for the body. Miles to knit, to paraphrase from Robert Frost’s poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. What is a knitter to do?

Here is one solution. You are in luck if your top down pattern has a set of stitches cast on at the underarm during the Divide Round/Row. These cast on stitches are a gift to you. They are the perfect place to add a stitch pattern to break up all that stockinette stitch.

You must have a couple of stitch patterns that you love that you could work in here. You can also search through your stitch dictionaries for patterns you can use as a panel of stitches.

Let’s start with some easy stitch patterns:

Garter stitch with 2 centre stockinette stitches to break it up. Railroad Top Down.
A panel of 2×2 rib: P2 and [K2, P2] repeat.

Then you could move on to working twisted stitches. Why twisted stitches? They don’t change the gauge of your knitting so you can just pop them in.

A twisted lattice stitch pattern.
Another twisted stitch pattern where a stitch travels across 4 stockinette stitches from side to side. This could be worked on any number of stockinette stitches. There is a purl stitch before and after the 4 stockinette stitches.

Cables are great too but you have to watch how much they pull the fabric in. Two stitch cables work really well.

Two stitch cables, crossed every 4 rows.

And the last suggestion is to find a lace pattern to work down the side of the body. This is always a very attractive option.

Your stitch dictionary has lots of lace patterns that would fit your underarm stitch count.
Side Pattern Vest

So what do you think? Could you do this on your next top down? Have you taken a step away from a pattern and given this a try?

Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Author: debgemmellmods

I'm a Knitter. The capital K means every day, everywhere. I'm co-owner of Cabin Fever with my sister Lyn. We have published over 100 patterns and 11 books. I'm also working on a new set of patterns for Any Gauge knitting. Dive into your stash and cast on for a Top Down sweater that fits, or an accessory to use up those odd balls of yarn.

13 thoughts on “And miles to knit before I sleep, and miles to knit …”

  1. Deb, I am not an accomplished knitter at all. But I want you to know that I enjoy reading your emails and learning about your own learning process very much. Thank you, Shirley Picardi picardi@alum.mit.edu

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    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have been leary about trying a sweater from the neck down but willing to try can you suggest a kids pattern that is easy to follow. And is their someone in the knitting group from orillia that would be able to help me if I run into a snag with the pattern for I am a better visual learner

    Liked by 1 person

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