Unequal front/back sizing?

I’m working a sweater vest using cotton and a slip-stitch Chevron motif. Despite a gauge swatch and my best efforts at measurement, I’ve finished the back to find it a little narrow. Perhaps my knitting tightened up a bit. Do you think it would be OK to simply adjust the front to be larger to compensate? I only need a couple of inches and would rather err on the side of larger because I don’t want the Chevron pattern to stretch out over my middle-aged spread. 8) I don’t think this would move the side seam too much… might even be better since I carry the weight more in front anyway. This is my first attempt at a garment so I decided to make for myself since I could more easily scrap it that way if it didn’t work out! I really like the way it’s coming out, however, so I hope I can salvage it. Thoughts? Thanks for your help.

Have you tried blocking it? Sometimes the patterns will cause the knitting to pull in, when blocked, you can work it to the measurement you need, as long as it is not off by too much.

You could also work a small trianglar piece that you could stitch in between the front and back at the sides - wider at the bottom and smaller at the top, ends before the underarm seam - it could be done in pattern or stockinette stitch in one of the colors that you used in your sweater.

You could also try to knit a swatch in pattern to see if your gauge is off - sometimes a pattern stitch ends up working out to a smaller gauge than a stockinette stitch. If you are really off - frog it and start over after reacalcualting your gauge.

The sweater looks great - I hope it all works out for you, please post the finished project.

I was secretly hoping someone would mention blocking. I haven’t done that yet so I might get it to stretch and stay enough since I really don’t need much. I did do the gauge swatch in pattern over 4"x4" and worked up a rather extensive spreadsheet to do the math from that swatch which I’ve verified. Perhaps the weight and inelasticity of the cotton is pulling it down enough to lengthen and narrow it. But with cotton will it just stretch back down when worn even if it is blocked? My plan is to usually wear it under a sport coat anyway so I like the idea of side gussets in the darker navy if all else fails. Thanks for the suggestions!

Thanks for the kind words. It will be a while yet, but I will post when complete. Sigh… if only I didn’t have to work for a living – I could knit all day!

I think you nailed it about the weight and inelasticity of cotton.

I think the side gussets are your best solution, although if the width isn’t hugely off, I think you could get away with knitting the front a bit wider too, especially if you are planning on wearing it with a jacket.

Cotton may seem to be inelastic while knitting but actually stretches when worn, so I don’t think that will be a problem.

I agree and thank you. It is my understanding that while a knit cotton piece certainly stretches, it has no memory and will not move back into place like other yarns. It tends to stretch ‘permanently’ and lose it’s original shape over time.

As usual for me… I found a yarn I loved (and it was on sale!) and decided to go for it and try to make it work. The problem-solving is part of the fun for me and I’d much rather work in yarn I find inspiring than minimize the risk. With this piece - I think the fact that it IS stretching is lengthening and narrowing the piece under it’s own weight - and there’s no elasticity in the yarn to pull it back into place. I chose the slip stitch pattern, in part, hoping that the extra support might help with this problem a bit. I’ll just keep at it and see if I can make it work out.

As always, the expertise people are willing to share is a tremendous benefit and service!

It tends to stretch ‘permanently’ and lose it’s original shape over time.

I don’t find that to be true at all. I have a tank top knit from sugar and cream which stretches a little when I wear it, and it goes back to the original knit size when I wash it. So do the knit mesh market bags. They stretch A LOT when used, but go right back after a trip to the laundry.

Yes… that’s why I put permanently in quotes. Just like a pair of blue jeans, washing certainly reshapes all cotton. It is the washing that pulls it back together. With wool or acrylic, among others, the yarn itself tends to snap back more without the need for laundering - at least in my experience.