Julie's Ruth

Julie and the Cocoknits team are jumping into The Everlasting KAL once again for our 2024 knit-a-long! This year we're knitting Ruth. You can follow along with Julie as she works on her (fourth!) Ruth over the course of eight weeks. Between February 2 and March 29, we'll be posting updates and behind-the-scenes glimpses of her progress, with a few tips and tricks along the way.

Watch our Instagram Story Highlights to see Julie's WIP try-ons, technique demos, and some special pro tips. You can also watch everything on our YouTube Playlist with accurate Closed Captions. (Updated weekly!) See what others are knitting in the Ruth KAL Ravelry forum.

Want Julie to teach you how to knit Ruth step-by-step? Check out our Ruth On Demand Class.

The Process...

1

Week 1: February 2nd-8th

Prep Week!

Julie chose to knit with Blue Sky Fibers Suri Merino because it is ultra soft and slinky, and she loves the color Fog. She gathered up all her tools and stashed them in her Project Wallet, then knit and wet blocked a swatch to make sure she was on gauge with US 7 (4.5 mm) needles. After measuring a different sweater to compare size, she decided to knit a Size 2 (medium) with no modifications.

TIP: Are you aiming for a specific fabric feel? Do you want a heavy and warm fabric, or perhaps something lightweight and airy? One way to think about this is to check how many yards of yarn there are per gram of fiber. Fewer yards per gram will yield a heavier fabric. For instance, Julie's Suri Merino Ruth will yield a thick and cozy fabric at just 164 yd per 100 g skein. Compare that to her light and breezy Ruth knit in La Bien Aimée Merino Bouclé (seen here, in beige), which had a whopping 436 yd per 100 g skein. You can watch Julie explain this here.

Resources & Tutorials:

2

Week 2: February 9th-15th

Sections I-III

Casting on! Julie paused to check gauge after completing Section I (the upper back) of her Ruth and found she wanted to adjust. She started the sweater using her wood Addi Click needles, but at this point decided to switch to metal needles because they are slippier and less pointy. This loosened up her stitches slightly and will help prevent splitting the yarn.

In Section II she started the incorporated collar along with the shoulder tabs, and picked up stitches for the shoulders and sleeves. She finished Section III by placing the Colorful Stitch Markers in preparation for her Worksheet.

TIP: Do you have “deep” shoulders? (meaning: do you want more front-to-back depth instead of side-to-side width in your sweaters?) Just knit extra rows on the shoulder tabs! This will give the top of the shoulders extra depth, and will not affect the final stitch count of the yoke. You can watch Julie explain this here.

Resources & Tutorials:

3

Weeks 3-4: February 16th-29th

Section IV: The Cocoknits Worksheet

Julie filled out her Cocoknits Sweater Worksheet, modifying it slightly by erasing two increases in each sleeve to make the sleeve circumference slightly smaller. She knit through the whole worksheet and was happy with the finished measurements of the yoke! She’ll have about 7.5” (19 cm) of armhole depth.

TIP: Do you prefer to work from a digital pattern? The worksheet is always included with your pattern PDF. To use it digitally, you can: 1.) Print out the worksheet, fill it out, then snap a photo of it to have a digital copy (this is Julie’s preferred trick); or 2.) Digitally mark up the PDF version directly. Would you prefer a physical worksheet, but don’t have easy access to a printer? Check out our Sweater Worksheet Journal!

Resources & Tutorials:

4

Weeks 5-6: March 1st-14th

Sleeves & Body

Julie separated the sleeves and then knit about 3.5” (9 cm) before crossing the collar stitches, trying it on a few times to make sure the fit was right. She then added 4 rows of Bust Darts to give a little more room in the front.

After knitting a few more inches, she put the body on hold and knit both sleeves, using Claw Clips to keep the underarms closed. Finishing the sleeves before the body helps to get the best idea of overall fit! It’s also a great way to avoid the dreaded “Sleeve Island” and helps if you’re playing a bit of Yarn Chicken.

Once the sleeves were finished, she tried it on again and decided to knit an additional 1.5” (4 cm) on the body before splitting for the hem. She knit the hem to 6” (15 cm) as her size calls for…and now all her knitting is done!

TIP: Want to put the body on hold, but don’t want to cut your yarn? You can keep your yarn cake attached and prevent it from getting tangled with this simple trick: put it inside a small bag, and pin that bag to your sweater. Julie likes to put her yarn inside a Mesh Bag, then use an Opening Stitch Marker to pin the bag to the cord holding her stitches. You can see her demonstrate this here.

Resources & Tutorials:

Comments

Cocoknits

Hi Susan,

The +’s you wrote on the sides of the worksheet (specified on p. 8-9) are not increases. They tell you how many stitches to work past the marker/last Shadow Wrap Short Row on each row. The short rows are used to shape the neck (see bottom p. 9) as you work through the increases that you have marked on your worksheet. Hope that helps and please feel free to email us at knit@cocoknits.com for clarification or for more questions.


Susan Organ

I am participating in the KAL but using the MABEL pattern and I just filled in the worksheet. The math for the front section doesn’t make sense to me though. The pattern says I should end up with 66 stitches for my size (1X), including necline and armhole increases.
But I am starting off with
14 st right front
14 st left front
increasing 18 st for the armhole (both sides)
and 74 for neckline (CO 20, increase 27 each side)
total is 120st, not 66.
What am I not understanding? All other counts add up.


Cocoknits

Hi Marcia, we are happy to help! Try these suggestions, then email us at knit@cocoknits.com—we usually respond more quickly there and can get information back and forth more readily.
The first big question is whether you like the fabric you got on your swatch after you blocked it and it stretched? If you like it, then we can work on changing the numbers/size you are knitting. But, if the fabric is too thin or drapey, the next step is to reduce your needle size, carefully measure the unblocked swatch (stitch and row gauge and total dimensions) then block the new swatch and see if you like the fabric. If you end up going with a blocked gauge that is different than the gauge you are knitting the sweater at, you will need to check that the project is matching the expected unblocked gauge, so that after blocking (and expanding), the sweater fits. To get total sts for the bust, add the front and back stitches on the top of p. 12. Let us know how it goes!


Marcia Lynch

I am really stuck trying to figuring out how to adjust my gauge and calculating yardage needed of yarn.
The “Modify Gauge” video is excellent but I am having difficulty finding the total stitch counts. Neckline, collar, sleeves, the count below the split hem, I will want to add length in the body, or the split hem area to adjust for my height – perhaps up to 2 to 3 inches. And perhaps other things I haven’t considered for the total stitch count.
After wet blocking, the yarn I chose expands – I think significantly, but I’m a new knitter and don’t really have experience with this. For example, my stitch count went from 17 stitches in 4” to 15 stitches.
I am using #8 needles and a DK weight yarn. My chest is 40.5 inches. I was planning on knitting, a size large, but after doing the calculations I learned on Julie‘s video, my size is off the charts, and she included many sizes beyond large. Also, I would need at least 800 – 1000 additional yards of yarn. That is almost double what I purchased for size large.
I am very discouraged, thinking I’ll never be able to participate in the KAL which I have been looking forward to and I love the Ruth pattern/style. I feel like I am fairly average size, but the pattern doesn’t seem to accommodate. I think I must be doing something wrong, or not taking something into consideration.
Is it common for yarn to change that much with wet blocking? It is 100% Marino and not cheap but I see that yarn is fairly expensive these days so it probably isn’t overpriced.
I don’t know any LSY that is doing this KAL so you are my only hope Obi-Wan. (I live in Portland Oregon and purchased my yarn from California.)
I would appreciate any help you could give me.
Thank you for reading this lengthy note.
Marcia Lynch


Cocoknits

Hi Jennifer, The finished bust for a size 3 is 44.25” At 4 sts/in this translates to 177 sts at the bust after the neckline is joined on p. 12. The size 2 is 172 sts, the size 3 is 188. Since the size 2 calls for 872 yds, you will probably still be short. You could try switching to a different yarn on the sleeves or helm line, or knitting it in a short sleeve version. You don’t have enough yarn to make the sweater as written. Hope that helps and that you are able to join us with Ruth.


Jennifer

I was thinking about making the Ruth with some stash yarn. It’s knitting up at 16 stitches / 22 rows for 4 inches. I would like to make the size 3 but I only have 800 yards. Do you think this is feasible ?


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