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The Topsail Tee: Pattern Knitalong & Technique Spotlight

Topsail Tee

The Topsail Tee is a cap-sleeved tee pattern from the spring issue of Creative Knitting magazine. The warm-weather ready Sueno Tonal yarn for this top was generously provided by Skacel. The pattern features a host of beautiful techniques, including a folded and knit hem, pleating, lace with patterning on the right and wrong sides, and a crocheted neckline. Follow along as we knit the Topsail Tee together over the next four issues of Creative Knitting update, complete with tutorials to walk every knitter through each technique for ultimate pattern success! You can get your copy of the pattern in the spring 2018 issue of Creative Knitting magazine, or online at AnniesCraftStore.com.

Lesson 2: A Tip on Armhole Shaping & How to Work the Pleat Row.

Armhole Shaping Tip
Today's update features a tip on how to better bind off the stitches for the armhole shaping, and a tutorial on how to work the pleat row. Since this pattern does not pick up and knit any stitches around the armhole, it is imperative that the armhole-shaping row is worked as cleanly as possible. A simple trick of crossing two stitches over each other on either side of the armhole bind-off can create a clean edge without the need for further finishing.

Begin by working up to but not including the last stitch of the last round before the Separate Back From Front heading. Slip the last stitch of the round (unworked) to the right needle tip, remove the beginning of round marker. Slip the right needle tip purlwise (tip to tip) into the next stitch; this is the first stitch of the round.

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Slip this stitch off the left tip, bring the left tip around behind the right tip, and insert tip to tip into the slipped stitch (last stitch of the round).

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Slip the stitch on the right needle back to the left needle; the last stitch of the round is now crossed behind the first stitch of the round. Knit 1 stitch; this is now the new beginning of the round.

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Bind off one less than the indicated number of stitches for your size; the sample is being worked in the smallest size so the total number of bound-off stitches is six. You can see that the crossed stitches at the beginning of the bind-off create a smooth corner for the armhole. On a typical bind-off, this area can have a gap that, when left raw, is less of a polished finish.

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Now cross the next two stitches, but this time to the left (the last stitch to be bound off and the following stitch will be crossed). Reach the right tip behind the left and insert into the second stitch from needle tip; slip both stitches off the left tip and bring the left needle tip around to the front and insert into the loose stitch.

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Knit 1 and pass the last worked stitch over for the final bound-off stitch. This crosses the opposite way on the other side of the bind-off and firms up the corner to prevent a gap.

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Pleat Row
You'll find this row under the Front heading labeled Row 1 (RS; work pleat and beg right sleeve). The pleats in this section are like working a cable combined with a decrease. Stitches are placed on a cable needle out of order (just like a cable) and then the stitches from the cable needle and the active needle are knit together to decrease into the pleat. There are four types of pleats: a left pleat over 8 stitches, a left pleat over 4 stitches, a right pleat over 8 stitches, and a right pleat over 4 stitches.

Left Pleat Over 8 Stitches (& Over 4 Stitches)
Work the indicated number of stitches for your size before the pleat technique. Now slip 4 stitches onto a cable needle and hold in the front of the work.

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Pull these stitches over in front of the active stitches.

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Insert the right tip into the first stitch on the cable needle and the first stitch on the active needle, knit 2 together. Repeat for the remaining three stitches.

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Repeat the 8-stitch left pleat once more. You can see that there are two sets of four stitches that cross to the left for the two 8-stitch left pleats.

To work the left pleat over 4 stitches, repeat the steps for the 8-stitch left pleat but only cross two stitches to the front and decrease two stitches.

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Right Pleat Over 4 Stitches (& Over 8 Stitches)
Slip 2 stitches onto a cable needle and hold in the back of the work, pull these stitches over behind the next two active stitches. Insert the right tip into the first stitch on the cable needle and the first stitch on the active needle, knit 2 together. Repeat for the remaining stitch.

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To work the right pleat over 8 stitches, repeat the steps for the 4-stitch right pleat but, instead, cross four stitches to the back and decrease four stitches.

The completed pleating section has two left pleats over 8 stitches, one left pleat over 4 stitches, one right pleat over 4 stitches, and two right pleats over 8 stitches.

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Upcoming tutorial for the next update: Working the charted (or written) pattern with patterning on the right and wrong sides of the row.

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