Let’s do this! Since the shoulder gives a lot of structure to the sweater, I’d recommend using a sturdier cast-on method like the cabled cast-on or long tail cast-on. I chose the cabled cast-on method for my sweater.
If you’re not confident about being able to read your knitting or you’re newer to working with lace and/or panels, try digging out four extra stitch markers and using them to divide the back into five sections- two stockinette sides, two lace panels, and one large mesh section. While not necessary to follow the pattern, those extra markers can help you avoid mistakes and figure out where the problem popped up if something does go wrong.
A lot of people in the OAL thread have talked about knitting a plain back, and that’s an easy mod that requires a quick little bit of math. Because the mesh is so stretchy, it requires fewer stitches than stockinette would, so you’ll need to cast on additional stitches. To figure out how many stitches for yourself, you’d need to multiply the shoulder width for your size (which can be found on the schematic) by the stitches per inch. Round up or down to the nearest odd whole number. Knitting a plain back will use more yarn than the pattern lists, so be sure to pick up extra if you’re planning on using this modification. You’ll also end up with more stitches at the waist, so you’ll either want to add in a few extra decreases at the side, or drop down a needle size or two when you work the ribbing.
I think it’s best to take ownership of your modification and do the math yourself, but if you’d like to check your work, to knit a plain back you should cast on approximately 61 (65, 71, 77, 79, 81, 81) stitches.
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