A bevy of Slopers: highlights from the mini-knitalong

A bevy of Slopers: highlights from the mini-knitalong

It’s been so fun hosting this mini-knitalong for the Sloper sweater this month, as seen at #sloperKAL — and such a rainbow of results! We’ve got everything from hot pink to brown to denim blue (and many shades of grey, of course!). Stripes, solids, marls and texture. Turtlenecks, crewnecks and boatnecks. Linen, cotton, wool, you name it. And there are several people on their second or third one! Which makes me grin from ear to ear.

Here are a few of my favorite finishes,  although every sweater in the feed (WIP or FO) makes my heart melt a bit — thanks to everyone for knitting along!

TOP: @fabrickated has finished THREE this month — the photo up top is of her knitting a Sloper while wearing a Sloper! They are grey, hot pink and forest green with a contrast edge, and they’ve featured heavily in her fabulous #memademay outfit lineup, as you’ll see if you scroll through her feed. She layers them over dresses, under cardigans and jackets — with scarves, belted, on their own — and just generally shows off how versatile a garment it really is. Kate puts a shorter turtleneck on hers, so it can be worn either up (as in the hot pink photo link) or rolled down.

BOTTOM LEFT: @hellomister also put a shorter mock turtleneck on her adorable green Sloper. And how cute is this whole outfit? I love a Sloper over a shirt or tee, and stripes poking out of anything is always a good idea.

BOTTOM RIGHT: @mmlemichl got clever with her cheerful yellow crop top. Instead of binding off 3 sts for armhole shaping, she cast on three for more of a box top. She also gave it a big wide neck. (I’m eager to see how @tananose’s V-neck version of this turns out.)

Of course, it’s never too late to cast on! The Sloper pattern is free here on the blog, along with all sorts of adaptation ideas and guidance, and I always want to see what you make of it, no matter when. So please continue to use the #sloperKAL tag on Instagram and link your Ravelry projects to the pattern page.

(If anyone missed my linen V-neck version, that’s here!)


PREVIOUSLY: Sloper: Basic pattern for a sleeveless sweater

2017 FO-3 : Sloper as a linen V-neck

2017 FO-3 : Sloper as linen V-neck

I tried two new things with this little summer sweater: knitting Sloper as a V-neck and holding (Kestrel) aran-weight linen yarn double for a bulky linen fabric. The former was straightforward enough and worked out great. The “bulky linen” concept is a bit of an oxymoron and I won’t really know how it plays out until I’ve worn it a few times. It’s heavy for a little linen sleeveless thing, clocking in at just over a pound (520g, to be precise, so just over ten 50g skeins), and I fear it may feel like I’m wearing chain mail on a hot day. But it’s cute! Looks just like my initial sketches.

To be candid, I have a serious love-hate relationship with this yarn. This is the third time I’ve knitted with it (see Togue Stripes and Flex, both in my sister’s closet) and hated every minute of the knitting but loved the finished fabric. Knitting with it held double on US13 needles definitely increased my unenjoyment of the actual knitting, but also made it blessedly brief! I think the fact that I keep doing it must be like what they say about childbirth. :/

My mods to the chart are documented here, and there’s a further rundown on all of the modifications/details below. There have also been several people having some fun with the pattern for the #sloperKAL this month, which I’ll follow up about in a separate post. But if you’ve got one planned or on the needles, please link it to the Sloper pattern page at Ravelry so I can see!

You can also scroll through my Instagram posts on this sweater here, and like it at Ravelry if you’re so inclined!

2017 FO-3 : Sloper as linen V-neck

Pattern: Sloper by Karen Templer (me)
Yarn: Kestrel by Quince and Co. in Ash, held double throughout
Cost: free pattern + approx $110 yarn = $110

Modifications and details: (see mod chart and notes here)
– Working at 2.75 sts per inch on US13 needles, CO 58 sts each (front and back); decreased twice along the way so it was 54 by the time I got to the armholes
– Knitted 6 rows of ribbing instead of 8
– Switched to Andalusian Stitch* on the 3rd RS row (i.e. row 9)
– Began the armholes (3 BOs per side, as per pattern) on row 61, the 14th Andalusian ridge, so it’s about 15″ from cast-on to underarm
– Divided the (48) sts in half for the V on the last RS armhole BO row and immediately began the V shaping
– Worked decreases for the V one stitch in from the edge; k2tog on the right side, SSK on the left side (so leaning toward the V): every RS row 6 times, then every-other RS row 3 times, leaving 15 shoulder sts per side
– Worked 34 rows from underarm to shoulder
– After blocking and seaming, on US11 needles picked up sts around the armholes and neck for edging: p/u 3 in 4 all the way around (wanted to cinch it all up a bit), then BO all sts purwise on the next round, binding off firmly to gird against the inevitable stretching

Size notes:
Assembled, it’s about 40″ at the bust, 42″ at the hem, and 24″ long — and it will definitely grow with wearing and shrink with washing and grow with wearing … It’s all fluid!

*Andalusian Stitch = k1/p1 every 4th row (aka every-other RS row if working flat). I love how simple it makes it to ensure that you’re doing things evenly across pieces and to match them up at the end.


I had already done outfit ideas for this one during Summer ’17 Wardrobe week; here they are again with the actual sweater filled in:

2017 FO-3 : Sloper linen V-neck
2017 FO-3 : Sloper as a linen V-neck
2017 FO-3 : Sloper as a linen V-neck

IN SHOP NEWS: The new issue of Knit Wit is here, this time with patterns, and we have all three issues of Making back in stock again. Also, thanks so much for your enthusiastic response to the new Charcoal Field Bag! I’m always so glad when you love something as much as we do. ;)

Have a fantastic weekend!


PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Camel Channel cardigan

My Sloper mods: Longer linen V-neck

My Sloper mods: Longer linen V-neck

If you’ve read through the Sloper pattern and notes and the posts about resizing and reshaping it (congratulations! phew), you’ll see that what I’ve charted above, for my #sloperKAL sweater, is a combination of all of that. Knitting with two strands of Kestrel* on US13 needles, my gauge is 2.75 sts/inch instead of 2.25, plus I want this one to be more like 40″ circumference at the chest, so for both of those reasons I’ll need a few more stitches than the pattern calls for. (Here’s my swatch.)

My row gauge is actually more like 4 sts/inch (based on my blocked swatch) than the pattern’s 3.75, but I know from my striped tank that this Kestrel fabric will grow as I’m wearing it. So for my calculations, I’m sticking with the pattern’s 3.75. Which means I only have to recalculate the stitches (widths) and not the rows (depths).

20″ x 2.75 sts per inch = 54 sts

Technically that’s 55, but I’m rounding down to 54 stitches each, front and back, because I want an even number of stitches. I also want this version to be A-line, more like 42″ at the hem, so I’ll cast on 58 stitches (which conveniently works with the multiple for the [2×2]+2 ribbing) and decrease twice (2 sts per decrease row) on my way to the underarms. I’m also planning to knit 15″ (56 rows) from cast-on to underarm, for a somewhat longer sweater. (The pattern is 11.5″ to the underarm.)

I want the armholes to be even narrower — the shoulders even wider — than the original version, so I’m sticking with 3 armhole stitches, which at this gauge will amount to just under an inch difference between the side and the armhole edge after seaming. And I also want the neck width to remain somewhere around 7″, which at my gauge of 2.75 sts/inch means 18 sts (rounded down from 19.25). So when you subtract my 6 (3+3) armhole stitches and 18 neck stitches from my 54 sts, that leaves 30 for the shoulders — 15 each. As you can see in my chart above—

3 armhole | 15 shoulder | 18 neck | 15 shoulder | 3 armhole

All of which I’ll match on the back piece. I still have a little more thinking to do about the decreases and edge treatment for my neckline (I’ll report back about that) but the above is all I needed to know to cast on!


I hope you’ve found this series of Sloper posts informative and inspiring, whether or not you plan to cast on a sweater for the #sloperKAL. But of course what I really hope is that you’ll take a leap and cast on!

(Fashionary sketch template and Knitters Graph Paper Journal from Fringe Supply Co.)


*I have no idea if doubled Kestrel is a good idea or not! I’m basically making chunky linen, which is a weird concept, on its face, and might result in a tank that turns into a dress over the course of a day — who knows! But I’m excited to find out. And I have no idea how much yarn it will require. I’ll let you know when I’m done with the first piece.

PREVIOUSLY: Sloper mods, part 2: Reshaping the pattern

Sloper mods, part 2: Reshaping the pattern

Sloper mods, part 2: Reshaping the pattern

As I mentioned on Monday, there are lots of variables you can toy with within the existing parameters of the Sloper pattern to change the look of it in many ways — from playing around with the fabric and the seams to choosing between the crewneck and turtleneck options given in the pattern. And yesterday we talked about ways to resize the pattern without really changing the look of it. So today, let’s talk about how to actually make changes to the shaping of the pattern in order to change the style of the finished garment. (Download the side-by-side comparison of these diagrams in PDF form.)


Sloper contains no waist shaping — it’s a straight-sided, boxy little number.

• For a more curvaceous, form-fitting sweater, add traditional hourglass shaping at the waist. That is, decrease as you approach the waist, then increase again as you head toward the bustline. (For how the math on this works, see Improv.)

• For A-line shaping, cast on more stitches — being mindful of the multiple for the ribbing — and decrease out the extra stitches gradually as you approach the underarms. (Again, see Improv for how to calculate the spacing.)

Sloper mods, part 2: Reshaping the pattern


Sloper has quite narrow armhole shaping — it’s designed such that the fabric reaches out fairly far on your shoulders, with armholes that just slightly nip in from the side seams.

Fig. A: For an even boxier look, you could leave out the armhole shaping altogether — just work the sides of the garment straight all the way up to the shoulder, leaving an 8.75″ gap for the armholes when you seam the sides together. (Note the corresponding adjustment at the shoulder, since the original 3 armhole sts and 10 shoulder sts are now all 13 shoulder sts.)

Fig. B: For a funkier look, mimic the camel version and make a squared-off armhole by binding off all three underarm stitches at once, rather than gradually.

Fig. C: For an armhole that cuts in farther, bind off more underarm stitches. You could bind off 2-3 on the first BO row(s), and/or work one or two additional bind-off rows, instead of just 3 per side. What you’re doing is taking stitches away from the shoulder, moving the armhole edge inward, so you’ll be left with equivalently fewer shoulder stitches to bind off. However many you’re left with, bind them off in halves. (So for example, the pattern has 3 armhole stitches and 10 shoulder stitches on each side. You could shift that, e.g., to 5 armhole stitches and 8 shoulder stitches, bound off 4 and 4.) Do the math to determine how wide your changes will leave your armhole and your shoulder, based on your gauge. (See yesterday’s post for more on all of that.)

Fig. D: If rather than the clean slipped-stitch armhole edge Sloper is designed with, you’d prefer to add ribbing or another picked-up edge treatment, you’ll need an equivalent amount of room for it. For example, if you want to add 1″-wide ribbing around the armhole, you’ll need to start the shaping 1″ sooner (3 or 4 rows at pattern gauge) and move it inward an inch, as we did in Figure C.

Sloper mods, part 2: Reshaping the pattern


Sloper is written with a basic round neck for a picked-up neck treatment that can be finished as either a crewneck or a turtleneck.

Fig. E: For a V-neck, pinpoint how low you want the V to be (by calculating desired depth and your row gauge) and mark the tip of the V on the chart at the dead center of the garment, counting downward the appropriate distance from the top. Then rather than binding off stitches gradually as for a round neck, simply work that separation row [marked (D) on the pattern front] to the center stitch, place that first half of the stitches on hold, then work to the end of the row. To create the V, decrease 1 stitch at the neck edge every other row until your desired neck width, then work even to the shoulders. Repeat the process in reverse for the left front.

Fig. F: For a scoop neck, begin the neck shaping sooner (based on how deep you want it to be, calculated by your desired depth and your row gauge), so the front neck edge sits lower.

What you do with your neck edge is also up to you — pick up stitches and work ribbing or garter, or work a few rounds and bind off for more of a rolled edge. Or work a sloped bind-off and slipped-stitch selvage, same as the armhole edge, for a clean edge with no further treatment.


By combining different variations of armholes and necklines, along with changing up the neck edging, you can create a wide variety of garments. For instance, if you combine a scoop neck (Fig. E) with Fig C-style carved out armholes, you’ll have turned it into a tank top, whereas Fig A boxy armholes and a deep V-neck would give you a completely different look. Or what if you did square armholes and a low square neck! (I.e., just bind off all the neck stitches at once rather than gradually.) And when you factor in making it longer or shorter, hourglass or A-line, the possibilities really are endless.

As noted yesterday, just make sure any changes you make to the front are matched identically on the back, so everything matches up properly (same number of armhole rows, same number of shoulder stitches) when it comes to seaming the pieces together.

So once again, I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Link your Ravelry projects to the Sloper pattern listing, and use the hashtag #sloperKAL to share your plans and progress on Instagram in the coming weeks.


PREVIOUSLY: Sloper mods, part 1: Resizing the pattern

Sloper mods, part 1: Resizing the pattern

Sloper mods, part 1: Resizing the pattern

Today I want to talk about how to resize the Sloper sweater, which is also in some sense how to resize anything. Stitches are building blocks: The dimensions of any piece of knitted fabric are a function of [stitch size x number of stitches], plain and simple. The width or circumference of the fabric is determined by [stitch width (aka “stitch gauge”) x number of stitches]; length is determined by [stitch height (aka “row gauge) x number of rows].

• If you want a garment to be larger than the pattern size, you either need larger stitches or more of them.

• If you want a garment to be smaller than the pattern size, you either need smaller stitches or fewer of them.

Those are your two options: change the gauge or change the stitch count. Both require some math and some thoughtfulness.


Again: smaller stitches and/or rows will create a smaller sweater. Larger stitches and/or rows will create a larger sweater. Keep in mind these two things are interdependent: smaller stitches will make a fabric that’s shorter as well as narrower; larger stitches will make a fabric that’s taller as well as wider. How much smaller/larger depends on the specifics. So if you want to knit at a slightly different gauge, you’ll need to do the math to determine the outcome—

• Width/circumference: Divide the pattern’s stitch count by your stitch gauge to find out how large it will turn out. [stitch count ÷ sts per inch = width]

• Height: For any stretch of knitting that’s given as a specific number of rows, divide the row count by your row gauge to find the measurement, and adjust as needed. [row count ÷ rows per inch = height] On the other hand, for any stretch of the pattern that is given in inches instead of rows, you’ll simply knit as many rows as it takes at your gauge to reach that height.

For example, if you’re knitting Sloper at 2 stitches/inch (instead of 2.25), the pattern’s 84 stitches (42 front and 42 back) will yield a circumference of 42″ (instead of 37.5″)*, but if your row gauge is correspondingly larger, you’re changing the height at the same time, which will affect the neck depth and armhole depth. So do the math to see if you need to make adjustments there, as noted in yesterday’s post.

If you just flat out want to knit at a totally different gauge, do the math to determine how many stitches and rows it will take to meet the dimensions, and remap the placement of the shaping accordingly. (Get out your graph paper!) One fairly simple thought is that if you were to knit at 4.5 sts per inch — exactly double the pattern gauge — all of the stitch counts would likewise be doubled. But you’d need to pay attention to your row gauge, again as above — do the math and see if you’d need to make adjustments, since your row gauge is not likely to be as neatly doubled.


The more refined option — and the better one if you want to change the size more than a little — is to knit at pattern gauge but manipulate the stitch counts to affect the finished size. In this case, the stitch and row counts are not interdependent: You can add width (stitches) without adding height (rows), and vice versa.

Row counts change height

If you simply want the garment to be longer or shorter, all you need to do is add or subtract rows. The only question is where. Generally, you want to adjust rows during a work-even portion (a straight-sided stretch) of the garment.

• To change the total garment length without affecting the armhole depth, work more/fewer rows between the hem and the underarms.

• To change the armhole depth without changing the neck depth, work more/fewer rows between the underarm shaping and the neck shaping. Changing the armhole depth will change the total length, so make sure the two component lengths — cast-on-to-underarm + underarm-to-shoulder — add up to your desired total.

• To change the neck depth without changing the armhole depth, shift where the neck shaping begins (moving it up or down however many rows) while keeping the total row count from underarm to shoulders the same.

Remember to make sure your front and back armholes are the same depth, and that your side seams also match up unless you’re deliberately making an uneven hemline. But the armholes must match, no matter what.

Stitch counts change width/circumference

The sweater is two pieces — a front and a back — and whatever you do to one, you’ll also do to the other. At 2.25 sts/inch, each stitch is .44″, so that’s how much extra width you get for every stitch you add.

If you want the garment to be just a couple of inches bigger than written, adding 4 stitches — one at each edge — will give you an additional 1.8″ in total circumference, and that’s super easy to do in Sloper’s case. Simply increase the cast-on by one stitch at each edge — CO 44 sts per piece instead of 42 — and then you’ll bind off two stitches instead of one on the initial underarm BO row(s). But you do need to think about what happens to the ribbing at the side seams as a result of those extra stitches. If you’re leaving a split hem, I would just work 3 knits instead of 2 at each end, working the edge stitch as a slipped-stitch selvage. If you’re seaming all the way to the hem, though, you’d wind up with 4 knits together at the side seams instead of 2. (Note that knitting in the round to the underarms would have the same effect, since you’d retain the 4 selvage stitches that would otherwise be lost into the seam allowance at the end.)

If you need to size up any farther than that, it requires a bit more effort—

Say you want the front and back to each be 22″ across. You’d need to cast on 50 sts per piece instead of the 42 the pattern calls for. [22 inches x 2.25 per inch = 49.5, round to 50] That means you’re working with 8 extra stitches for the front and 8 extra for the back, so you need to figure out where you’ll put them.

From the cast-on edge to the underarms, all that matters is how your additional stitches factor into the ribbing. The pattern calls for 2×2 ribbing, which requires [(a multiple of 4 sts) + 2 to keep it symmetrical] — so it starts and ends with two knits. Adding 8 stitches doesn’t change anything in that regard, because you’re adding a multiple of 4. But if your new count doesn’t divide equally into that equation, you need to either round to a number that does or adjust the ribbing to something that works with your count — could be 1×1 ribbing or 3×2, or not ribbing at all but garter stitch or something else. Whatever works for you and your stitch count.

Once you reach the underarms, however, the stitch distribution requires some thought. As shown above (click to enlarge), the 42 pattern stitches are divvied up as follows:

3 underarm | 10 shoulder | 16 neck | 10 shoulder | 3 underarm

To maintain the proportions of the pattern, you’d want to add your stitches proportionally, so in our 50-stitch (8 added stitches) example, perhaps they’d get distributed like this:

4 underarm | 12 shoulder | 18 neck | 12 shoulder | 4 underarm

In this way, you can add as many stitches as you need in order to make the garment pieces as wide as you want them to be. Do the math on each section to understand how wide your adjustment means your neck, shoulders and armholes will be. As you go larger, you’ll probably want to add more to the shoulders than the neck, so the neck doesn’t get overly wide. Note that changing the neck width and/or depth might affect how many stitches you pick up for your neck treatment, so compare those numbers (under Finishing on the pattern) to see where you might need to adjust.

If you specifically want to change the neck or armhole shaping a bit, you can distribute your stitches to accomplish that, and we’ll get into that in tomorrow’s post.

MOST IMPORTANT: Remember that your front and back pieces have to match when it comes time to seam them together, so any changes you make to the front stitch count and distribution need to be repeated identically for the back.

Again, I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Link your Ravelry projects to the Sloper pattern listing, and use the hashtag #sloperKAL to share your plans and progress on Instagram in the coming weeks.


*Again, bear in mind the seam allowance. Traditionally, mattress stitch is worked such that you lose one stitch at each edge (two stitches per seam) into the seam allowance. At this gauge, some people will work into the center of each edge stitch instead, so you only lose half a stitch per edge (or a total of one stitch per seam). You can do whatever you like, but I do it the traditional way, regardless of gauge, which means 4 body stitches total disappear into the seams. But really, what you lose in seaming can also be made up for in blocking. Numbers are squishy!

PREVIOUSLY: Sloper: Basic pattern for a sleeveless sweater

Sloper: Basic pattern for a sleeveless sweater

Sloper: Basic pattern for a sleeveless sweater - free pattern

The pattern: Sloper by Karen Templer (free pattern)
The knitalong schedule: Start now or whenever. Knit at your own pace!
The hashtag: #sloperKAL

Ok, today’s the day a bunch of you have been waiting for — the day I tell you how to knit my little sleeveless turtleneck sweater — but this is unlike the patterns you’re accustomed to. More like a Japanese knitting pattern, what I’m giving you (this is a free pattern, friends, ungraded) is a stitches-by-rows chart of the garment, which you can use to either knit the exact same sweater or resize/modify it into whatever sort of sleeveless sweater you might like. I’m calling it Sloper, which is a term from the sewing world for a set of raw, bare-bones pattern pieces that might be sized to fit a particular person precisely but that can be used as the building blocks or jumping-off point for any number of variations and adaptations. (Click to download.)

– – – – – – – – – –
How to work a slipped-stitch selvage
How to work the sloped bind-off
Sloper pattern at Ravelry
– – – – – – – – – –

I’m presenting it to you literally as a scan of pencil marks on knitters graph paper, because I want you to understand that’s how simple this is. And I hope what you’ll take away from it, the ensuing posts and knitalong is the underlying process for modifying just about anything. The garment is two pieces of fabric — a front a back — each 42 stitches by about 74 rows, and in chart form you can see what happens to each and every stitch as you knit your way up through the rectangle of the body into the shaping for the arm and neck holes. So you can knit it exactly as charted (working RS rows from right to left; WS rows from left to right, as with any flat chart), or you can literally print it out, grab a pencil and some whiteout (or your own Knitters Graph Paper Journal), and move those stitches around in the grid however you like.

This will make a lot more sense to you if you’ve knitted a (flat/seamed) sweater before and have a basic grasp on how shaping happens. If you have not knitted a garment before and you want to give this a go as written, I think it’s quite doable. (I wouldn’t advise trying to modify it in any way if you’ve never knitted a sweater before — knit it once as is, then attempt changes after seeing how it works.)


Over the next couple of days, we’ll talk about doing just that — how to change the sizing (through gauge, or by adding/subtracting stitches and/or rows), and ideas for tweaking the armhole and neck shaping and neck treatment to achieve different results. But even simply working from the pattern exactly as it is, you can still change it up in any number of ways through your choices with regard to these details:

Fabric: The versions pictured are solid colored. You could add stripes, colorblocking, stranded colorwork or intarsia, or even a stitch pattern so long as it’s in keeping with the pattern gauge. (We’ll talk about playing around with the gauge later.) Also, these samples are knitted with worsted-weight yarn held triple for a very dense fabric; you might opt to knit lighter yarn at the same gauge, for a looser, drapier fabric.

Seams: Just by playing around with the seams, you can have an impact on the look of the garment. The black version has a 3″ split hem and traditional seams, meaning the seam allowance is on the inside of the garment. The camel version has fully seamed sides (no split hem) and exposed seams at the shoulders. You could easily also make your back piece a few inches longer from cast-on to underarm for a high-low effect, paired with a split hem.

Neck: The pattern includes instructions for either a crewneck or a turtleneck, so those are two different looks right there. We’ll talk about more drastic changes to the neckline in an upcoming post.


So step one is to knit and block a swatch and find a fabric you like that matches the pattern gauge. You could try a superbulky yarn; a strand of bulky with a strand of DK or worsted; or three strands of DK or worsted held together. (This could be a good stash-buster!) Suggested needle size is US15/10mm, but as with any knitting project, you’ll need to swatch to find the right needle size for you to match gauge. Always measure your gauge over at least 4 inches on a blocked swatch.

In reality, your gauge might not be an exact match for mine, and that might be ok. For one thing, I’ve rounded to the nearest quarter inch and the stitch gauge is technically more like 2.3333. At this scale, rounding to 2.25 versus 2.5 has a big impact on the resulting size info. As does blocking the finished garment, where manipulation is possible. (There is always that wiggle room.) So the measurements in the pattern are all given as approximations. Whatever your gauge is, multiply it by 42 stitches (the width of the front piece), double that for total circumference, and subtract for seam allowance*, and that’s how big around your sweater will be at your gauge. If that’s not a measurement that will work for you, we’ll talk tomorrow about how to manipulate it.

The same goes for row gauge. If your row gauge is bigger than mine (fewer rows per inch), your armhole depth will be longer. Divide the number of rows (31) from armhole to bind-off by your row gauge to see what your depth will be, and adjust as needed. For example, if your gauge is 3.5 rows per inch: 31 ÷ 3.5 = 8.9″. Subtract a row or two (between the armhole and neck shaping) if that’s too long for you. Same with the neck depth.


How much yarn? That’s harder to say, as it depends on what you’re using and what kind of changes you might make. The black Lark sample used 9 (50g/134-yard) skeins (technically 411g, not the full 450). Since it was held triple, you could think of it as three 400-yard strands of worsted, so if you were just using one strand of superbulky, it would be more like just 400 yards. For the pattern size. If you make it 10% or 30% or 50% bigger, you’ll need that much more yarn. My advice is always, always to buy more yarn than you think you might need. As long as it hasn’t been opened and wound, you can almost always return any unused skeins (but inquire wherever you’re purchasing.)


This is a super casual knitalong — no prizes or deadlines or anything. Just knit! Ask questions here and I (or anyone else) will answer as best I can. And share your progress on Instagram using hashtag #sloperKAL and on Ravelry by linking your project page to the Sloper pattern listing. I’ll be monitoring that tag fairly religiously for the next couple of weeks (more loosely after that) and can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

. . .

So tomorrow and Wednesday we’ll talk about resizing and modifying. If the existing pattern size (37-38″) works for you (or you don’t need no steenking advice to alter it!), feel free to dive right in! Please also favorite or queue the Sloper pattern on Ravelry.

For a glimpse at what I’m planning for my knitalong sweater, see my last Queue Check. I’ll talk more about how I’m accomplishing those changes in the next couple of days.

OK, let’s do this—


*Traditionally, mattress stitch is worked such that you lose one stitch at each edge (two stitches per seam) into the seam allowance. At this gauge, some people will work into the center of each edge stitch instead, so you only lose half a stitch per edge (a total of one stitch per seam). You can do whatever you like, but I do it the traditional way, regardless of gauge, which means 4 body stitches total disappear into the seams. But really, what you lose in seaming can also be made up for in blocking. Numbers are squishy!


Photos by Kathy Cadigan

Hot Tip: Slope your bind-off

Hot Tip: Slope your bind-off

I’m preeeeetty sure the first time I ever encountered the Sloped Bind-Off was in a Brooklyn Tweed pattern (that has come up again so often lately, Bellows). Since then, I’ve used it everywhere it makes sense in my knitting, and in my own three sleeveless patterns: Anna Vest, Camellia Tank and Sloper (coming soon). It’s useful anywhere you want a smoother bind-off than the stair-step effect that traditional bind-off leads to — so in cases where you’re binding off gradually (a few stitches per row at a time), such as with armhole or shoulder shaping. But I find it especially key when the edge you’re creating is the finished edge, and not one you’re going to seam or pick-up stitches into, such as the armhole edge of Sloper (that’s a funny coincidence, I just realized) pictured above.

So how do you work the sloped bind-off? Easy: When you’re working the last row before a BO row — e.g., you know the next row begins with something like “BO 4 sts, work as established to end …” — you stop one stitch short of the end of the row. Turn your work. Now you’re ready to start that BO row, but you have one unworked stitch already on your right needle. With yarn in back, slip the first stitch from the left needle to the right needle, and pass the unworked stitch over it, binding off that one stitch. Now proceed with the rest of the instructions. If the instruction is to bind off more than one stitch at that point, you only do this with the first one — the adjacent stitches are bound off as usual. Repeat the sloped BO each time the first stitch on the following row is to be bound off.

WHY? When you BO a stitch the normal way, it lies at a 90-degree angle to your fabric — it’s a square corner. So if you BO 4 sts and knit the rest of the row, then work your way back to the end of the following row (back to where you started, in other words), then BO the next few stitches on the third row, you’re terracing your work, right? With the sloped BO, the BO stitch at the edge is leaning into the fabric from the row below at more of a 90-degree angle, so you’re creating a curve instead of a terrace. So simple and yet such impact!


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