Next step: I convert my schematic to show stitch and row counts rather than inches. I multiply the width measurements by the stitch gauge of 6, and the row measurements by the row gauge of 7.5. Note that I rounded up the bust stitch count by one stitch to get an even number.
So, here is my game plan:
- Cast on 432 stitches
- Knit 15 rows of ribbing
- Start the decreases and decrease 56 stitches over 109 rows (I got this number by I subtracting 376 from 432 to get 56 stitches)
- Knit 15 rows of stockinette
- Divide for the underarms and go back to following the pattern for the largest size
Now let's figure out where those decreases should go. We essentially are creating a concave quadrilateral (just had to throw that in to make it sound much more complicated than is necessary!)
The best choice is to spread the decreases over four wedges and to place these wedges a third of the way in from the side seams. (Some knitters prefer to put the decreases a quarter of the way in from the sides instead.) I refer to these as princess darts because they resemble princess-seamed shaping in sewing.
So, to put these darts in one-third of the way from the sides, I do the following math:
- Total width of garment: 72 inches
- Half width of garment: 36 inches
- Half width of garment divided by 3 (or times 33%): 12 inches
I would insert my darts 12 inches in from each side seam on both the front and the back, or 72 stitches from each side (stitch gauge of 6 times 12 inches = 72 stitches).
With princess darts, you get a terrific fit - or at least I do. I used this shaping for both my Under Toad and the Carnation Pink and got a whole lot closer to my optimal sweater shape.
Okay, so now what do we do? Calculate the decreases. And that's just what we'll talk about next time: MORE MATH. Plus a bunch of online or app calculators that can run the numbers for you, thank goodness.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!