Adjusting pattern smaller -- Need advice on an EXPERIMENT
I am a new knitter on my 2nd garment project. I have a pattern for a tank top with single center front cable. PROBLEM IS: Smallest size of pattern is too big for me in width. The chest measurement is 38" and I should have about 33 or 34 inches.
I know it is tricky, but I am good with math and figuring out 3-dimensional clothing issues (good seamstress, etc). I want to try to do the following:
1) Use a yarn / needle combo with different guage to reduce the size overall. Specifically, the pattern calls for 16 stitches per 4 inch of stockinette. If I make a swatch that's only 3.5 inches per the same 16 stitches, and follow the instructions as written for stitches, then the whole project would be smaller in width by a half inch every four inches across.
2) I know this will effect also the length, and I can figure out by how much and add rows at the bottom without messing up the cable pattern.
Can anyone give me some suggestions and/or moral support in this experiment? Everyone I talk to says it's a bad idea, but I don't see why it shouldn't work, if I figure out the math correctly at the start. The top of the piece is very open, and to make it narrower across both chest and shoulders will be exactly what I need.