Cannot keep the stitch count right. Help with pattern?

Hi,

I’m working on my first project (a baby blanket) which is maybe a little complicated. I’ve had to start over several times as I realized things and I think I once again have to start over unfortunately.

So the problem this time is the number of stitches. The blanket is 120 stitches across (you cast off 119 stitches, and there’s that extra one at the start, so 120). Using stitch markers, I diligently kept track of my 120 row after row without any issues, until the end of the border.

Problems (maybe) started at the end of the last border row. The border is ribbed, so I alternated between rows where each stitch increases by 1 (knit into the front and back of each stitch), and then the next row is k2tog,p2tog. The last border row was a k2tog,p2tog row, except that the pattern reads: “Row 10. Work in ribbed stitch to the last 2 sts, K2.” So for the last 2 stitches left on the needle, instead of doing a k2tog, I did 2 knitted stitches, which increased the breadth of that row to 121.

I knew by the next row I had a problem, but I just couldn’t figure it out and decided to plow ahead instead of asking for help here (big mistake…).

“Row 11: Work in ribbed stitch for 7 sts, place marker, K1, inc 1 by knitting into the front and back of the next stitch, place marker, knit to the last 10 sts, place marker, K3, place marker, work in ribbed stitch for 7 sts. You will have 120 sts.”

All right, so row 11 called for the increasing stitch for the ribbed part. So that meant if I did the ribbed stitch for 7 stitches on the source needle, then that would put 14 stitches on the target needle. And if you do the math… Number of stitches that will end up on the target needle = 121 - 7 + 14 - 7 +14 + 1 - 1 + 2 - 3 + 3 = 137. That’s really, really not close to 120… And now I’ve done several more rows and it looks beautiful (I’m very excited! I am learning…) except I’ve got it looks like 6 extra stitches on the needle and need to start over, but not before I understand what I did wrong…

Please, someone, help?! This is a gift for a very important friend’s baby and I really want to be able to make it by Christmas.

Dorota

Hi and welcome!
Can you give us a link to the pattern or a pattern name? It’ll help to see the whole pattern if possible or at least a photo of what the finished blanket should look like.
If the pattern isn’t available online, can you give us the instructions for the ribbed stitch please?

I took pictures but the site isn’t letting me upload them. Here is a link to a picture of the blanket which I found on google images:

Ribbed stitch:
(multiple of 2 sts + 1)
Row 1 (right side): Inc 1 knitwise by knitting into the front and back of every st
Row 2: K2tog, *P2tog, K2tog; repeat from *.
Repeat these two rows.

Double Bind:
YO, K2, pass YO stitch over the 2 knitted stitches

[U]Instructions for Knitting the Bottom Border:[/U]

Note: After Row 10, the first and last 10 sts of each row (not counting expanded sts) are the side borders and will be repeated until you reach the top border. We refer to them throughout as “border.”

With mc and the #7 (4.5 mm) circular needle, cast on 119 sts.

Rows 1-9: Work in ribbed stitch to the end of each row.

Row 10: Work in ribbed stitch to the last 2 sts, K2

Row 11: Work in ribbed stitch for 7 sts, place marker, K1, inc 1 by knitting into the front and back of the next stitch, place marker, knit to the last 10 sts, place marker, K3, place marker, work in ribbed stitch for 7 sts. You will have 120 sts.

Rows 12 and 14: Work in ribbed stitch to marker, move markre, P3, move marker, purl to next marker, move marker, P3, move marker, work in ribbed stitch to end.

Row 13: Work in ribbed stitch for 7 sts, move marker, K3, move marker, knit to last 10 sts, move marker, K3, move marker, work in ribbed stitch to end.

The 120 sts at the end of row 11 must be an error. Just increasing in each of the 7 border sts on each side increases the 121sts to 135sts and then there is the kfb in row 11 to give 136sts.
If you have the correct number of sts for the boxes in the center of the blanket plus the 3 flanking sts and then the border sts (7sts on each side at the end of an even row and 14sts on each side at the end of an odd row) you should be fine.
I would put in markers to mark off the border and the squares until you can set the pattern. It’s a very sweet looking blanket and I’m glad you’re enjoying knitting it.

Actually, I’m making progress on understanding the instructions. The note at the top (which I typed) reads: “After Row 10, the first and last 10 sts of each row (not counting expanded sts) are the side borders and will be repeated until you reach the top border.” Okay! So basically, we count those 7 stitches on either side always as 7, even if they’re 14.

But why at the end of Row 10 do we do a K2 instead of the ribbed stitch all the way across? That increases it to 121. And the increase on the next line also confuses me.

I think knowing the next part of the blanket may help with this mystery…

[U]Knitting the bottom squares[/U]

Note: You may find it helpful to use additional markers to separate the chart repeats in this section (that is, after stitch 38, then after every 24 sts across to the border sts)

Rows 1 and 3: Work 10 border sts as established, then work double bind to last 10 sts, work border.

Rows 2 and all even-numbered rows through Row 34: Work border, purl to last 10 sts, work border.

Row 5 and all odd-numbered rows through Row 31: Work border, DB2, *k20,DB2; repeat from * to last 10 sts, work border.

Rows 33 and 35: Repeat rows 1 and 2.

Okay, so from this, if it’s supposed to be 120 across, minus the 20 border stitches, then I should have 100 in my middle region. So somehow, rows 10 and 11 need to leave me with exactly 120. Does anyone understand how to do this? I’ve already undone my work down to row 10…

Yes, the pattern does consider the border sts as 7 +3 even though on odd rows you’ll have 14 +3.
The k2 at the end of row 10 is to increase the number of sts. It could as easily have been a kfb on each side of the blanket as it is on one side in row 11.
You should add in the markers as suggested and you might even add in a couple more, at least until the pattern is set.

10border-4sts for 2DB-20sts block-4sts DB-20sts block-4sts DB-20sts block-4sts DB-20sts block-4sts DB-10border sts.

I’m sorry I keep on posting about my pattern problem. I’m afraid of continuing without understanding because I’ll have to undo eventually. It seems to me I should be able to do the ribbed stitch all the way across for Row 10, and not do the increase stitch in Row 11. That leaves me with the correct number of stitches (120 across) for both rows, rather than the 2 extra which I’m very scared will cause me huge problems later. Is it possible that those 2 instructions were a mistake?

I think there’s a mistake somewhere in the stitch number. Certainly 120sts will work for the blocks, the twists and the borders, so I would go ahead with that.
Maybe there is a selvedge stitch on either side? No matter. Go with 120sts and you should be fine.
Don’t worry about posting multiple times. The most difficult row is always setting up these patterns. Once you’ve knit a few rows you’ll see the pattern begin to emerge and the knitting will be much easier.

Someone on Ravelry said to be sure to read tbe erata. The links won’t load for me but if you can find it somewhere it could help clarify.

Thank you SO MUCH for all your help up to this point and also the suggestion to look up the errata. The first comment on Amazon was complaining exactly about all the mistakes in the Sheep Dreams pattern. There was a link to the book’s corrections:

http://www.storey.com/correct_book.php?isbn=9781580174954

4 mistakes in the pattern, including not to do the K2 stitch.

No corrections regarding the increase on the next line. I think I will just do the 7 stitches and 3 border stitches on either side, knit all the way across, and so long as I’ve got 100 in the middle I’m good to go…

Exactly.
I’m looking forward to seeing this blanket if you’d like to post a photo when you finish. Are the sheep intarsia (knit into the fabric) or are they duplicate stitch (embroidered onto the squares later)?

I will definitely post pictures when I finish! It’s the least I can do after all your help.

Well, the book presents both methods and lets the knitter decide–duplicate or intarsia. This is my first knitting project, as I said previously, so I have no idea which one is the better choice. Suggestions? What looks best?

If you can do intarsia when you BO you’ll be almost done. With duplicate stitch you’ll still have the sheep to do. My thought FWIW. :shrug:

the errata link is wrong. it’s a continual loop back to the same page the pattern is on and most browsers get confused and throw up a full-page error message. the pattern’s edit history shows the designer says they fixed it in 2008, but nothing since then. i flagged it, and then saw somebody else flagged it with the same issue. didn’t see anything in the comments/notes where people said exactly what the errata was correcting. you may just have to contact those ravelers and see if they remember how they addressed any issues.

I like the intarsia technique for the white sts on the sheep. If you want you could work the rest in the background color and then duplicate stitch the black face and feet on the sheep.
Of course, I also like the idea of making one of the sheep in the reverse colors, too.

:thumbsup:

Actually that was the reason I picked this pattern. I was going to make one of the sheep black, and facing the wrong direction (so I have to flip the pattern for one sheep). I bought brown yarn for the dark parts of all the sheep so that the black sheep wouldn’t be 100% black. If I have time, I’m hoping to knit a little baby cap with a black sheep added onto it. Does anyone know a good baby cap pattern for this?

Sorry, I can’t really help with the baby hat except to suggest looking at www.ravelry.com. I do love your idea of the black sheep turned around. That’s really good. :thumbsup:

I did see this while looking at the pattern. No directions but so close to the blanket that I think you can do it based on the photo.
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/katheeslates/sheep-dreams