Adding more rows to make the motif fit on an adult jumper

this is a bit complicated to explain. I am knitting a large jumper with a motif on the front of a reindeer. The antlers go right up to the neckline. The shoulders are “dropped” and the neck is round. The motif is 140 rows. The problem is, I knitted the back, and from the begining of the sleeve hole to the begining of the shoulder is 8 and 1/2 inch (which is what they said should be in measurement on the pattern) and the number of rows for this is 57. I started at row 100, so from the bottom of the jumper to the start of the shouder it is 157 rows. The front of the jumper requires that I start the shaping of the neckline 25 less than when I started the shoulder shaping (row 157) which is row 132. Well, if I start the neckline at row 132 I think I would be intruding on the motif which goes on until row 140. The tension of the pattern is 31 rows to 4inch (or 10cm) so my sleevehole should be 66 rows, with the 100 leading up the sleevehole = 166, - 25 rows for the neckline to start = row141 which would fit the motif in. Can I unravel the back a bit and add an extra 9 rows to the sleevehole? 8 and 1/2 inches seems a bit tight anyway for a drop shoulder sleeve. This is bit mind boggling but I hope that somebody knows what I mean. Thanks.

Yes, I’ve run into this kind of problem too. We usually don’t worry very much about row gauge but here’s a pattern where you do have to think about it (as you have). I don’t know what size you’re making but 8.5 for the sleeve seems a little tight, I agree, even for a woman’s small size. You could certainly go up on the sleeve opening. Since there’s no sleeve shaping this is evern easier to do. Check that this isn’t making the entire sweater too long (9rows is only ~1.5inches). The other possibility is to start the reindeer motif earlier, if you haven’t already begun the front.
We’d love to see a picture of this finished sweater which sounds wonderful.

Thanks so much for the reply - It’s given me the confidence to go on with the plan to go for a bigger opening on the sleevehole and adding more rows so that I can fit the whole motif in. It’s just a comic head of a reindeer (must be rudolph because of the red nose). I have knitted drop sleeve for a childrens pattern years ago, and I remember then that the sleeve opening was too tight - especially for being worn on top of a shirt or whatever, so it might turn out well to make it bigger. I will upload a picture as soon as its all done!