At the same time instructions, and other tips for the UNIFORM cardigan
I'm nearing the end of my UNIFORM cardigan yoke shaping, and I thought now might be a good time to pause and share a few tips and tricks for working the shaping in the yoke of the pattern. It's exciting to see knitters of every skill level joining in with us as we knit for the Uniform Makealong, and I've seen a couple of questions about how to work at the same time instructions. If you're puzzled by these, know you're not alone; knitters of every skill level can get tripped up!
If this is your first raglan sweater, the UNIFORM cardigan uses a few terms you may be seeing for the first time. There are two types of shaping occurring in the cardigan yoke: the raglan shaping and the center front shaping.
Raglan shaping is what we call the increases at the sleeve, back, and fronts. It's the running line you see mirrored on the front and back of a sweater or cardigan, which stop at the garment's underarm. For our purposes here, anytime you see a Raglan Shaping row in the UNIFORM cardigan pattern, you will be increasing eight stitches.
Center Front shaping occurs at the edges of the cardigan fronts, so the fronts are at an angle, rather than going straight down. In the UNIFORM cardigan, every center front shaping row increases two stitches. This is a design element that can vary from pattern to pattern, and this shaping doesn't have to stop after the underarm. In the UNIFORM cardigan, the center front shaping continues on after the raglan shaping stops.
Things can get complicated when keeping track of each shaping row, and when they happen at the same time. If you've never seen instructions like this in a knitting pattern, there are a few techniques for setting things straight at the onset.
For beginners and experts alike, I recommend reading through the yoke shaping instructions at least once before casting on any stitches, so you can familiarize yourself with the types of increases, how often they happen, and how many of them there are. I'm going to run through a hypothetical scenario, where I'm knitting the 35 1⁄4 size for the worsted weight version.
I first make tally marks for every type of shaping that occurs before the "at the same time" section. From my photo below, you can see I've tallied three raglan increases and one center front increase. I'm not yet worried about when or how these increases happen, only that they exist.
Then, I get to a section that says, "repeat the center front increase row every tenth row 2 times, and every eighth row 8 times." If I add this to the tally marks I made earlier, I have a total of 11 center front increases. AT THE SAME TIME (in all caps so we don't miss it!) we repeat the raglan increase row every other row 18 times, then every forth row one time. Adding both of those numbers to the tallied raglan increases from the last section, we have 22 total raglan increases. Keep in mind the Center Front Increase rows continue to be worked after the yoke is finished.
I think it's critical to have these numbers in mind before starting, so you can know whether things are generally staying on track as you knit.
One of the most challenging aspects of "at the same time" instructions is knowing when a Center Front shaping row happens on the same row as a Raglan Shaping Row. If you've never worked shaping like this, the below Google Sheet might be helpful in visualizing this process. Note: this sheet only shows the row count starting at the "Begin Raglan Shaping" of the pattern.
So, for Row 1, we have a Raglan Increase Row. Next, I'll work a wrong side row, then move onto a second raglan increase row, with another wrong side row following. My fifth row, you can see the first time I have a center front shaping row, and that happens at the same time as a raglan shaping row. The next time that happens is Row 15.
If you want to be completely sure no center front increases are out of place, you could consider mapping the whole raglan yoke like I've done above, but I think most knitters can keep things straight by clearly marking when they complete a Center Front shaping row.
Without scrunching my eyes, it's pretty hard to eyeball where center front increases happen once I'm a few rows in, which is why I like clipping a little removable stitch marker to every center front increase. This isn't groundbreaking advice, and there are countless ways to visually mark when increases happen in a garment, but it's a quick and easy way note how many center front increase rows have been worked
Another key thing to note, and I think some knitters may miss this if they're in a knitting groove, excited to move on after the underarm section of the pattern: the center front increases continue after the raglan shaping ends. You can see a little visual representation of what this looks like in the drawing below.
I recommend continuing to note when the center front increases happen after you finish the yoke, especially if you are knitting a cardigan version which has side shaping.
I'll be talking about which cardigan version I decided to knit in the coming week. One of my favorite things about this pattern was that I didn't have to make that decision before the yoke shaping was complete! Forever indecisive, I may change my mind before I post here next.
Let me know if you have any questions about the yoke shaping in the comments below, and if there is anything else causing giving you trouble as you knit this pattern. If you're an instagram user, keep hashtagging your projects #uniformmakealong so I can see everyone's progress!