Knitting – How to add a shape to a sweater pattern
I think I’m addicted to knitted sweaters. I love knitting super simple, quick sweaters – with lush yarns in lush colors. And although I traditionally love the top-down patterns, there are some aspects that don’t suit my taste perfectly. Take the Knitting Pure and Simple Pattern 992, for example. I would like to conjure up a version from a funny, chunky yarn, but I have to make a few changes first.
- First, the sizes are a bit too big for me. The smallest chest size is 38 and I really like it when mine is about 34 (yes, I know you all feel sorry for me).
- Second, the sleeve section just below the armhole is too loose. I prefer it to be snug.
- Third, I want the waist to shape a little …
Here’s how I can achieve these goals.
- Downsize: The theory of making the breast smaller is simple – you want fewer stitches. For example, suppose your strength is 3 sts / inch. When the finished breast size is 38 inches, knit 38×3 = 114 stitches for the body of the sweater. If you want the finished breast size to be a little smaller (e.g. 34 inches), you need to remove 4 inches from the body – that’s 12 stitches (4×3 = 12). So if you subtract 12 from 114, you get 102 … that’s how many stitches you want on your needle as you knit the body. When it comes to the KPS pattern, we can simplify the math even further. In the beginning, she tells you to knit until there are 55 sts between the back marks – for the 38-inch chest. To reduce the breast size by 4 inches, we need to remove a total of 12 stitches: 6 from the front and 6 from the back. So … subtract 6 from 55 (which gives you 49) and that’s the number you’ll knit with. Basically you can write ’49 ‘before 55, which creates an even smaller size!
- Tighten sleeves: This change is easy. Instead of waiting 6 rows for the first sleeve reduction (remember, you start from the top), repeat the reduction every two rows three times … and then follow the pattern given.
- Add shaping: To give this top-down sweater a certain shape, you want to gradually reduce the stitches worth about 5 cm (on each side seam) to 1.5 cm above the waist, knit 3 cm smooth and then gradually increase them again . In the example of 4 sts / inch you want to reduce a total of 8 stitches (4 times on each side). Note that the standard measurement from waist to shoulder is 17 inches.
With these techniques I can knit a sweater that fits exactly how I want it!
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