When you’re knitting a sweater in pieces, it’s sometimes more critical than othertimes that the parts match up exactly. If you’ve got a pronounced stitch pattern or stripes or a colorwork motif, it’s just that much more important for the rows to align properly at the seams — as opposed to solid stockinette, where nobody will ever know if you fudge it by a row or two. A knitting pattern will generally tell you to knit to a certain length before beginning the armhole shaping, then to another length from the armhole shaping to the shoulders. It’s always more precise to count rows than to measure — measurements of knitted fabric being inherently squishy. (Which is why a trick like this one is so handy.) But if your stitch pattern in pronounced, as with this Anna Vest, not only is it more important to be accurate, it’s a million time easier! A stitch pattern like this makes it incredibly simple to count rows or ridges or repeats, and to make sure you’re doing things on the same row from one piece to the next. Same with a charted stitch pattern or colorwork motif: Knit to the prescribed measurement on the first piece, mark which row of the chart or repeat you were on, then make sure you’re working to the same row in subsequent pieces.
If you want to take it one step further, you can knit matching or mirrored pieces simultaneously on one needle, as pictured above. Not only does it save you from start-over-itis, but that way you can be 100% certain you did things on the same exact row, because you’re literally doing one and then the other. Two at a time: It’s not just for socks!
With this particular Anna, I began both the neck shaping and the armhole shaping on the k1/p1 row of the Andalusian Stitch pattern. Andalusian Stitch happens to be a 4-row repeat, and the neck shaping also happens every 4th row (at first), so if you use that as your starting point, it’s easy to remember that when you’re on the k1/p1 row, it’s a decrease row. Anytime you can use your repeat or chart to track occurrences of anything, do it!
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