How to alter pattern to fit my chosen yarn?


I found this great first sweater pattern that I am hoping to knit for my son and my niece. It is the the Cabin Fever Buttons Cardigan #606. It is knit top down with raglan sleeves that require no seaming. :yay: It is so cute and is just what I was looking for.

I found yarn that I really like but it is a bit lighter than was used in the pattern (I wanted to make lighter sweaters for autumn). So, my dilemma is how to adjust the pattern so that I can use the yarn I’ve chosen.

The pattern calls for dk that knits at 22 sts over 4". My yarn is coming up as 22 sts over 3.5". This is my first sweater and the pattern looks so easy but I just don’t know how to adjust things. The sample at my LYS was knit with the same yarn but I haven’t been able to ask the person that knit it how it was done.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can throw my way.

You can try larger needles, and you really should cast on about 28 sts and measure over 4" in the middle. The edge sts curl under and shouldn’t be used to measure. If that makes it looser than you want, then use the needles you like and make a larger size of the pattern.

Thanks, suzeeq. :slight_smile: I had a real “duh” moment when that came to me in the middle of the night. I have my 17-month old to thank for the mushy brain. I swatched again tonight using one needle size up and it worked great.

Kewl! :thumbsup:

Hello, I’m new here (and new to knitting). And I have a similar question.

My shawl pattern calls for bulky-weight yarn, or worsted weight yarn, used double. Here is the gauge according to the pattern, using a size 10.5 needle:
10.5 stitches = 4 inches (stockinette stitch)
4 rows = 1 inch

I want my shawl to be lighter. So, I bought worsted, medium, size 4 (used singly). I knit 4 rows of 11 stitches, and it only measures 2.5 in length. If I cast on loosely, and use a larger needle I can get it to a little over 3 inches (and it looks rather sloppy).

When you cast on (long tail method), are you supposed to pull it, so that the “knot” touches against the needle?

I’ve thought about adding stitches to get the appropriate width. But the pattern tapers off at the end by decreasing every other row until all the stitches are bound off. So, if I add stitches, it will make my shawl longer than its supposed to be.

Any advice/suggestion?

Right when you use a thinner yarn, you won’t get the same gauge. You may want to use more sts to get the right size. If you have a link to the pattern, we might be able to see how to resize it for you. Basically take your gauge of 4½ sts per inch and multiply it by the measurement the pattern’s CO comes out to. So if the pattern sts measure about 60" (sts divided by 2.75 sts/inch) then you want about 270 sts to get the 60".

A cast on should never be too tight, beginning with the slip knot, so you can put your needle into it. But you don’t need a slipknot to begin any CO. Look at the Long tail CO video and you do a sort of backward loop instead, then begin the cast on.

if you mean the stitches AFTER the frist one:
yup, you pull them tight to the needle in long tail (and most others), but not jamming them, but just equally tight.

Especially with long tail that often leads to very tight stitches.

That is why I usually use 2 needles for long tail: just lay them next to each other when casting on. then, after you are done, pull one out, knit the stitches off the other.

You can use 2 equal needles, or a smaller one as auxiliary needle. I assume up to 4 or 5 mm size I would usually take 2 equal needles, over that a smaller needle next to a 6, 8 or 10 mm needle.

Does it matter to make the scarf smaller? If not, just make it by pattern and get something smaller.

Or we help you to resize!

Yes, that is what I meant. Thank you for confirming that.

If anyone could help me resize, that would be much appreciated, because I’m making this pattern for someone else, and it needs to be the same size. The pattern comes from a book. I know that the forum guidelines indicate that we shouldn’t post a pattern in its entirety. Could I send the pattern via PM to someone?

You still shouldn’t send the whole pattern to another person. It [I]is[/I] okay to post a few lines from it. Or let us know which one it is and maybe someone has made it or we can look at a picture and tell you how to resize it which depends a lot on its contstruction. If it’s a triangular shawl, you can just follow the same pattern and knit as written. You’ll need more yarn for it to come out the same size as your yarn and needles are smaller.

If it’s a rectangular shawl, you would need to do what I suggest in the first paragraph of post 6. After you determine how many sts/inch you get with your yarn and sts then you need to multiply that times the width you need, to see how many sts wide. But if there’s a pattern stitch, the new number also needs to fit the number of sts needed for the pattern. Some st patterns will say 'multiple of 10 sts or 12, or 8, so you’ll know that they can be increased in those increments.

OK. Thanks for letting me know.

I’ve been doing the math, and have been trying to figure out how many stitches I need to add. The pattern says to cast on 35 stitches. So, with my gauge, I have to cast on 57 stitches?

The only problem is that there is a decrease near the end. It says to [I]“decrease 1 stitch between border and stockinette stitch on every knit row until 6 stitches of border remain”[/I]. I calculated that that I would need 8 stitches of border for my gauge. The problem is that since I added stitches, it will take more rows to decrease, and thus making the shawl longer than it needs to be. Can that be fixed by adding decreases?

I hope I made sense.