What to do?

Hi again,

I have a sweater pattern that I would like to knit. My question is concerning the chest size. I fall between 2 sizes. Should I knit the larger size which would be 1 1/2" larger … same 1 1/2" difference for the smaller size? The knitted gauge size is fine. The pattern is mostly Stockinette St, with lace at the bottom for the body and sleeves. The pattern is form Love of Knitting magazine …Spring 2010…page 27.

Thanks in advance! :knitting:

Is the measurement given for the bust size it is to fit with ease built in, or is it the exact finished measurement? This can be quite a difference depending on the design. Sometimes it tells you clearly “to fit bust…” (and may tell you how much ease is built in or may not) or “finished measurement”. Sometimes it doesn’t make it real clear. It might be worth taking a minute to figure out how many stitches will end up being right under the arms all the way around and figuring out mathematically based on the gauge (and if yours varies consider that for sure) how big it is going to turn out. Based on all the information you have you will have to decide how you would like it to fit, tighter or looser. Often it is a good idea to measure a sweater you wear that you like the fit of that has a similar cut if you have one and let that help you decide.

It depends if you like your sweaters snug fitting or looser. If it’s a cardi meant to be worn over a shirt, then you’d probably want it a little looser.

OK…The pattern says:

   " Finished Measurements:"
    "Bust: 32 (36,40,44,48)"

I would like the sweater to fit but not be tight.

MerigoldinWA…say that it is to big in the bust do I adjust the # of sts down to compensate?

how is the cut? That would make my decision to knit the smaller or larger and then adjust.
if it is a straight up cut (no shaping) then knit the smaller and add in some stitches near the rib cage to come to size (and then adjust the other measures, too, accordingly).
if it is a shaped cut you can start with the bigger size and just not add as many stitches as there are called for.

is the pattern available for your project? or a pic to see?

Wow…lots of information here…I sort of understand it but I need to process it for a while. Thanks to all of you. I can see this is not necessarily a simple process.

Jan …thanks for the link on how to post a picture.

I think if it was me and it said:

" Finished Measurements:"
“Bust: 32 (36,40,44,48)”

I would go with the size that was just above my bust measurement. Say I was a 34 and it says the finished measurement is 36, I’d go with that one. It is not uncommon for a sweater to have 2 inches of ease (be 2 inches bigger than your actual measurement) and not look too big. Unless the sweater is to be skin tight that is what I would do. That would save you from having to do a lot of adjusting and figuring. But if you want a certain fit and are up to making changes in the stitch numbers that is fine too.

I was surprised when I measured some storebought sweaters that I like the fit of and they were actually smaller than my bust measurement. Hand knit sweaters can be more stretchy than commercially made ones so they don’t look like they’re too small, even when they measure smaller.

Ok…here is where I am…I am driving myself crazy and believe me I don’t have far to go!!!

I want to knit a pattern from a book I just bought “Classic Elite” 100 Gorgeous Designs for every Occasion.

It sounds like I may or may not need to change the pattern size…so confused I can’t believe it.

I never fit into any of the chest measurements. My chest measures 42 1/2.

the pattern reads: Sizes…Small (medium, Large, 1X Large)

Finished Measurements
33 1/2(40, 46 1/2,53)"
Worsted weight #4…I will use Encore yarn
Needles US6

22 sts and 28 rows =4" in Stockinette sts … 5 1/2 sts to the inch.

Feather and Fan Lace (multiple of 18sts + 2)…this appears in the bottom of pattern first 7"
and also on the bottom of sleeve.

Pattern is straight up and down and loose starting with (Medium size) 110 sts and keeping this # of sts until the shaping of the armholes begin.

My husband just helped me with the math (thank heavens for engineers) an it would work out this way.

(My chest size) 42.5 divided by (Med pattern chest size) 40 x # of sts for( Med size pat) = 117 sts…so for me 7 extra sts for front and back.

so # of sts for med size pattern 110 +110 = 220 total # of sts.
for me 117 + 117 = 234 for my size. Total # of sts.

I know this is only the bottom part… still would have to work out other parts. Geez don’t know if it is worth all this problem. This is more than a little scary! What do you think? I can’t be the only one with this type of problem…can I???

If you use size 8 needles instead of size 6 you may get something like 4½- 5 sts/inch and be able to knit the size 40" pattern. That way you wouldn’t have to adjust the sts. I think size 6 with the worsted yarn is pretty small and will give you a very stiff sweater. Is the yarn used in the pattern a thinner one?

I don’t know if the yarn is thinner …it is Classic Elite Yarn…Bam Boo (100% bamboo, 50-g ball = aprox 70 yd
Then it says Equivalent yarn Worsted weight #4 and then gives some #s.

It would be so wonderful if I could knit the 40" pattern instead of having to do all the math. I am so new to knitting I didn’t know you could change the gauge. :woot: Can you always adjust the gauge to conform to a size you may want?

You figured out that you need 117 on front and back or 234 total to get 42 1/2 inches. But there is more to consider than that. Feather and fan lace uses a certain number of stitches and you will have to be sure that any number you changed to would be a multiple of what works with the lace pattern.

Sue’s idea of going up in needle size is an easier one. Did you make a swatch with the #6 needles and the Encore and get the gauge you gave? Whatever, I’d try a couple of different size needles and make swatches and check the kind of fabric you would get with each. Like Sue said you don’t want it too stiff. When you find a needle/yarn combination that gives you a nice fabric, measure it and see what gauge you are getting. Using that gauge number and the number of stitches for the medium and the large (others if you have to) figure out how big the sweater would turn out.

You said the sweater was loose so I’d want it a little bigger than your actual measurement if you want yours to be loose as well. Again consider a sweater you like the fit of.

Keep in mind any changes your gauge may make in how long you may want things and they will turn out done as written (for instance the armholes). You may need to adjust, but maybe not.

Good luck on this. I have been one to have a lot of trouble with gauge issues so I understand completely. Sometimes my whole sweater turns out to be a gauge swatch and I have to rip it out after a ways because things are not working out despite careful planning. :lol: But that usually helps me figure out what I need to do. Hint: check your gauge once in a while as you knit and see if it is staying like it is supposed to.

You did a good job of giving all the pertinent information about the project.

You can look the two yarns up on the internet and compare the information about the two. I did that on these two yarns.

Classic Elite Yarn…Bam Boo says it works up to 5 stitches in one inch on a size 7 needle. The yarn comes in 50gm balls with 77 yards in that 50 grams.

Plymouth Encore is also supposed to work up to 5 stitches in one inch but it says it does that on a #8 needle. (Sometimes I’m unsure what that means. I’m sure the same person didn’t knit up the test swatches on the two yarns and everyone knits differently.) The Encore comes in 100 gram skeins and has 200 yards.

So if you had 2 balls of the Classic Elite you would have the same weight as one of the Encore but you would have only 154 yards instead of the Encores 200, so it seems as if the CE is the thicker yarn. So that may make a problem when you try to go to a looser gauge, but try it and see what kind of fabric you get.

The Classic Elite Bamboo is heavier than Encore due to the fiber content, much like cotton is heavier than wool or a wool blend. And bamboo yarn is suggested to be knit at a tighter gauge (smaller needle) than other yarns so it doesn’t stretch as much. I think you’ll find that you’ll get a slightly larger gauge with the Encore on size 8s and that it will be enough to make the sweater without adjusting the numbers.

Cast on about 30 sts of the Encore, work 3" with size 6s, then another 3 or so with size 8s. Wash and dry the sample (it’s okay for machine wash and dry) and see what the gauges are, and compare the stiffness or drape of the 2 needle sizes. Then get back to us.

if possible I would always go for the slightly bigger or smaller needles to make the pattern fit. That way you follow the instructions for a different size than you want and get the measurements you need.

Just be careful: patterns don’t always give all instructions in stitches and rows but sometimes in inches, too. Then you need to follow the inches of the size you want to have (for example the middle of the road between your two almost fitting sizes).

22 sts and 28 rows =4" in Stockinette sts … 5 1/2 sts to the inch.

I guess this is not your own sample piece but the pattern advice? have you made a sample? what did you come out with? and with bigger / smaller needles (bigger in your case, I guess)? what will it be?

your math, anyways, is correct. 234 stitches devided by 5.5 to the inch is 42.5 inches around.

The only problem you throw yourself into is the pattern repeat:

18 stitches per repeat. Now you add in 7 extra. That is not even a half repeat but too much to smuggle into the sides. you can’t just do an almost half repeat on one side. But you can not do two not even quater repeats on each side… all will look funky.

the 18 stitch repeat is probably the reason for the big spaces between the sizes. they just add a repeat between all versions - and leave you hanging in mid air.

so the change of needle size is your best bet. Really.

I have problems with garments, too. I try to make them fit (in sewing as knitting) and I find that the wait measures that fit me lead to chest measures that are a good bit too small. And the chest measures that fit will hang loosely around the waist.

that means: I have a pretty big bust but thankfully have not put up so much weight that my waist catches up :wink:
therefore I am likely to smuggle two stitches in on each side for the bust measure. usually by just increasing under the arm hole (an inch or two deeper where you don’t see an extra stitch on the side even with patterns (your arm will be over it mostly anyways) and try to hide it whereever that is needed. then I continue that and may or my not get rid of that stitch (or two) within the armhole.

2 stitches on each side on each piece will make 8 all together and that usually makes a good difference with the pieces I made by now. with finer wool I would need more adjustment, though.

when I sew dresses both my bust and my hip size fall into the same pattern, just my waist doesn’t. I either tuck things in a little by curving the seam line or I make a belt.

So: you are not alone! truely not.

I want to thank all of you for the wonderful advice. :muah: I got so wrapped up in the measuring that I forgot about the Lace multiples of 18…so the 117 sts on front and back would not work. Thanks so much for pointing that out.

I am now going to do what so many have suggested and make some more swatches. I did make a swatch and it came out to be 5 sts to the inch instead of 5 1/2…needle size 6. I will make swatches with sizes 7 and 8 needles.

Great idea to put extra sts at the sides.

I am not fast at anything…so it will take me a while…will be back when I have finished!

You may not be able to match the gauge of 5½ sts/inch, so work it up on the 7 and 8 and decide which you like better. Then take the sts/inch and multiply times the 42½" you want and see which smaller size of the pattern has a stitch number close to that. Then follow that one, adjusting for your length.

Suzeeq…Thanks so much for this formula!!! :hug: