Knitting from both directions

So - I have a very strange question.

I’m about to start a stranded yoke sweater. I’m going to knit the torso and yoke from the bottom up, starting in the middle of the torso. After I have finished the yoke I will turn around and knit the bottom portion of the torso and the waistband from the top down.

The last time I did this I used a provisional cast on and held the lower live stitches on the cord of an interchangeable needle. This time I want to do it a little bit differently and I’m interested in hearing what others think of my idea.
I have tried in the past to make a long chain of crochet stitches and use that as the base, but I wasn’t happy with it, it wasn’t stretchy enough to try on the sweater comfortably.

I am thinking about knitting 2-3 rounds of waste yarn with the same number of stitches that I want to have in the torso. I’ll use a smooth yarn of about the same weight as the sweater yarn for the waste yarn. Once I have established the tube I will just start knitting with the real yarn and go from there. When I’m ready, I plan to just tear out the waist yarn and knit downwards.

Has anybody ever done this? When you try to rip the waste yarn out is it hard? Does anybody have a better idea? I’m open to suggestions. I would like the sweater to be easy to try on and I don’t want to use a cord again because it leaves a mark that takes a long time to go away.

Thanks for your help!

I seem to recall trying to rip backwards, and it wasn’t a fun ordeal.

I wonder if you might try a sock or a hat this way, and then try taking out the waste yarn to see what you think. Oh - or one of your ski tubes. :slight_smile:

if you use scrap or icky yarn for the test you won’t potentially snag your good sweater yarn.

Thanks @Char!

I translated your suggestion as “try it and see what happens.” I created a swatch then without casting off attached a new piece of yarn and knit up from there.

After casting off the second yarn, I lopped off the initial cast on with some nice sharp scissors. I spent a few moments picking out the little pieces, but then it was easy to unravel the swatch up to the live stitches on the second piece of yarn.
​​​​​That’s what I want to do, and I think it’s going to work really well.

I have done that when I wanted to lengthen a sweater. It does work but be sure the stitches aren’t twisted; be sure they look continuous. I managed to do it but it was so long ago I don’t remember the details.