Increase round before rib?

Hi, I wonder if anybody can advise me on this? I learnt to knit years ago and have had a gap of quite a few years and this time is the first time I’ve actually had a go at knitting garments.
I’m knitting a top down fair isle jumper and am nearly at the last part of the body where I’ll be starting the rib at the bottom.
I’ve noticed that the pattern says that when I get to the right length to knit 1 round where you increase 82 stitches evenly spaced before then changing to smaller needles to knit the rib.
I’ve only made a couple of jumpers before this one and this isn’t something I’ve seen up to now.
Is it normal to increase so many before the rib like this?
It says ‘this is done so that the rib is not tight’ but seems strange to me that it tells you to change to smaller needles if the rib shouldn’t be tight.
I’m worried if I follow the pattern it will have a very wide baggy rib and spoil the jumper. Also the increases they advise (and the ones I’ve been using throughout) are yarn over then knitted through the back loop on the following round to avoid a hole. If I do these, some of them may end up on purl stitches when I do the first round of rib and I’m not sure how to avoid holes then.
Sorry that ended up longer than I meant. I hope it makes sense.

Is that 82-stitch reduction based on the whole jumper or just the front or back piece? If it’s about 20 stitches for each quarter of the garment, that sounds reasonable. I always use a slightly smaller needle for the ribbing.

I’ve seen this in patterns for hats too. I usually make my decreases with a k2tog. It gets sort of buried once you start your ribbing.

Welcome to the forum!
Depending on the pattern stitch and gauge that seems like quite a large increase, I agree. What is the name of your pattern?

You can always knit a swatch in rib and measure the width then estimate the rib size on the sweater.
The yarn over increase is a nice one to use. You can always purl through the back loop to close up the yarn over.

Thank you for your replies. I didn’t realise I could purl through the back loop. The swatch is s good idea though. The 82 stitch increase is for the whole jumper as its knit in the round.
Here is the pattern

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Lovely design!
It’s just a wide hem on the sweater which the designer doesn’t want to nip in at the waist. The increase compensates for the tighter rib stitch and still gives you the look of the rib on smaller needles. The swatch should give you an idea of how much you want to increase before starting the rib. It may also help you decide whether you’d prefer continuing with the large needles and no or fewer increases.

The purl through the back loop is a little strange to work but it’s effective and you do get better with practice. The other possibility is to increase with yarn overs, knit the next row with k2tog tbl, then start the rib.


Thank you! That makes sense now. I think I’ll do the swatch as you’ve suggested and decide from there.
Yes I can imagine purling through the back loop must be strange but I think I will have a go as its not something I’ve come across yet so will give me chance to have a go at that. If I can’t get the hang of that I can always use your other suggestion.
Thank you so much for your help!

Wow that sweater looks so complex.

I just stopped by to suggest putting in a life line before your increase row, that way if you don’t like the increases or the finished ribbing you can rip it out more easily.
I’m even using life lines in my swatches now, if I’m trying something out I can go back try a different way, go back again. It’s so much easier.
I use a seaming needle threaded with a contrasting yarn and slipping it through each stitch on the knitting needle. Then I knot the two ends together.


Thanks creations, that’s a good idea. I hadn’t even heard of lifelines before coming on here. I’ve ripped back a few projects before so I really need to start trying this out. Thanks for reminding me about this!

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Me too. It’s amazing how much there is to learn and how many tips and tricks there are.

Good luck with the rest of your sweater. I hope you will post a photo when it’s finished, it’s lovely to see all the wonderful things people make.

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Gorgeous looking jumper, and very clever way of using the ribbing as an accent!


I wish I could help you there. But I haven’t even knitted a jumper before. Good luck with your project though,hope it works out well :blush:

I just wanted to add that an 82 stitch increase, even for the whole circumference seems very high to me too.

The designer seems to want the bottom edge not to draw in. What is the gauge?

Even at a very small gauge that seems very high.