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And At the Same Time October 27, 2009

In my many merry ramblings through the world of knitting design, there is one phrase, even more than “reverse all shaping as for Left Front” that strikes fear and loathing into the hearts of knitters everywhere: And At the Same Time.

(Tell me your nose didn’t twitch a little even reading it!)

This fall, I decided to try something different, more user-friendly and hopefully more direct.

Writing the Mondo Cable series, I wrote the instructions without using this phrase. It was banned. There had to be other equally succinct ways to parse the idea of SIMULTANEOUS. (Even thinking about concurrent actions makes me want to capitalize words.)

Below you see the Mondo Cable Pulli I’m working on. I love the plushy polar-fleecy fabric this yarn (Jaeger Persia) is creating and can’t wait to snuggie down in at as the temperatures fall. We’re at that point in Chicago now where we’re losing all our leaves and the Real Stuff (cold, wind, ice, rain, omg, snow) is just around the corner.

This is fated to be one of those soothing Saturday sweaters and I have some favorite black velvet pants WITH AN ELASTIC WAISTBAND that will make a super comfy but great look.

I’m about ready to join the fronts but I thought it’d be interesting to look at the architecture here.


It is a typical V-neck top-down construction, a perfect storm of things happening in on-demand sync: you are increasing at intervals along where the sleeves meet the body segments and also at the neckline edges. The great thing is that once the increase areas are placed, you are basically doing the same activity over and over according to a schedule. The not-so-great thing is unless you put it on a couple of needles or string and pin it out flat, maybe you’ve never seen what a Yoke looks like from above because it looks very different smooshed up while you’re working on it.

j-hammI’ve made this type of sweater so many times now, the shape of a raglan yoke is part of my brainiac repetoire. I go on auto-pilot and the wheels on the bus go round and round, especially after the thing is joined in the round for the body section, especially when I’m watching this guy on TV.

But I digress! When this series first came out, we got some emails about the processes that were taking place. No matter how it was written, the fact that all this was proceeding together was lost. We saw online postings where it stated that the moronic designer just had to use the phrase And At the Same Time to get this done, marveling at why we even wanted to use a words like Simultaneous or Concurrent because the other phrase was most often used in patterns.

And we agree! Why fight it? It’s a phrase that although we knitters cringe a little when we see it, we also Pay Attention. Which is the whole point. It’s the ultimate walking and chewing gum at the same time. Once it’s unwrapped, you can relax and let the wheels go round and round, just like they’re supposed to ;p

Here’s something I’ve found that helps keep all those numbers managed well.


It’s a Peg Counter. It’s old school (is there an app for that? I haven’t looked but I don’t have an iPod, sigh.)


I’ve lost a couple of the original pegs (comes with 8?) but this baby is really useful to keep track of all those shaping numbers.

Top Left: my raglan sleeve line increases. Bottom Left: my v-neck increases. Top Right: stitch counts of total raglan shapings. Bottom Right: stitch count of one Front piece increment each row if necessary to stay on track before I hit that wonderful place, the Join.

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