Casting On and Beginning The “Arco Iris” Sweater Pattern

gauge swatch and cast on yarn for knitting

I couldn’t pass up the Miss Babs yarn sale and grabbed some of my favorite “Kunlun” yarn. My intention was to knit the new Joji Locatelli pattern called “Arco Iris”.

The sweater is a v-neck with 3/4 sleeves and pretty, textured ribbing (pattern link below). It calls for a DK yarn so this merino, cashmere and silk blend should work nicely.

I purchased four skeins of color “Moss”. This was not my first color choice but the Miss Babs sale is popular, so I took what I could find that offered enough skeins (4) for my project. Green is good. It is one of my favorite colors to wear.

My swatch has been knit, washed, blocked and dried. My row count is off slightly as I have about 31 rows in 4 inches and it should be 29. But stitch count is exact, so I’m sticking with the size 6 needle. I will just watch the length. Some articles about swatching say that row problems can sometimes be fixed by changing needle types. I’m waiting for some new wooden Lykke needles to arrive.

Casting on January 12th with two skeins wound and ready to alternate. This is my first Joji pattern.

Find the Arco Iris pattern at Ravelry

knitting raglan sweater

Once the 24 inch Lykke needles arrived I switched from the 16 inch metal, which was getting very crowded. The following day the 32 inch arrived and I’m now using that. View Lykke needles on Amazon – this is an affiliate link to the needles I purchased.

I need to say how beautiful this yarn is to work with. Look at those wonderful stitches, all lined up and perfect looking. I don’t know if I’ve ever knit with yarn that is so defined. I’m knitting two rows at a time from alternating skeins to keep the shading good.

So far the pattern is very easy to follow, with lots of stitch counts noted to keep me on track. The increases are easy to remember. There is a lot of purling – every other row – which I personally don’t mind.

Pattern Problem at End of Increases

Now that I have reached Section 3 the body and sleeves are divided and that all went well – until I decided to Tink back to add stitches – see Mods section below. This was not a pattern problem, just my choice.

The first confusion arose in Section 3 in the Note. We are told to continue neck increases “every 4th following row”. Apparently that “following” means the rows to come – from here on out. I would word that differently to be clearer. That means we knit the divider row as Row 1, Purl row is 2 and so on. That has us increasing on a purl row which is not what we have been doing.

The designer lists how to make those purl row increases, but it seems the directions for them are wrong. A fellow knitter left a comment on the pattern page that the the m1pl and m1pr definitions in the “abbreviations” section were incorrect. I checked that out by watching this Purl Soho video about how to do both increases. I have to agree that the designers directions for these increases are incorrect.

It also took me a bit to figure this all out. A couple of simple sentences could have made all this much clearer for me. Then again, maybe I am the only one who didn’t get it. It’s possible.


One test knitter (Toriyu) mentioned casting on extra stitches for the body when dividing the sleeves – even though her size did not include this. My size 4 directions also say to cast on Zero. So I tinked back to the separation row and cast on six stitches under each arm for a total of 12 extra stitches. I did this because I don’t want the body to be tight. The test knitter then decreased those extra stitches as she knit down the body.

To Be Continued

My next Arco Iris post is about knitting the v-neck ribbing with the cables. I decided to knit the neckline before I finished up the body. You can read that here.

Happy knitting!

Fontana’s face

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One thought on “Casting On and Beginning The “Arco Iris” Sweater Pattern

  1. Pingback: Alternating Yarn Skeins When Knitting in the Round – New England's Narrow Road

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