Saturday, July 07, 2007

Am I crazy?

I swatched for the Gedifra cabled sweater and my gauge is a little smaller than what the pattern calls for. But I don't want to go up another needle size because I really like the way the Rowan Cashsoft DK knits up on size 4's. However, the pattern only offers sizes 32"/34" and 36"/38" and since I'm smack in between those two sizes, I figured I'd knit the larger size, knowing that it would come out a bit smaller. And I'm knitting the body in the round because the front and back pieces are exactly the same. I cast on, and after a couple of rounds I noticed that I had a lot of excess fabric bunched onto the needles, even though I was using 32" circulars. So I took the knitting off the needles and it was HUGE. It was only after all this time and knitting that I decided to take a good, hard look at the pattern, because that's how I roll.

The gauge for this pattern is 5.25 st per 1". And for a size 32"/34" it tells you to cast on 120 st., which will wind up being the number of stitches across the chest, as well. Is my calculator (or my brain) broken or does that come out to a whole heck of a lotta stitches?? That will knit up to almost a 46" chest, won't it? Wouldn't one need 84 stitches on both the front and back pieces to knit a 32" chest? Are the cables going to pull in the sweater that much?

It entirely possible that I've overlooked something. (I do begin most of my knitting projects by panicking.) But if my math is correct, how do I fix this problem? I don't want to have to rework the entire pattern, because the sleeves are bound to be a major pain in the neck. I was thinking...what if I just knit this thing top-down? Would I knit the cable chart upside down? Upside down and backwards? Or should I knit bottom-up and...isn't there a way to knit the raglan sleeves and top portion of the sweater simultaneously?

It's past my bedtime. Someone please set me straight.


Blogger Debi said...

Ok first of all since you want to work in the round you would take off FOUR stitches - 2 for each side that you would be sewing if you knit it as suggested. So 116 divided by 5.25 = 22 inches, 22 x 2 = 44 and yes I think the cables could pull the sweater in that much. You can test this by knitting up a swatch in stockinette and measuring it then knitting up a swatch with the cable pattern and measure the difference.

Have you checked for any errata?

One last thing, many sweaters "need" seams to maintain their shape. The seams are sort of the structure or foundation of the garment and without them you could end up with a baggy shapeless mess!

Hope this helps :)

1:18 AM  
Blogger Maryann said...

Hi Jenna, I really don't think the cables gonna pull in like 12", so that sure looks like a pattern error to me... But In any case, swatching up the cables panel would be the first thing I'll do. With that and your stocking st gauge, you will be pretty much freed to use any generic sweater pattern instructions for a top-down or a bottom-up raglan as you wish. The only thing that you might have to watch out will be the # of cable pattern repeats vs your desired length. Also, if you're doing it seamless, the phoney seam by EZ could be a good idea. HTH.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous jody said...

i'm wondering if the measurements you're listing are the "sizes" and not the actual measurements (since you can't have an actual measurement of 32/34). do they give actuals too?

i'm with maryann -- the cables in that sweater will not bring it in that much. they're only up the center, right?

9:55 AM  
Blogger krazybarrister said...

i think one other thing you need to take into account is how much ease the sweater is designed for. that may explain why the actual measurement seems larger than the "size."

10:11 AM  
Blogger jenna said...

Yes, I remembered to eliminate the edge stitches.

The actual measurements come a little closer, although they still have the smaller size measuring 38" across the chest.

I couldn't find any pattern errata on the internet.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

I know next to nothing about sweaters, so I am sending you some knitting mojo instead! Hope you figure it out.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

jenna, did you read binet's blog about swatching in the round?

may 20th.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Chrispy said...

If you like a sweater with less ease, you should probably knit the smaller size even with a smaller guage and yes the cables will pull in noticeably. They are quite wide. The proof will be in the swatch. A larger swatch with a full cable repeat or do will do the trick. The bottom cable looks like it pulls in more than the top cable since it travels more.

12:48 PM  
Blogger soknitpicky said...

It's hard to believe that the model in the picture could be wearing a sweater with 4-6 inches of ease (if the 32/34 size is actually 38'). It looks much more closely fitted! I agree with all the suggestions for swatching the cable pattern in the round. Even though it will pull in a lot, it only runs down the middle, so I don't think it will eliminate as much ease as you might like.

8:49 PM  
Blogger shopgirl said...

bummer! this sort of things makes my crazy! It sounds like a pattern problem to me- that much discrepancy can't be accounted to knitting the pattern in the round. Sorry I don't have any good tips for you, but I hope it resolves itself because it will look gorgeous on you!

8:57 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

are there schematics? I'd check those measurements as well....cables do pull in a lot, but not that much. Seaming takes off probably 2-3 sts per side, so you may need to knock off a few more sts. I'd do a good sized swatch with the cable and do some measuring. If you do it top down, you would have to flip the cable over....

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Crystal said...

I'm with those that think the cables WILL pull in that much. I wrote a pattern up for simple cabled socks, and where normally 64 stitches fit my foot I have added 2 extra stitches for every four I normally have on the needles. Which bascially works out to 30% of my stitches being on the needles solely for the cables pulling in.

And as a side note, if you pull live stitches off the needles that are knit in the round they do stretch out a hell of a lot more than if you continued knitting and actually cast off, so that could also account for some of the "extra" size.

Maybe a swatch in the round is a good plan to not waste the knitting time, but it doesn't seem horrible to me from the math you gave.

And finally, GOOD LUCK! :)

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Bookish Wendy said...

I think that the cables could pull in that much too. Do you have a copy of Sweater Design in Plain English? Maggie does a great job of explaining how to figure out how many stitches you need to have to account for cables...

2:54 PM  
Blogger Kelley said...

It doesn't look to me like the cables would pull in that much of your design, since they are only the front-most part of the sweater. Definitely swatch your cable, paying attention to how it changes your gauge. Then you can turn your swatch upside down and see if you like the cable upside down -- if you do, you could knit the whole thing top down. Or pick up one of Elizabeth Zimmermann's books and knit it bottom up. Hope that helps!

2:27 PM  

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