You'll recall I'm making this. More to the point, I've knit the same 30 rows 4 times in an effort to resolve a fairly omnipresent challenge: the loopy outer-edge-ugliness that is inclined to come of casting at stitches every row.
Briefly, the sweater is knit entirely in stockinette, on 2.75mm needles with fingering yarn. The pieces are knit bottom up to form a diagonal, so one casts on stitches many stitches to achieve that shape. This thing starts with a cast on of a mere 2 stitches, to give you a sense of how many stitches will be cast on as one knits upwards. Why I can't simply increase stitches every row (by knitting through the front and back loop - or some other method on the first and last stitches) is beyond me. That's what's produced the nicest finish, so far, but I sense the instructions would have told me to do that if it weren't to have some deleterious effect later in the project. Note to beginners: Casting on is different than increasing stitches.
What I've Tried:
First I backwards looped those mid-project cast ons (beginning and/or end of each row). Knitters will know that the looseness of backwards looping caused gaping holes at the edges.
Then I learned how to cable cast on, but found that it wasn't producing a very nice edge outer edge, though it worked fine on the centre back increases. There appeared to be too many purl bumps on the right side of the stockinette fabric.
Finally, I read a great post on TECHKnitting that talks about how to remove the large loops that come of backwards cast on. It involves backwards looping 2/3 of the stitches required and then using the extra yarn to create the final third of stitches when you knit or purl back on the other side of the fabric. Strangely, I've done this in the past without realizing it was a technique - though I really liked the final result.
My main problem is that I am only casting on 2 stitches at the end of every row. If it were 3, I'd have enough loop to make that third stitch fairly smoothly. As it is, I've got only the exact amount of yarn to produce the extra stitch and I'm having to create and then "knit" that stitch on a purl row.
Y'all know how I love to say I'm dexterous. Well, it's trying. At this rate, it should take me 300 years to knit this sweater. Never mind that, here's the result and I don't particularly like it:
I really do hate stockinette edges.
Of course, the edges will be folded under and hemmed. But they're still going to look shitty, as far as I can tell.
So, thoughts or feelings? Should I just find another pattern on which to use this terrific yarn? I figure Ravelry will yield some gems if I search with terms for fingering yarn, 2.75 mm needles and a gauge of 7 or 8 and 11. Whatcha think?