Happy New Year! Isn't it great to have a fun, informative KAL to kick off your 2015 knitting? I had time to cast on this morning, and loved the new techniques Michelle introduces in Part 1. I strongly suggest that you read through all of Michelle's notes before casting on - you'll find them right here.
Here's a couple helpful thoughts I had while working through Part 1:
If you've never done a cast on with waste yarn, I can't stress enough to use something smooth and non-fuzzy. Cotton or a high twist wool is ideal. Try to use something of a similar weight or slightly smaller than your project yarn.
In the video, Michelle demonstrates picking up the stitches with the right needle and then slipping them to the left needle. It was easier for me to just pick them up with the left needle - either way is fine, as long as you are still placing the stitch on the left needle in the same direction.
The video includes a demonstration of knitting a few rows of ribbing with your project yarn before removing the waste yarn. But be aware that the written pattern for the ribbing is different than how the ribbing is demonstrated in the video - the pattern has you slip the last two stitches of each row to create the I-cord edge. Use the video to learn the technique, but then follow the written pattern!
Michelle suggests marking your right side with a safety pin or removable stitch marker. Yes, please do this! If you lose track of where you are in the pattern, this will be one extra clue to help you find your place. Another idea would be to leave your waste yarn rows attached (at least until you get into the rhythm of the pattern) since the knit side of the waste yarn is the right side and the purl side is the wrong side.
You might notice a gap in the center of your scarf on the cable twist row. Unfortunately, this is the nature of a big cable like this. Some of it will disappear with blocking, but be sure to snug up your working yarn between the last stitch of the first cable and the first stitch of the second cable. For more info, watch Michelle's cable video!
If you've never used a chart before, this is your perfect chance to give it a try! Michelle has provided both written instructions for each line along with the charted pattern, along with an informative video on how to read charts. Take a few minutes to compare the written instructions to the chart, and you'll quickly begin to see how the chart helps you visualize the pattern. Begin at the bottom row, right side of the chart (you'll see a 1 there). Reading from right to left, each square represents one stitch and the symbol in the square tells you what knit stitch to do. Read row 2 from left to right (start where you see a 2). As you work up the chart, you'll quickly start to see the pattern emerge, and you'll be able to use the row below as reference - for example, for most of the chart you'll be knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches as you see them in the row below. The only exceptions are stitches 8, 9, 36, 37, where you are alternating knits and purls each row. Use that information to help you keep your place!
Consider using stitch markers, as they will help you keep track of the pattern too! I placed markers between stitches 14 and 15 and between 30 and 31, as this helps me see where the cable twist will start and end. Another great place to use markers is 2 stitches in from the beginning and end of each row, as this will remind you to slip the last two stitches.