Vneck cardigan with contrast ribs

Often front bands such as buttonbands are worked after the garment has been completed. This is because stitches such as ribs need to be worked on a smaller needle to create the neatest finish. There are two main types of front bands: one where the band is knitted and sewn on separately, and the other where stitches are picked up down the front edges. I prefer the latter as a sewn-on band can look messy.

The rib pattern is created by alternating knit and purl stitches in the same row and is often used on edgings as its elasticity means it stretches over the head and hands and then springs back into shape. The most commonly used combinations are k1, p1 ribbing, known as single rib, and k2, p2 ribbing, known as double rib.

techniques focus increasing and (overleaf) seams (see also pages 37 and 43-5)

1 Insert the left-hand needle from front to back under the horizontal strand between the stitch just worked on the right-hand needle and the first stitch on the left-hand needle.

2 Knit into the back of the loop to twist it, thus preventing a hole. Then drop the strand from the left-hand needle. This forms a new stitch on the right-hand needle.

1 Insert the left-hand needle from front to back under the horizontal strand between the stitch just worked on the right-hand needle and the first stitch on the left-hand needle.

2 Knit into the back of the loop to twist it, thus preventing a hole. Then drop the strand from the left-hand needle. This forms a new stitch on the right-hand needle.

knit 2 together through back of loop (*k2 tog tbl')
Knit into the back loop of the stitch instead of the front. This is called knit through back of loop (k1 tbl). In k2 tog tbl you knit both stitches together through the back of the loop.

In this design, the ribs are in a contrasting colour to make it easier for you to see the new stitch you are creating when you pick up the stitches. When changing colour on moving from rib to stocking stitch at the bottom of the body and sleeves, cut the contrast thread, leaving a long enough end to ensure the first stitch does not unravel later and that there is enough yarn to darn in afterwards. Begin working in stocking stitch with the main shade, again making sure you have left an end of at least 8cm (3^in). The decreasing on the neck is worked one stitch in from the edge. This is called fully fashioned decreasing and the slanting stitch creates decorative interest. When decreasing in from the edge, you can pick up and knit your stitches following the technique for a straight edge rather than a curved edge.

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