Today is the day we cast on!
For those of you that have the Ella Coat Reinvented pattern, you can begin as described. . . just follow the pattern.
For those of you who have the Ella Coat for Women pattern, there is a tweak. I am actually in this category myself, because when I began my new Ella, I was using the original pattern. The tweak makes the coat easier and, I think, more fun to knit. Instead of casting on all those bazillion stitches at the bottom for the ruffle, we will begin our coats at the bodice. It is not wrong to start at the hem of the coat. I would say it is more traditional. I made my original 2 Ellas this way . . I also made several little Ella and the Legume coats this way and that coat starts from the bottom as well.
The Big Picture: How we will proceed
For this Knit-A-Long, we will all begin with the bodice, work up to the shoulders. Easier. More fun. And safer: you can try the coat on and make sure the bodice fits before you have finished all the knitting and finishing.
So, needles poised, ladies and any participating gents. Yarn at the ready. I’m a long-tail cast on girl myself, so that’s my recommendation, but I’ve always advocated a more democratic teaching style, so cast on as you will.
For those of you with the original Ella pattern, you will see Coat Bodice in the second column not quite mid-way down. Second sentence toward the end there, you’ll see the total number of stitches you need to pick up in the skirt for the bodice. . . these numbers are, for you, now the cast on numbers. Locate your chosen size and cast on.
I am now going to supply you with the locations for 6 markers. 4 of those markers will locate your increases for the bodice: 2 locations in the center fronts just under the breast points and 2 locations that mirror these on the back. They look like darts and give the coat bodice its lovely shaping. The other two markers will locate your side seams–this comes into play when you are separating the fronts from the back to do your armhole shaping and work to the shoulder.
Ok, for you long tail cast on people. . . you’ve cast on and now I want you to purl row 1 (see below) . . . why, you might ask, tempted to ignore me and just knit. Don’t do it. Here’s why: the purl row puts that lovely more knitterly (as opposed to purly) texture on the right side. I like this and think it’s pretty. When you go to pick up stitches for the skirt, you will be glad you didn’t ignore me. . . (if you do a knitted cast on, you can knit the first row).
So, here, without further ado and more bibble babble is the relevant, life/knitting-made-easier in an instant tweak . . . marker locations:
Row 1 (WS): Purl across, placing 6 markers as follows: p18 (20, 22, 25, 27, 29), pm for center left front; p18 (21, 23, 25, 27, 30), pm for left side seam; p18 (21, 23, 25, 27, 30), pm for center left back; p36 (40, 44, 50, 54, 58), pm for center right back; p18 (21, 23, 25, 27, 30), pm for right side seam p18 (21, 23, 25, 27, 30), pm for center right front; p18 (20, 22, 25, 27, 29) to end.
AND NOW: I’ve got what I hope is a “worth the price of admission” tip (or at least makes you glad you came) . . . Once you know the location of these markers (you already know I like lock markers as I find they work well in most situations) it is trivial to count again as you pick up for the skirt and re-place them. . . however, if you are like me you might think of ways to save time and counting later, or, to say it a better way, to double-check your counting now and later. Here’s what I did. I set two markers at each increase location.
One set of markers stayed put at the cast on edge (ready for when I pick up the skirt stitches to just jump over to the skirt side) and one moved with my knitting. This way, when I pick up for the skirt, I can pace myself, instantly know where I need to have the markers, and double-check marker locations, stitch counts, and that my stitches line up from bodice to skirt.
Don’t Forget Your Homework! As you work through this part of the KAL, remember to post on Ravelry in your Ella project log.Take lots of pictures! Be creative! There is an awesome prize up for grabs . . .
Happy Ella Knitting!