Please Help Me: Sweater is Way too Large

I am almost finished with the body of cosmicpluto’s top down cardi.
http://www.cosmicpluto.com/blog/?page_id=397

I used double knitting instead of the yarn that she used. I found that my gauge was 8 stitches per inch while hers was 4.5 stitches per inch. I dont believe that she gave the rows in her gauge and there wasn’t a schematic, so I could not be certain of a number of measurements. I calculated that the neckline was about 18 inches, but I could be wrong.

I then used this knitting calculator:
http://www.thedietdiary.com/knittingfiend/OrderForms/conversion%20pages/TopConversion.html

I got a conversion factor of 1.778 and multiplied that by the number of cast on stitches.

Now the sweater is HUGE. So big in fact, that it could easily be a double-breasted sweater. The neckline is nearly twice as big as I thought it would be. Did I cast on too many stitches? I cast on 162 stitches for the size 40-42 bust, when the original pattern said to cast on 91 stitch. I am going to have to drastically and dramatically slim down the sleeves when I start doing them.

What went so horribly wrong? I would like to substitute yarn in the future, as it would be very expensive for me to use the exact yarns mentioned . The sweater is almost done now and it is too late to frog it. This has been nearly a hundred hours of more of work. I’d be grateful for any advice about how this can be salvaged.

I am scared becuase I wanted to make Glampyre’s minisweater next and I would hate to have the same problem.

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Maybe this could become a really cool double breasted or some type of wrap type sweater. I’m invisioning some kind of really cool, boutique-type, one-of-a-kind, artsy type sweater. Yes you will have to dramatically reduce the sleeves but you could do this in a very fashionable way. I just bought a copy of Fitted Knits by Stephanie Japel and she uses a very fashionable decrease on the outside part of the sleeve (not just the decrease that is used by the marker at the underarm side) She also has a section in the book about resizing the top-down style sweater that is easy to understand and simple.

I think you would enjoy owning a copy of this book especially if you end up making top-downs alot. At the very least try to checkit out from your local library. I to am a busty gal (42") and I end up resizing sweaters to fit the bust but then have to decrease them back down to normal for the waist area. If not I end up with a boxy sweater that says “I made this, can’t you tell by the lack of fit!”

Good luck and I really believe you can turn this sweater into a masterpiece! And, I want to see pics when you are done.