Adjusting pattern smaller -- Need advice on an EXPERIMENT

graficaamyApril 16, 2009

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.


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You are confident with your math skills and I believe you have the right "formula" to do this. I don't have any suggestions to offer you. It sounds like you are on the right track. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 12:38PM
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I agree with Donna. You're definitely on the right track. After all, instructions always say that you are supposed to use whatever needle size will give you the correct gauge because if you don't you'll end up with a finished product that is too large or too small. I knit a lot of baby blankets and most of them call for a size 6 needle and 22 stitches over 4 inches. But with a size 6 needls i get 25 stitches over 4 inches. I have to use a size 8 needle to get the (correct) gauge of 22 stitches. Otherwise, the blankets would be too narrow (it's easy to add extra pattern rows to the length of something).

So, you can either use a smaller needle or you can reduce the total number of stitches per row (just be sure to reduce evenly on both sides of the cable pattern).

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 8:58PM
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First, measure across the bust of an existing tank top that fits the way you like it to fit. That is the measurement you want to go by, not your actual bust measurement. If you still think you need to make the pattern small, the others think you are on the right track, and I am terrible at math, so go for it if you still think you need to after measureing your favorite existing top.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:26AM
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