I love this sweater but it won't fit--HELP!

Someone gifted me this gorgeous yarn from Germany. I want to make a simple boat-neck stockinette stitch sweater and I found the perfect pattern online. It’s sized XS-L, but even the large is too small in the bust (33") for me. Can anyone help me figure out how to take the pattern and make it bigger? The pattern is free. It’s the Ellie sweater by Nikki Vandecar and the link is http://www.whattoknitwhen.com/2008/12/ellie.html. (I did contact Nikki but she never responded…)

Or if you know of another, similar sweater with larger measurements (Nikki must be way slim…) I’d love to hear about it.

The gauge on the yarn is 20 st/4 inches.

Blessings on anyone who can help.

It’s knit in a DK weight, so you could do this in worsted on a size 10. It’s a little stretchy, so you could aim to do it about 2" smaller than your bust measurement, which is what I think she did. It’s also a top down raglan and those are extremely easy to make larger. Just keep doing the increases until the back sts measure about half the measurement you need. You can put the sts on scrap yarn, or half of them on another needle, and try it on to make sure it meets at your underarm. I would also suggest casting on 2-3" worth of sts on the body at the underam when you separate off your sleeve sts. That will make the body larger without making the sleeves too big. You have to pick up sts in the cast on ones when you go back to knitting the sleeves, but you can decrease any extra ones on the first round or too, so the arms aren’t too floppy.

Thanks so much Sue. I’ve never done a top down sweater. Maybe I should do a practice one with scrap so I can figure out what you’re saying. I’m sure it would all become clear once I try it. I’ll print out your suggestions and have them with me. Thanks for the help.

If you have a couple hundred yards that should get you down to the underarm so you can see how to adjust the size.

There’s something off in her measurements. She says that the design allows for 3" of negative ease, which is a very tight fit, but you’re right-- the largest size is only a little over 33" at the bust-- to fit 38 - 40". That should be more like a finished measurement of 36". Because it fits so closely under the arms, I’m also concerned that it would be uncomfortable in the arm-pit. I would use another pattern. If you can get a hold of Patons booklet #831, Karma Two, there is a design called Tissue Tunic, which is somewhat similar to the Simple Sweater and is written for X-small to 5X (Patons and Bernat both go from tiny to extremely large in most of their patterns.) Also look on drops designs for free ones.

It’s very easy to make a top down sweater larger, you just keep knitting the increase rounds until it does fit.

There’s a topdown raglan pattern generator at the Knitting Foolsite. You put in your gauge and the measurement you want and it makes a pattern for you. If you like the look of this tunic, use a measurement a couple inches smaller than you are, and knit the length from the underams to the hem longer, maybe use the length given in the Ellie sweater.

Thank you so much for your help and suggestions. I will try a top down sweater to see what it’s like. And also check out the Paton’s book for the Tissue tunic. In the meantime, I found another pattern on knitting central that I’m attempting. It’s extremely simple so it might not be exciting for an experienced knitter. But (hopefully) it will show off my pretty yarn. here it is:

Thanks again.

That one is cute, but it’s knit in pieces and seamed together. So it won’t be as easy as a top down, knit without seams sweater.

Hmm…I hadn’t thought of that, Sue. I took a look at the knittingfool site, btw. I think I might try that top down sweater. It doesn’t have the neck I wanted for this but it would let me do a sweater in whatever wool I want, which might be a good way to start. I guess doing what’s familiar (the pieced sweater) seems easier than trying something new (top down) even though the top down is probably easier once you figure it out.

I can walk you through a V neck top down sweater if you want. There may be another pattern generator site that actually has that option. Lemme check…

Yeah, try this one - http://www.woolworks.org/patterns/raglan.html

It’s actually kind of a boat neck or large scoop. I think.

That’s true, the original is a wide neckline. But it could be made with a V or just start with the same number of sts as the Jennie sweater for the wider, lower neckline.

If you don’t mind buying a pattern this one is similar.
#2911 http://www.knittingpureandsimple.com/new.html

Their patterns are easy to understand and well written.