I’ve been furiously knitting the sleeves of Dutchess by Cheryl Burke while postponing the beginning of the body. With sweater knitting comes massive amount of research regarding fit, modifications and finishing.
You see, I’m sporting a pear shape. My pear shape means my bust is one size larger, and my hips are two sizes larger than my waist. Pants don’t fit, button down shirts don’t fit, sweaters don’t fit. The magic of knitting is that you can knit something with exactly your measurements. That, of course requires some work. Having accurate measurements of your body is step number one. Though I’ve written down mine (and verify them before starting any garment project), I prefer to keep them on the Customfit website. It’s accessible anywhere and everywhere.
Step two is swatching, and swatch, I did! Three, just in case. Even one stitch off has the potential to make several inches difference when it comes to sweater making.
Then come the modifications. Though I’ve done plenty of research, math and study, one line from Knit.fm episode 10 – Modifying a Pattern really stuck with me: You’re fine just the way you are. It’s the knitting that needs to change it’s shape, not you.
I’d been trying to convince myself that ribbing is stretchy enough to make up the hip-to-waist size difference. The Truth is, it is. The Truth also states that ribbing is only 2.5 inches tall. The rest is miles of less stretchy stockinette. I realized the truth was telling me that this sweater was doomed to share space with the rest of the sweaters at the bottom of a bin in the back of my closet.
I accepted The Truth. I printed out some graph paper, and set to work figuring out the pattern instructions I was going to need to start at my hip size, and decrease two sizes down to my waist. It took all of 10 minutes to try a few combinations of decreases.
Granted, all this preparation has taken me a few days, but what is a few extra days when compared to years of sweater enjoyment?