© Jack Deutsch for Tahki Stacy Charles, Inc.
When I teach my design classes, what surprises students the most is that they not only need to knit a swatch, but that it needs to be treated the same way the sweater will eventually be treated. Which, for me, always means washing- or a good soak (Karen at Fringe Association wrote a good post on this) in a product called Eucalan. There are other products out there that will do the trick, too; I just prefer Eucalan.
The garter based openwork stitch pattern is actually pretty easy, but it does involve making yarnovers and letting them drop off. What is important to know when working the pattern across a large number of stitches is this:
When you finish dropping the stitches off, give the knitting a little tug after every few stitches across the row to help them settle in evenly. This will keep the rows nice and straight.
The body of Antibes is knit side to side, which means your cast on and bind off edge will be a side seam. This also means it’s important before measuring your swatch to allow it to hang to dry in the vertical direction. The back is longer than the front, but of course, you can adapt that by knitting two front sections, or altering the length by the number of stitches cast on for your desired length.
If you haven’t bought the pattern and just want to try your hand with dropping stitches first, try this mesh pattern (scroll down the page for the pattern). It’s not the same as Antibes, which is a more dramatic openwork knitting pattern involving more yarn overs, but it will give you a good introduction to the concept of dropping the stitches.
If you’re knitting Antibes, and have any questions, feel free to post them here!