Day One: Calculating and Ribbing

This is the stage where your create the blueprint to move the sweater from your imagination to reality.

Start with honest measurements and an honest analysis of which styles suit you.

The first time I measured myself, I was amazed at how my shape differed from the standard X inches for hips, reduce by Y for waist, increase up to X for bust formula. I found that my ‘waist’ needed to be at the underbust level, and that I needed much more bust shaping than a pattern specified – increases plus short rows. But all those extra calculations were absolutely worth it, not only for yielding beautifully fitting sweaters, but also for freeing me from patterns except to use them as design inspirations. I’ve never felt the stress of making multiple swatches to match the gauge of an unseen designer because I work off the gauge from my swatch.

 Tips for this Stage 

  • Even for items to be worked in the round, work back-and-forth for a few rows to reduce chances of twisting stitches when you join in a circle.
  • If you’re following the above tip, CO one extra stitch at each end. These will be consumed in the seam when you sew up the bit which was worked back and forth.
  • On the row where you join in a circle, kill these extra stitches neatly and invisibly by doing a k2tog at the beginning and ssk at the end of the row.
  • Make sure your circular needle length (tip to tip) is less than the circumference of your knitting
  • Ribbing tends to create bigger stitches, so do it on needles smaller than you will use on the body of the garment. I’m ribbing on 4mm.

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