Aidez Moi!

Aidez is one of the most popular patterns on Ravelry — over 2800 projects already — but there’s a problem. Look through the project pictures and you’ll find pages and pages of people grabbing the edges of their sweater and pulling them together as tightly as possible. Some have used shawl pins, but the sweater is really stretched out at the attachment point. The problem is partly with the pattern and partly because it needs modifications for some body types.

Let’s jump straight into the detailed nitpicky discussion! Oh wait, here’s a picture of my WIP to break the text.


Now let’s jump in!

Where’s the compression allowance? 
Let’s look at the smallest size as an example. According to the schematic, the bottom edge of the back should be 18″. The stockinette gauge is 3.75sts/inch. But the CO number is only 65 sts (increased to 66 sts after the ribbing). Which means, even if you follow those instructions you’ll end up with 17.6″, not 18″.

No problem, you say? Remember, this is the stockinette gauge. After the horizontal compression caused by cables and you have a fabric which is 16″ at most. With the front pieces also not accounting for any cable compression, you end up with a garment much much narrower than you need.

But ending up with a garment that gapes wide open seems to the design, right? True. But that’s not what the schematic says. According to the schematic, both fronts should be exactly half of the back, which is (for the smallest size) 36″ round at the hips. The pattern instructions will make you do something different.

To compensate for this error, look at the pattern: the only changes are in the number of stockinette stitches along the sides. Meaning, the cabled section remains the same and the width difference between sizes is made up with stockinette sections at the side seams. This makes modification easy!

Here are the calculations, with mine in red as examples (use your own numbers where there is red text):

The back consists of 58 pattern sts with two stockinette sections at the sides; ie, x + 58 + x.

Generally 10% extra is added to sts to account for cable compression. So if 58 sts corresponds to 110%, then 100% is around 53.

So if whole back were in stockinette, we would need x + 53 + x sts.

My stockinette gauge is 3.91 sts/inch

I want my back to be 18” wide at the bottom. Ie (x + 53 +x)/3.91 = 18

So x = 8.69 (say 8)

Meaning, if the back were in stockinette, I would CO 8 + 53 + 8 sts.

So, to get 18” in the cable pattern, I need to substitute in the actual no. of sts used for the cable pattern.

Ie, my back CO should be 8 + 58 + 8 = 74.

Which means, I cast on 73  and add one more stitch in the last row of the ribbed section, as per pattern.

Ditto for the fronts. Remember for the fronts there is just one stockinette section at the side where modifications are to be made! With the freedom of these stockinette sections at the sides, I added all my usual waist shaping modifications.


Don’t forget the neck
On reading the pattern, we see there is no neck shaping. The open edges of the front just go up in a straight line. If you’re anything more than a B-cup, you’ll be dragging those edges closed. So I added and decreased extra stitches in the purl sections of the cable pattern for bust shaping.

Sleeves are next! Should be straightforward, right?


5 thoughts on “Aidez Moi!

  1. I saw an interview with the designer, Cirilia Rose, discussing this pattern shortly after struggling with this same problem myself. It turns out she intended to add a button band and shawl collar but ran out of time for the deadline! Apparently Norah Gaughan finished off for her by adding the ‘neck’ bit, but it is definitely still too short across the front!

  2. Do you mind talking a little more about your bust shaping? I’m making this now and am unsure how/where to make those mods. Thank you! Your aidez is lovely!

  3. Hi Jessica, I added a post on shaping today, describing what I did for Aidez. It should apply to all sweaters. You can find it under the Tutorials category.

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