Dividing the stitches for the body of a top-down sweater

Dividing the stitches for the body of a top-down sweater

Are you knitting a top-down sweater and it's time to divide the stitches for the sleeves and body? Congrats on getting this far in your project, the yoke of a sweater is a lot of knitting! Here are some tips to set up for the next step.

Read over your pattern instructions very carefully and try to visualize the process. Make sure that you are following the instructions for your size, that you have the tools needed, and that you understand the terms used for this step.

Make sure that you have adequate time to divide your work - it’s best to not stop half way through this pivotal part of the pattern. I recommend that you also have good lighting and a flat surface to work on. I often sit at a table for this part.

When placing stitches on hold for the sleeve, I like to hold my sleeve stitches on pieces of a dk or worsted weight cotton yarn in a contrasting colour, or on silicone stitch holders. I used a generous length of yarn on my fave darning needle in my right hand and slip each stitch PURLWISE onto the waste yarn one stitch at a time. I then inspect and count the stitches to make sure I didn’t miss any and I tie the waste yarn together with a shoelace bow. This way I can try on my sweater later on, with enough room for my arms to go though!

If the pattern calls for a backwards loop cast-on at each armpit of the sweater and here are some options. Here is a video for the backwards loop cast-on and for a knitted cast on option, which are both suitable for the pattern! I personally like a tighter cast on and I often substitute the knitted cast on for my underarm stitches. 

Don't fret too much if stitches near the armpits seem distorted. Tidying up holes and distorted stitches is something to do at the end of a project, when you are weaving in ends and other finishing techniques. 
I hope that this info helps you with your awesome project, and happy Knitting! 

Veronica @ STASH


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