Brando KAL: Getting Started

Remember this:


OOPS! I meant this:

Sorry, sometimes I get my Brando’s mixed up! :-)

You can buy the Brando pattern here and join in on the fun!

So next week we begin the #BrandoKAL! Aren’t you excited?! If you are in make sure you head on over to the forum on Ravelry here in the Fan’s of Rohn Strong group!

We talked about customization last week, this week we are going to chat all about prepping yourself to knit the sweater (because, lets face it, it can be really scary!). That is why I am here though!

Lets get started:

1. Choosing Yarn – Choosing yarn is a very important. VERY important to the success of your sweater. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing yarn:

  • WATERshed is a light worsted yarn. This means that it can be knitted at a tighter gauge than normal without being entirely too stiff. If you have a bit of trouble finding a worsted weight yarn that works try going with a DK or Sport weight. The finished cardigan will have a little more drape than intended but there is nothing wrong with that!
  • Animal fiber is always my go-to. However, this cardigan doesn’t really need an animal wool. However if using something synthetic like acrylic make sure your gauge is spot on. If using something like cotton, trying making the sweater a size smaller than you are normally used too, this will allow for a bit of growth that will naturally occur.
  • Color is just as important as yarn choice. I am knitting my sweater is a dark brown and bright red. Why? Cause I want to be a bit daring! Make sure you make this in a color you will want to wear again and again and again!

2. Swatch – First up is the swatching. In order to get a sweater that is the size you intend it to be you have to swatch and I’m not talking about no 4 in. by 4 in. swatch. This puppy needs to be about 8 in. by 8 in. Yes…that big. Why? Because you have to be sure your gauge is correct. Here is a simple recipe to get gauge for Brando:

With larger needles and chosen yarn, CO 50 sts.
Row 1 – 5: Knit across.
Row 6: P across.
Row 7: K across.
Repeat Rows 6 and 7 until swatch measures approx. 7.5in. in length.
Last 5 Rows: Knit across.

Now…block the swatch. Before you even think about measuring block the swatch.

That’s it. There is your swatch!

After your gauge swatch is dried measure your stitches over 4 inches in the center of the swatch.

Now compare that number to the pattern gauge. You will have one of 3 outcomes:

A few stitches over gauge? Go up a needle size. Right on gauge? You’re good!
A few stitches under gauge? Go down a needle size.

You may be asking, “But Rohn, my gauge is off, do I really HAVE to make ANOTHER swatch?” The teacher in me says, yes. You have to swatch until you get gauge. The knitter in me says, I WANT TO KNIT. But I know my gauge well enough at this point in my knitting career to be able to confidently make the proper changes.

3. Needles – I get the same question again and again, can I knit this sweater on straight needles (or circular needles). Here is the truth. They are essentially the same thing! So go forth with whichever kind of needle you want! I knit almost exclusively on circulars but most vintage patterns were written for straight needles!


All right! I think we are ready! Grab your yarn, swatch, and then let’s cast on!

You can buy the Brando pattern here and join in on the fun!

We begin the #BrandoKAL next week! If you are in make sure you head on over to the forum on Ravelry here in the Fan’s of Rohn Strong group!

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