We should all be grateful for our honest friends; the ones who tell us hard truths, like that we have something stuck in our teeth and that puce is not a color anyone should wear. Or, in my case, that the sweater I’m kntting so confidently is not going to fit.
Knitters: I need your help.
I optimistically embarked on Sizzle for my first sweater/top project, and I’m facing a difficulty. This is what it should look like when it’s complete:
The pattern said to choose the size based on bust measurement. I measured my bust: 38 inches. Okay. I cast on 98 stitches and began. When I was about six inches into the back, my friend Sara cast a discerning eye upon it and told me, as I mentioned above, that I was knitting a tent, not a close-fitting top.
“It has darts!” I protested. “It decreases to 86 stitches at the waist!”
Ever patient, Sara pointed out that at my gauge of 5 stitches/inch, the waist of this sweater was going to be nearly 35 inches. We pulled out the tape measure and wrapped it around my middle. 28 inches.
I kvetched, but I frogged it and started again, this time with 78 stitches, decreasing to 66. Problem: the bust measurement for this size is 31 inches, which is just not going to cover the area required. Clearly, Ms. Wendy Bernard did not have my body in mind while she was writing this thing. Which is fine – I don’t really expect her to dramatically tear up her patterns, declaring “these are wrong! All wrong! They just won’t fit Uccellina!” (though I kind of like the image) – but now I need to strategize.
At 66 stitches, the narrowest point in the sweater will be 26.4 inches.
(First of all, really? Is this right? Because although I teach English, I am beyond awful at math. So if I’m doing this wrong, please tell me.)
(So far beyond awful, in fact, that I just noticed that my fancy equation up there could be simplified by just subtracting 31 from 38. Yup. That’s how bad I am. It’s embarrassing, really.)
On the recommendation of several people, I picked up Big Girl Knits. It has wonderful instructions on how to create short-row shaping for de boobies. I practiced it on some spare cotton, and hey! Look at that!
Extra inches of breast-space, as promised.
But . . .
How do I incorporate the short row section into a pattern that already has darts? Do the short rows interrupt the pattern, or is there some way of adjusting the pattern to do the darts and the short rows simultaneously? And what to do about the neckline shaping and armhole shaping that’s supposed to happen at approximately the same place in the pattern where the short rows need to go? Should I abandon the short rows and just increase the dart stitches more than the pattern says?
At least the back is pretty. Maybe I’ll just wear that.