I wish I had an interesting post to share with you this week but the truth is that I have been very busy taking my Pattern Grading Class with Kim Guzman and working on my Tunisian Cardigan. I would like to let you in on the progress that I made this week. I know it doesn’t seem like much but my yarn is very thin and it takes me a long time just to finish one row!
Below you see how the partially completed back matches up with the back of my prototype. I’ve laid both my pieces on the bed and pinned one on top of the other. It appears that the sleeve increases have worked well so far. I left myself a little room on each edge to add trim. I just have a few more rows to work before I begin my decreases for the shoulders.
The hem is extremely wavy. Not only does it curl up, which is what I expected, but it seems much looser than the body of the sweater. I am hoping that working some traditional single crochet around the hem once the parts are seamed together will solve this problem.
The Next Step
I am now very tempted to begin using the pattern grading information that I learned in Kim’s class. I think that I will play around with it a bit just for practice but in the meantime, I will continue with my drawings and my high school math. The measurements in the photo below illustrate the numbers that I must consider when working the shoulders. I must decrease from 33 inches across the tips of the sleeves to 16 inches at the top of the shoulders. I have to do these decreases on 7 inches for the back to get to the bottom of the neckline which is also shoulder-level.
So my calculations must be as follows:
Gauge: 20 stitches and 20 rows = 4 inches or 5 stitches and 5 rows = 1 inch
First off, I must deduct my trim since I measured from tip of shoulder to tip of shoulder. My trim accounts for about 1 inch of total width so I will deduct that from my 33 inches to come up with 32 inches. I have to decrease the width by 16 inches or 80 stitches. I have to make these decreases in 7 inches or 35 rows. I can see already that I am not going to be able to meet my target of 80 decreases in 35 rows. After working 35 rows and decreasing one stitch on each side, I will only have decreased 70 stitches, leaving 10 stitches or 2″. This means that at a height of 7 inches, my shoulders will be 2 inches wider than the prototype or 1 ” on each side. If I work the fronts the same way, then my sweater will be 4 inches wider in the shoulders all the way around.
I am not sure how to resolve this issue. Since the tops of the sleeves slope upward evenly until the shoulders and then level off sharply, I wonder if I can just simply keep decreasing one stitch on each side until I get to the back neck. I have examined this top and it appears as if the decreases are done evenly all the way up. I’m wondering now if the bulge I see as forming the shoulders is actually “hanger bulge”.
At this point, I have decided to try decreasing evenly all the way from the tip of the top of the sleeve to the edge of the back neck. This encompasses 9″ of height which will be (9 x 5) or 45 rows. Then I can decrease 42 times (once on each side) over a course of 45 rows. Much better! It remains to be seen whether this will end up being the correct shape. I’ll distribute the increases, work feverishly on my project, and get back to you with the results, good or ill!