I'm knitting a simple V-neck cardigan for my husband using an alpaca/silk/camel/cashmere blend yarn. The swatch gave me 18sts/4in on size 6 needles.
He has this old ratty stretched-out ready-to-wear medium-gauge cotton pullover and he says he wants the new sweater to fit like that one does. I measured the circumference of the old sweater at the chest, and then I calculated stitch count for that circumference, and then I subtracted 10% to get the stitch count for the ribbed lower edge. To start knitting I went down to size 3 for the ribbing, because I am a loose knitter and I always go down that much for the ribbing, because if I don't it looks stupidly fatter than the stocking stitch above.
So now I see this edge is really going to pull in, and that's probably what he doesn't want. When I compare it to the cotton sweater, it looks tiny. I think he wants a sweater that fits like it's already stretched out from years of wear, like the old cotton one.
Can I get some suggestions? Should I use some other kind of edge instead of ribbing? How can I make a looser fitting edge without going up on the needle size and getting a swollen-looking rib, which I HATE.