Stage 3: Rows 47-79
This stage begins with the mitered increasing portion, the back fullness increasing, and the neck shaping. This stage stops right before the ‘knit the center-90 stitches only’ part of the pattern.
- If you aren’t sure which increases you want to use insert a lifeline into Row 46 before you start Row 47. If you change your mind later about your increases you can rip back to Row 46 and redo your increases a different way. Any thin smooth (strong) yarn or ribbon can be used as a lifeline.
- If you put in stripes in this section, they’ll show up as vertical lines on the front of the sweater and then going straight across the back.
- There are 3 ROWS (NOT RIDGES) ‘knit even’ between the last decrease and the first increase. If you’re doing the decreases/increases on the odd rows, the last decrease was row 43, then rows 44, 45, and 46 are “knit even” (just knit every stitches), and row 47 is the first increase.
Let’s talk about those double increases, or miter increases. Near the end of Stage 2 you finished working double decreases. You worked two decreases surrounding a ‘marked’ or ‘mitered’ stitch, then repeated the two decreases later in the row. Now in stage 3 you will work an increase before and after the same ‘marked’ stitch, and repeat these double increases later in the row. Basically the double increases will be substituted in for the double decreases. The double increasing continues throughout Stage 3.
The increases are done on the same side as the decreases were. (If you decreased on the odd rows, then you increase on the odd rows. If you decreased on the ‘right’ side, you increase on the ‘right’ side. Etc.)
A resource for which increase to use is, of course, the BSJ Wiki: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-surprise-jacket/wiki#about_increases
Whichever increase method (or pair of increase methods) you use make sure you stick with the same one because it’s noticeable if you switch.
When you do the increases across the center section for the “diaper bump,” don’t worry about getting them exactly spaced evenly with exactly 4 stitches or 5 stitches or whatever between each increase. Just space them out enough so they’re not all bunched together, and don’t forget to do the usual double increases!
Let’s talk about the Neck shaping for a minute. This involves two rows in which the pattern will tell you to BO a few stitches.
Some knitters like to work the first row of neck shaping Bind Off in Purl and to Bind Off the second row of neck shaping in Knit. Because one set of BO’s is worked on a RS row and the matching set is worked on a WS row, working one set of BOs in purl and one in knit helps those two notches match each other.
Tip: If you know you will be adding a collar or hood, or an applied I-cord around the neck opening you could also consider knitting the stitches instead of Binding Off, then putting the live stitches on a stitch holder or length of waste yarn then knitting the rest of the row, repeat with the next BO row.