I am hoping that everyone managed last week with invisible provisional cast on. This is my absolute favorite cast on technique, because it’s easy and fast to work once you remember it, it takes up hardly any waste yarn, and it’s super easy to remove! I couldn’t ask any more from a provisional cast on!

The next step in the Olga’s Vest is the armhole.  Don’t be afraid of this…. it isn’t nearly the most difficult part of this pattern (Insert evil laugh here- Bwaaah Ha Ha Ha!!!).  Since the pattern is written by inches instead of rows and we are probably all working different sizes, and row gauge is usually harder to get, it’s likely that everyone is at a different point in their stitch pattern repeat at the point when it’s time to work the armhole.  DO NOT WORRY.  It’s much easier that it seems.

I purposefully planned my bind off row to land on the hardest row possible, just to show you that it really isn’t that hard.

The first thing you want to do is put in a lifeline here at this point, right before you are ready to start… just in case!  Mark somewhere which row is the last row worked before starting the armhole row so that in the case that you do have to rip out your work to your lifeline you know which row you’re on.

Next, you want to section off your work.  Warning- I am about to use hypothetical numbers. For example if your pattern says to work he next 10 sts in pattern then bind off the following 11 sts in pattern then work the remaining sts in pattern, this is what you will do: Place a marker after the first 10 sts, place a marker after the next 12 sts after the first marker.  Why 12 and not 11? Because you have to work 12 sts to bind off 11 sts, so once you work all the sts between the markers you know that you have bound off the correct amount of sts.  Does that make sense?

But what if you are on a lace row (where you need to work an odd number of sts and the pattern tells you to work an even number of sts).  For example, the pattern says work 10 sts in pattern, bind off 11 sts, work to end in pattern.  Well there are two ways you can go about this. 1- Just work an odd number instead of an even number so if the pattern says work 10 then work 9 or 11, no big deal (one stitch will not ruin the look of the garment)…. just make a note of this for your second armhole.  2- Work the last remaining stitch (of the 10) as a knit, I know this doesn’t quite keep the integrity of the stitch pattern, but it’s just one stitch, and one stitch is not going to make or break this pattern either.

The next thing to keep in mind is that if you generally tend to bind off tightly then you want to go up a needle size if you are on a lace row, if you are on row 3 or 7 then you want to go up about 2-3 needle sizes.  Don’t try to control your tension by knitting really really loose for this section.  It is almost impossible to control your tension especially when learning something new and when you are comfortable with your work – so when is it possible to control your tension? Almost never. You want to make sure that your arm fits into your armhole, right?

Okay, so let’s get started!


Section off your work using two locking markers (as discussed above)

Work up to first marker in pattern (as discussed above), here is an example of how the stitch pattern didn’t work out with the number of sts I had to work in the first section, so just knit the remaining stitch.  The picture above shows row 5 where the repeat is k2tog, yo, this means that if I don’t end in a yo I will be short a stitch. Then I end with a knit one.

Because I knit one stitch right before the marker and to keep the integrity of the stitch I start my bind off section with a knit one.

Start back in pattern with the k2tog.

Bind off the first stitch.  Remember, this counts as one bound off stitch.  Count the stitches as you bind them off and not as you work them.

The next stitch in this pattern is a yo…. so yo, then bind off.  That’s two stitches bound off.

Continue to bind off the number of stitches as suggested in the pattern then work to end of row in pattern.

Try on your armhole at this point and see if it fits comfortably around half of your armhole depth (measurement #7).  Hold up the beginning of the bind off at the top of your shoulder, it should run all the way down to your underarm with a little wiggle room (so you can move comfortably).  If you feel like the opening is going to be too tight just bind off more stitches (in pattern of course) until the opening is a comfortable size – make sure to make a note of how many extra or how many total you bound off. Then continue to work in pattern to the end of the row.

On the next row work up to the bind off gap.  For the cast on- I like to use the crochet cast on method because it looks exactly like a bind off.  But if you are working this cast on in the middle of a row you need to remove the last stitch from your working needle and place it onto your crochet hook.  Make sure to use a crochet that corresponds to the needle size you are using (for example if you are using a size 9 U.S. needle this is a 5.5 mm, find the corresponding mm size in a crochet hook, which is a size I).  Here is a link to a video on the crochet cast on method, the video shows two ways to work this cast on, I prefer the second way.  If you don’t feel comfortable with the crochet cast on method, go ahead and use your preferred cast on method.  Another good cast on, would be to join in a new piece of your working yarn and just work the long tail cast on method and then cut the yarn (making sure to leave a tails long enough to weave in your ends).

To work this cast on, after you have placed your last stitch worked onto your hook, place the needle which you will be casting on your stitched into your left hand.  Position your hands as shown in the image above.  Bring your working yarn to the back of the work.  Bring your hook underneath the working yarn and let that yarn sit in the little nook of your hook.

Draw the yarn through the loop on your hook- Congrats! You have cast on one stitch!

Continue working this cast on until you have cast on the same number of stitches you have bound off.  Remember, the last stitch cast on comes from the loop from your hook (just transfer it from your hook to your needle).  If you lost count of your cast on, don’t worry! Just count how many stitches you have total.  It’s simple math, if you started with 100 sts and you are counting that you have 97, then you need 3 more stitches right? It’s that simple!  Then tun your work and work to the end of the row in pattern.  Not sure where you are in pattern? Just count our your stitches from the beginning, or another easy way to remember this is that you will always purl the stitch over the yo below, then slip the next and the previous stitch.  I hope that makes sense…

After you have worked the armhole and you have the right amount of stitches and are happy with the size of the opening put in yet another lifeline just in case and make another note as to which row your lifeline was inserted.  Continue to work up the the next section in the pattern which is the cowl neck.

Next week I will put up a photo of a version of the Olga’s Vest that I knit without the cowl neck.  It’s much easier and if you are afraid of working short rows in stitch pattern then you night decide to go in the way of no cowl.  It’s really nice, you’ll see…. but I’ll let you decide next week.  Please let me know if you have any questions- you can post them here, Ravelry or Facebook or email them to me@graceakhrem.com.

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One Response to Olga’s Vest KAL – week 3/8

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