Making It Fit: Waist Shaping for the Farmer’s Market Cardi
Yes, that's a llama. Her name is High Hope, and she likes humans. (I think she thinks we're funny looking.) She and her sisters kindly appear on my blog this week in order to amuse and distract you from the fact that no actual sweater was photographed in the creation of this blog. My camera battery is dead, and the charger and the spare battery are winging their way towards me as we speak. I left both at my parents' home over the holidays. (What can I say. Bad blogger. At least I have cute llama photos from my vacation to show you. Thank you to Topliff's Tara Bed & Breakfast & Llama Farm, where Nicholas took me for a holiday surprise.)
And Now, For The Knitting
I'm knitting the Farmer's Market Cardigan, and it's getting to the juicy bits. We did Intro to Steeking Sandi's Way last week; and as promised, it's time to Face The Waist this time.
I always worry that this part, the waist shaping part with numbers, is going to be boring for you folks. The truth is, I love crunching the numbers for myself; it feels like I'm being a Real Grownup Knitter and tailoring the sweater to fit myself instead of letting the sweater fit the generic table of standard measurements designers have to use. How do you feel about waist shaping? Love it? Hate it?
Adjusting the waist shaping to fit my own curves
The story so far is here, in case you want to refresh your memory. Summary: As I completed 3" of 226 stitches at the bottom edge of the cardi, I discovered a flaw in my math that meant I now had 4" of ease rather than the 3" of ease I wanted. ("Bother," as Pooh would say. "Bother.")
After several deep breaths, I realized I did not have the spiritual fortitude required to rip out that much knitting. However, I did have the knitterly fortitude to do a little extra math. The sweater pattern has waist shaping–decreases and increases meant to create (at least the illusion of) curves. Calculator in hand, I found that my "whoopsie" could be pretty easily conquered via the simple trick of starting the decreases for the waist a little early….as in….saaaayyy…..now. (No time like the present.)
This meant I had to go "off-road" in the instructions a bit. Instead of waiting until I had 6.5" of stockinette before beginning the waist shaping (as the instructions, uh, instruct), I jumped right in and did a decrease round just where I was, at 3". Then, I went back and re-worked the math for my waist shaping "schedule," incorporating my gauge and the extra set of decreases.
Here are the three main questions I need answers to:
- How many stitches do I need to decrease overall?
- How many decrease rounds do I work?
- How often do I work the decrease rounds?
I worked those numbers out (math is in the sidebar), wrote out the row-by-row decrease instructions in my notebook, put on my audiobooks, and started churning out rounds of steeked stockinette.
At Rnd 50, I put the entire shebang onto waste yarn and tried it on over my hips. (Who says that you can't try on sweaters knitted bottom up? Silly. Of course you can.) There still seemed to be a lot of extra ease, so I added another additional set of decreases.
I'm so glad there are no Knitting Police to frown over how I am altering this on the fly. Because if there were, all of you would all be visiting me in jail. (And bringing me nice brownies, I hope. With nice files baked in. Thank you, you are all so thoughtful.)
I'm well into the bust increases. And that means that the armholes and neck shaping are next. Will I steek the neck opening? How about the armholes?
Ah, but that would be telling. You'll have to check in next time.
Till then, I hope you find joy on the needles this cold winter afternoon.
Have a creative waist shaping tip? Don't be shy; leave a comment and share it with us!
Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. You can find her blogging here on Knitting Daily every Thursday. Want more? Visit Sandi's personal blog, wiseheart knits. (There's more about my visit to the llama farm B&B there as well.)