Tuesday 16 March 2010

Yes, you can size up a Top Down patten quite easily (Samm, from the comments). We get this question quite a lot from knitters wanting to knit a child's sweater a size or two bigger than the 6 year old size in the Top Down for Toddlers book. If you are sticking close to the largest size in the pattern you are using, it's easy.

The first number you have to check is the number of stitches for the back of the neck. If the neck opening for the largest size on your pattern is going to be good for a larger sweater you are good to go.
Work the largest size for the neck and progress down the yoke as instructed. When you reach the bottom of the yoke for the pattern size and you have the total number of stitches the pattern calls for before the Divided for the Body and the Sleeves Row, then stop.
How much bigger do you want the Body of your new sized sweater to be? You will be working the Increase Row (Round) and the Straight Row (Round) several times more for a larger sweater. Every time you work an extra Increase Row (Round) you add 2 sts to the Front and 2 sts to the Back. Depending on your yarn gauge this adds approximately 3/4" to the circumference of your sweater Body. Working another set of these 2 rows adds up to 1 1/2" added to the Body (you are also adding stitches to the sleeves at the same time). You get the picture.
Stop when your Body size is achieved. Now go back to the pattern and work as directed, ignoring the numbers and working with your markers for the sections of the sweater. You may have to work with the numbers a bit if there is a pattern to incorporate somewhere. Fudge away, add a stitch, take away a stitch, it's all good. Ta, da, you've knit a new sweater to your own specifications. You are now stepping away from the pattern. Go for it!

Now come the 'watch out' comments. If you want a very much larger sized sweater you should get a new pattern with those sizes because the further away you go from the smaller sized pattern the more several sections of the sweater are affected. Sooner or later you will need to change the neck opening, cuff size and yoke depth and once you do that you might as well write out a brand new pattern. Children are pretty accomodating about their sweaters but an adult is a little more discerning about the fit. The one place it might matter is the yoke depth.
If you continue to work lots more Increase and Straight Rows (rounds) on your larger sweater, your yoke depth continues to get deeper.
So here is Barbara Walkers advice, I'm paraphrasing here because I couldn't find it exactly in her Knitting From the Top book, 'work the yoke to the depth you want and cast on the rest of the stitches you need for the Body at the underarm.'
And that's good advice when you are adjusting a pattern too.
I hope your head is not hurting too much. I love the techy talk myself and believe it or not, all of this is much easier to do than to explain. Short version: all you need to do is work a couple extra sets of Increase and Straight rows (rounds) at the bottom of the yoke and you have a bigger sweater.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much!!! I was figuring it could be done! :) samm


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