Sweater Knitting Challenge: Day 3 – Casting On

It’s day 3 of our 30 Day Sweater Knitting Challenge, and today I’ll be talking about casting on.

This is my first full day of knitting and I was surprised at how daunting it felt.

Unfortunately I don’t get a lot of time to knit my own projects, so sitting down to knit for a couple hours felt like a chore, especially since my hands aren’t used to knitting for so long at one time.

Lots of breaks in between rows.

Casting On

Yesterday I talked about the yarn that I’m using for this project and making a gauge swatch.

If you remember, I put some ribbing at the base of my gauge swatch to see how it would affect the finished fabric and get an idea of how it would block out.

The cast on I used actually has a big affect on ribbing.

There are a few different cast ons that are good for ribbing:

and many others

The Italian Cast On

Example of the Italian Cast On edge

I like this cast on because it opens up really nicely and looks the most like a professionally machine knit garment. The edge blends from the right side of the fabric to the wrong side, making it look seamless.

The only issue with this cast on is it uses a long tail, so you have to measure enough yarn ahead of time so you don’t run out while you cast on. That can be a pain when casting on over 100 stitches.


I have a trick that allows you to cast on without having to measure your yarn before hand:

  1. Take the both ends of your yarn from your ball
  2. Tie them together into a slip knot
  3. Place the double slip knot on your needle
  4. Now use the two different strands as the two sides of your long tail
  5. When you’re done casting on, cut one strand and start knitting with the other.

This works for any cast on that uses a long tail!

BONUS TIP: Place a stitch marker every 25 stitches so you don’t have to count from the beginning. Super helpful when you’re casting on 100 or more stitches.

Want to grab some Zephyr DK (The yarn I’m using for my sweater)? Argyle Sheep has a special 30 Day Sweater Kit available to help get you started. It includes 12 balls of yarn, an exclusive project bag, some other goodies, and FREE shipping!

Yes! I Want My 30 Day Sweater Kit

The First 4 Inches

I’m not going to go into detail about how I determined how much I need to knit per day. Basically The 30 Day Sweater Course uses some simple formulas to determine how much you need to knit per day.

For the Set In sleeve sweater I’m make there will be 5 pieces.

Johnny's 30 Day Sweater Diagram

A diagram of the 5 pieces of my sweater (see video at beginning of post for more details)

I’ll be starting with the largest part of the sweater, which is the back piece.

I’ll be knitting on this for the next 8 days.

Here’s my progress so far

30 Day Sweater Day 3 Progress

4 Inches Knit! The Sweater has begun!!

I was reminded by my wife that my inspiration sweater has 2×2 ribbing along the hem and cuffs. I made the decision to stick with the 1×1 rib rather than start over, and I really like the result.

I knit in 1×1 rib for about 2 1/2 inches before switching to stockinette. Lacie recommended 3 inches, but it looked too tall for my taste.

I’m loving the way it’s turning out already.

Next Steps

Ok so we’re 4 inches in. Tomorrow is more of the same but we’ll see what challenges I encounter.

Want to join me in the 30 Day Sweater Challenge? Feel free to follow along with your own pattern OR you can use the 30 Day Sweater Course to design your own custom fit sweater like me.

Yes! I Want My 30 Day Sweater Course Access

Previous Posts In This Series

Day 1: Measuring and Design
Day 2: Getting Gauge


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