5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - Fireworks Cast-On

Today is the day to cast on the Fireworks KAL! 

A couple years ago I participated in Marie Green's first 4-day KAL and actually did knit a sweater, Beekeeper Cardigan, in 4 days! The sweater is darling and I really enjoy wearing it. 

The sweater for this year's 5th Annual 4-Day KAL is Fireworks.  I don't know what is is about this sweater, but I just adore it.  This top-down knit starts with a "firework" stitch at the yoke and then basic sweater construction after that. Farmer's Daughter Craggy Tweed is the perfect yarn for this pullover, and I am going to knit mine in a fall color called Porch Pumpkin!

In all honesty, this will not be finished in 4 days.  Life is a little busy right now so this will be more of a 10-day knit. Read on for why I am knitting the yoke and part of the body twice.

I am between sizes. Since I prefer the 39.5-inch finished bust, I opted to use the "Alternate Gauge". My sweater is knit to 5.5 stitches to the inch instead of 5. The sweater is knit using the same pattern, just at a slightly tighter gauge. I knit my swatch, blocked it and, happy day, it was right on gauge.

Now a bit of honesty here, I started my sweater a couple of weeks ago and was knitting away on it.  I was about two thirds of the way through the body and I put it down to go get a coffee and when I walked back, I noticed it!  A distinct line between the start of one skein and another. Trust me, I know that when I work with hand-dyed yarns, I should alternate the skeins to ensure that I do not see a change in tone. UGH! Why, why, why didn't I this time? (Of course I didn't get a photo for you all.) I could have just lived with it, but that is not me. Time to get out my ball winder and wind the all my stitches back into cakes to start anew.  

I decided to knit the yoke without alternating skeins, figuring the pattern would hide any color changes. I set up all of my skeins in very bright light and selected the middle-toned skein to knit the yoke. 

I cast on, knit the ribbing and knit the short rows.  I used German Short Rows instead of the Japanese Short Rows described in the pattern.  There is no earth-shaking reason for the change. I just like German Short Rows and they are easy for me. Marie has a tutorial for Japanese Short Rows and Brooklyn Tweed has a nice tutorial on German Short Rows. You should pick what works for you.

Once that is done, you are on your way with the fun yoke pattern!  Marie has a video tutorial on the firework stitch that is helpful if you cannot visualize how it works. Check out the close up of the yoke of my sweater to see how the stitches line up. The photograph is taken as you would look at your project while you knit.



Two days later, the yoke was complete, I split the sleeves from the body and started to alternate skeins for the stockinette portion of the sweater.  For a little video on how to do this please check out the Very Pink Knits tutorial here.  (Knitting in the round appears at about 3:50 through the video.)

I am almost done with the body.  I love that the little fireworks pattern is repeated right before the ribbing.  I will finish the body this afternoon and get ready to start the sleeves.  Keep an eye out for a quick update here tomorrow!

Dont forget that Marie is having a cast on party on and has a lot of videos for the KAL on her Facebook page. If you want to be eligible for the prize drawings (including a Monarch Gift Card), please post a progress photo on her page!

Happy Fireworks Knitting!

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