Ramona KAL — Pattern FAQs
[This post will be updated as more questions come our way — last updated 1/13/23]
Elizabeth Smith, Maine designer of the Ramona trio, has a handy reference page of some tips and recommendations on her website: https://elizabethsmithknits.com/ramonatips/.
We thought it would be good to have one post to warehouse the questions you may have — and our answers. If you’ve got a question, chances are that others might be wondering the same thing. Please stop into the store or reach out by email if you encounter something that stumps you!
Are you off by a stitch or few? (Excerpt from this post).
Could your problem be solved by adding an extra stitch or decreasing one or two stitches over the next couple of rows? Is it a dropped stitch that could be placed on an opening stitch marker to hold it safely, then retrieved with a crochet hook on your next row?
A few of our Ramona KAL knitters realized they were off by a few stitches this past week. They were in the raglan section, so it was pretty easy to set it to rights!
Our suggestion is to first identify which sections are off by a stitch or two. Once you know where (back, front, sleeve, etc) you missed a make-one, you know that’s the section where you’ll add a stitch.
Try to add your stitch in the same manner you’d typically be increasing. In the case of the Ramona raglan increases, you always increase one stitch away from the marker that denotes your seam. You’ve got a plain knit stitch right next to the marker, with an increase next to that stitch. When you go to add the stitch you forgot in the section where you’re missing it, knit to one stitch before the marker (for a M1R) or knit to one stitch after the marker (for a M1L in the next section).
Another great tip for the cardigan is that if you’re missing a stitch on the front of your sweater, make sure you’re increasing (or decreasing) one stitch away from the marker, not on the side where your button band will be.
The same is true for having too many stitches — simply decrease one stitch before the seam, leaving that plain knit stitch right next to the marker.
Generally, choose a plain row to adjust for a mistake, meaning that you’re not on an increase or decrease row.
How come the pullover is started flat, not in the round?
Great question! It has to do with shaping the neckline. If you start a raglan sweater in the round, you’re going to get a neckline that is the same height in the front and in the back — unless you insert short rows on the back of the neck.
Because Elizabeth wanted to keep this design simple (no short rows), she has us start the pullover by knitting back and forth for the back of the neck so that side goes up higher. Then when you join it into the round, your front neckline will be set a bit lower.
Take a look at another sweater in your wardrobe and you’ll likely see that the front neck is lower than the back.
Is it tricky to join the pullover neck in the round, after you knit the first part flat?
It might feel a little tricky to do this, but we know you can do it! Here's where Elizabeth Smith's excellent technical editing and pattern writing skills come in: if you follow the directions as written (as weird as they may feel or sound), it will work out.
You'll cast on stitches for the front part of the neck, then join in the round (without twisting), and add a marker to denote the start of your round. There will be some funny business with slipping stitches, moving markers, etc., but stick with the directions and you'll be fine.
For the pullover, when you’re at Step 1 of the underarm divide, why on earth do you break the yarn?!
Woah. We know. We were wondering this too! So we reached out to Elizabeth, who graciously responded:
That's a common question I get! Alternatively you could just keep yarn attached, slip 1 and then continue working with the same yarn. The reason I originally wrote to break it and then rejoin was just to avoid any tightness that may occur by having the yarn 'stretch' over the slipped stitch, but it's just 1 stitch and I think it's totally fine not to break it. At some point I was going to update the pattern to note this, so I suggest that during the KAL you can definitely mention it to everyone!
So the bottom line is, it’s OPTIONAL to break the yarn! Whew! Because we don’t like to weave in extra ends if we don’t have to!
In the cardigan, when it says right or left side, which perspective is it from?
Such a great question! When we get to the buttonband, we’ll see this:
…Join yarn at the bottom of Right Front and pick up…
The key is to think of it as “right front” AS WORN. So if you’re wearing the sweater, the side of the cardigan on your right is the right front.
If you’re looking at the schematic (drawing) of the sweater, since you’re looking at it and not wearing it, the right front is on the left side of the drawing.
But just keep the AS WORN in your mind, and you’ll be good to go.
We’ll update this post as your questions keep rolling in! Remember, if you’re confused, we’re betting someone else is too — email Iris!