Rushaan knitalong part 2: casting on, Body and Sleeves

Once you’ve chosen yarn for your Rushaan, the Handsome introduction has all the information you’ll need to choose a size and select your custom options. Because the Rushaan sweater is so simple in design, there are loads of options for customizing its size and shape. You can adjust the body length and sleeve length, add body shaping (A-line, V-line, or X-line), and/or work a short-row belly.

For my Rushaan, I chose a size with about 2” / 4cm positive ease. I’ll be using the custom body length, sleeve length, and X-line shaping calculators.

Remember that, if you use custom calculators that make your Rushaan longer or larger than the pattern version, you may need more yarn than the pattern estimate. Make sure you have enough yarn!

Casting On

The body of the sweater is worked as a seamless tube. This means that if you add body shaping, your increases and decreases will be done at the beginning/end and halfway point of the round — where side seams would be, if the sweater had seams. Of course, it also means that, if you’re working a short-row belly, it’s done on the front half of the stitches only.

The alternating/alternate cable cast-on called for in the pattern is a simple, flexible cast-on that works nicely for 1x1 rib. The cast-on stitches blend right into the rib, instead of creating a solid cast-on edge. I used this cast-on for my Rushaan, and it looks smashing (if still unblocked and kind of rumply).

 
tubular.jpg
 

Here's a straightforward video tutorial from Clare Devine of Knit Share Love, complete with jazzy music:

 
 

Shaping

Once your cast-on is complete, you’ll work the ribbed bottom band, and then begin the body of your sweater, working any body shaping from the custom calculator.

And once you reach the underarms, you’ll set the body piece aside while you knit the Sleeves. The Sleeves are worked just as the body is, except that the increases for shaping the sleeve happen only at the beginning and end of a round.

Starting a New Skein (with spit!)

Finally — and I'm doing this for every single knitalong in this series — I want to enthusiastically promote the felted join (aka the spit splice) as a method for joining new lengths of yarn. If you’re working with any yarn that has a large percentage of non-washable wool, this is an awesome way to avoid weaving in ends and I LOVE IT SO HARD. There are instructions in Handsome for working a felted join, but here’s a quick video tutorial from VeryPink Knits, for the visual learners. She shows the method I like best, which includes removing half of the plies on each end, so that the joined area isn't any fatter than the rest of the strand.

Next up, we'll JOIN the Body and the Sleeves in one giant mess of a sweater monster, to finish the upper body in a single seamless piece.