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Boat Neck & Waist Shaping from Wendy!

August 27, 2010

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

Here are two informational posts straight from Wendy! Aren’t we lucky? Please make sure and you thank Wendy for all of her help. I appreciate her joining in so much.

The first informational section below is about her boat neck version of the raglan.

From Wendy: This is my yoke, nearly complete. I tried it on and it fits the same as my dress form, here, so I took a picture on it (lighting was better). I need about another two inches or so in the raglan length and I have 44 sts on the sleeve sections (8.8”) and 120 sts in the combined back/front sections (24”).

So, this is what I think I’m going to do (I had to measure my row gauge to know how many rounds I’d need to do–it is 6 rnds per inch):

I have 2 inches of length, or 12 rows to go before separating the body. In terms of sleeves if I continue adding 2 sts to the sleeves every other round, that’s six rounds, I’d add an additional 12 sts, or 56 sts which will give me 11.2” circumference BEFORE adding the underarm stitches.

Looking at the Body, I still need at least 10 or 11 inches, including the underarm adds to get my goal of around 34/35”. So, if I have 120 sts right now, and work incs on every other round for 12 rounds, that’s 24 added sts (4 for the combined sections every other round for 12 rnds). So, if I keep increasing this way, I’ll end up with 148 sts total, or 29.6”.

But 35” (goal) – 29.6” (actual) = 5.4” or 27 sts to add under the arms? Let’s see if this will work for me: I have 56 sts on the sleeve and will cast on under each arm to bring the body circumference to the right place. When it is time for me to pick up and knit those sts when I work the sleeves, that means I can either pick up each of those 14 sts for a final sleeve count of 70 sts, or 14”, which is a bit big for my upper arm.

Alternatively, I could probably get away with picking up 10 sts instead of 4 and come up with 66 sts, or a circumference of 13.2. Since I have upper arms that measure about 11”, I can probably handle that. Not to mention, I don’t want a super close-fitting sleeve.

So, there you go: I will work an additional 12 rounds and then separate the sleeve from the body by placing it on scrap yarn, cast on 7 sts under the arm, pm, cast on 7 sts and then join and work to the next sleeve and then repeat the procedure on the other side.

After that, I’ll try on again and make sure it fits before I continue.

Here is a second post from Wendy about waist shaping!

From Wendy:

Waist Shaping in Top-Down Knitting

If you try on as you go, you can decide where to begin and end waist shaping. But, the best idea is, is to first find out what your back waist measurement is, meaning, the measurement from the cast-on back neck down to your waist, and make note of it.

Then, you need to decide how many inches, or stitches, you want to subtract by the time you knit to that back waist measurement, minus the space you will need to begin those decreases, or shaping rounds.

If you want to make it super easy, most designers subtract about two or three inches only, then the add those same stitches or more, after an inch of working “even.”

Either way you want to go, you need to first decide how many stitches you want to decrease to get to your goal waist measurement.

Let’s say, you have a bust circumference of 38″ and by the time you’ve knit down to your back waist, you want your sweater to measure 34″. In this example, we have a gauge of 5 sts per inch, so, 38″ – 35″ = 4″, or 20 sts that need to be decreased. So, 20 sts need to be decreased.

Since we usually decrease four sts per round (meaning, k1, k2tog, knit to 3 sts before marker, ssk, k1, sm, k1 k2tog, knit to 3 sts before last marker ssk, k1.) We can do the math for the number of decrease rounds we need to do by saying: “20 sts need to be decreased and 4 sts get decreased each dec round, so, that means I will do a decrease round FIVE times” (20 decs needed / 4 sts per round = five total decrease rounds.)

The next step is to determine, using your row gauge, when you need to begin your decreases. You can also decide, by trying on as you go, where you want to start decreasing and use that initial inward slope and the final smallest waist measurement to decide where to start, but I will just do the math the way I typically do it for my patterns. In this example, I know that I need to do five rounds of decreases, and in my case I have a row gauge of 6 sts per inch.

Let’s say my “back waist” measurement is 17″, and I need to get to my target circumference by the time I reach that point. The only way to do this is to determine how many rows your decrease rounds and even rounds will take up. My idea is that I would like to do a decrease round every one-half inch, or every three rows (it’s up to you how often you want to do them). So, If I do a total of five sets of decreases every third row, that means I will need 15 rows to complete these decreases.

That’s just 2.5″ but for my frame, it will work. If you are taller, you might decide to space them out a bit more, and hence, begin them a bit earlier before your back waist measurement.

So, now I know that I have to begin my decreases about 2.5″ before my back waist measurement. And since I plan on working even for an inch or so before I begin increasing, I’m going to simply begin my waist shaping approximately 2″ before my back waist measurement, or around 15″ from the cast on edge. (back waist is 17″ – 2-ish inches = ABOUT 15-ish inches to start doing my decreases every third round to 20 stitches minus my original stitch count.)

Once I finish that part, I will work 6 rounds, or about 1″ even. Then, I will work the same number of increase rounds to widen the garment for the hips. If your hips are larger than your bust, then by all means, do more increases here. So, what I will do on every 3rd round (or adjust it if the slope of my hips is slower than than the cinch of my waist so that the increases happen every inch, instead) is to increase as follows: k1, m1, work to 1 st before marker, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, work to 1 st before maker, m1, k1.

This type of shaping will work for the sleeves as well. But in that case, you’ll need to take your initial circumference and your “goal” circumference at the cuff and decide how many stitches you have to subtract or add to get to your goal. Then, knowing that you’ll subtract or add 2 sts per decrease/increase round, figure out the space in which you have to decrease in terms of ROUNDS and then divide the rounds by the number of dec/inc or “shaping”  rnds you have to do to arrive at your nth. Wow. I’m getting too mathematical tonight.

Once we get to the sleeves, I think I will be able to express these ideas more simply!

From Susan: Hope you are all doing well! Have a good weekend.

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