Dear Knitting kids:

I need formulas for two problems:

  1. I would like to know how to take a pattern for a pull over and make it into a cardigan? Surely there is a mathematical process for doing this!

  2. It’s about those dang armholes!! Is there a scale someplease, or a graph that tells you what the height/width of an armhole should be for a certain size baby/child/manchild, etc.? Why can’t I just knit until it looks good enough to get into comfortably? Why does every baby project turn out with armholes too small? I know my gauge is spot on, so what is the dang problem–can’t we just agree that a size 6, or 8, or . . . . will have an armhole that is this long by this wide?

Happy New Year to all!

Wait huh? It depends on what pullover pattern you want to make it from.

[ol][li]If its a cardigan, don’t you just need to slice it in half? :???: Like knit it straight with a few extra stitches (for space for buttons) up till the sleeves and then just shape the armholes where they’re supposed to be. Also, add a few one-row button holes every now and then near the end of a few rows. Sew the top together and add a few buttons and you’re pretty much done.[/li]
Messy picture I made:

[I]Forget the whole button and extra stitches part if you’re using something else or just leaving it open.[/I]

If worst comes to worst then just knit it like a pullover and when you’re done, take out the sewing machine and sew two straight lines parallell to eachother in the middle (but still close together), cut straight down the middle, and sew on a zipper.

[*]Depends on the pattern? I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking but if I were you I would make arm holes bigger from now on xD[/ol]

Dear Kaihou:

Every once in a while a gal just needs a little insight from someone looking in! Thank you so much! Your observations were a great beginning to a break through I will use and appreciate for many years to come!

Hey wannabe,

as a lover of formulas myself, I understand your frustration about planning things like armholes and necklines! There are many kinds of armholes and many kinds of sleeves, so you’re not going to find one standard formula (sorry).

Maybe you end up with armholes too small, because you’re forgetting that a person is three dimensional and needs more ease (wiggleroom) around the shoulders/bust etc. Look at the shirt/sweater you’re wearing now, you might be surprised at how much lower the armhole starts than your armpit (this was/is my problem).

Anyway, I can’t be of too much help, but you might find some helpful infos in a book about garment shaping (so one with a good sweater construction section or even a sewing book might tell you what measurements to use for armholes/sleeves, and then you could do the knitting math)

I admit that I don’t feel nearly comfortable enough in my knitting to strike out on my own in design. But this book gives some good guidelines - if you want to do a sweater with neck A and sleeves B, with yarn C, this book walks you through it. It has basic formulas for cardigans and pullovers, for children and adults. You can add fancy stitches or change your guage from there.

Thank you cftwo–that looks like a great book-I’ll pick it up for sure!