Friday 8 November 2013

Size It Smaller

Top Down garments really lend themselves to specific sizing.

You guessed it, Lyn is not a plus size but the cardigan from the Need A Plus Cardigan? book can be easily adapted to a smaller size than the pattern is written for or to work in between sizes. The smallest size in the book is for a 44" finished sweater. We made the green one 42" finished.

The green cardigan for Lyn, and the new blue cardigan for myself, are cast on as written in the book for the size 44". The Yoke was knit as written for the 44" size until I was an inch or two from the bottom of the Yoke. The adjustment for sizing is done in the last couple of inches before the Divide Round.

I checked the chart for the number of stitches required for the Bottom of the Yoke for the 44" size then contemplate my size change. I want to make it 2" smaller for a 42" cardigan. I want the Back to be 1" narrower and the Front 1" narrower.

The chart for the Bottom of the Yoke gives me stitch numbers for the Front, sleeve, Back, sleeve and second Front for the 44" size. I only look at the Back. If I subtract 1" worth of stitches (approximately 6 sts if using DK yarn for example) from the number of Back stitches in the chart, that would make my Back 1" narrower.
Bottom of Yoke Chart (pg.17):  size 44"  Back 96 sts
Adjusted for size 42" by subtracting 6 sts:  new Back will have  90 sts

When I knit to that number of Back stitches that automatically takes 1" off the Total Front too, which gives me a cardigan that is 2" smaller. Ta, Da, done.

I knit the Yoke until I hit the adjusted number of stitches for the Back and continue to work the Great Divide using my markers as a guide (because now my stitch numbers don't match the Divide chart). I cast on the correct number of stitches for the underarm cast on and continue with the pattern for Bust Increases, etc, as written. The Body of my garment is now the 42" size I wanted.

You may wonder if the back of the neck would be too wide since we're downsizing. On these cardigans the front Buttonband is picked up in one piece all the way around. When I knit across the my first buttonband round 1 decreased 3/4"-1" worth (5 sts) across the back of neck. Now it's narrow enough.

Do you need to work in between sizes for a better fit? That's really, really easy. Next to no math. I'll tackle that next. Stay posted.

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for the mods - I've just ordered the book & will try this out.


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