Here are some more thoughts on customizing different parts of the sweater. If you’d like to shorten the sleeves on your sweater to make them 3/4 length, figure out how long you’d like your sleeve to be, and start your sweater at that point in the directions. For example, if you’re supposed to cast on 46 stitches, and you work ribbing for 2″, and then increase 2 stitches every inch, and you’d like to shorten your sleeves by 6″, then you could cast on the original number of stitches – 46 + (2 sts per inch x 4″) = 54 sts. Cast on 54, and then work the increases every inch as it’s written in the pattern.
P.S. This only applies to sleeves that are knit from the cuff, for top down just knit until the sleeve is long enough.
Adding stitches to the bust
If you are busty than you might be concerned that the short row bust darts in the pattern won’t be enough to make sure that your sweater doesn’t gape. In this case just increase one stitch on either side of the front at the bust. With a gauge of 5 sts per inch if you increase a total of 6 sts (3 on either side) you’ll be adding just over an extra inch of fabric to your bust area.
It doesn’t really matter where you are adding length the process is the same. Whether you’re increasing the length of the torso, armhole, or sleeve it’s all very easy with this pattern! Look for a portion of the pattern that says work to X”, this is where you can easily add length. If you did your homework you already know where you need to add length to YOUR sweater.
If you’d like to add length below the waist, to the hip area, then work extra rows before the waist shaping. If you have a long torso then you can add a few extra stitches before, in the middle of, and after the waist shaping before you attach the sleeves.
If you have long arms you can either work the ribbing for a longer portion, follow directions for a larger sleeve size, or just knit to the desired length after you’ve worked all the decreases.
If you want to lengthen the armhole then just work extra rows just after attaching the sleeves, before the decreases start for the yoke.
For all of these options you will want to measure yourself and compare to the schematic, so you know how many inches you want to add. For all of these you’ll also just keep repeating the owl pattern on the back, as you’ve established in the previous rows.
Whether you are increasing stitches in the bust, or working a larger sleeve, you may need to increase the number of stitches in the pattern. When working the yoke section you’ll have more stitches than the pattern calls for. There are two ways to compensate for this. The first option is to decrease those extra stitches out when you initially start decreasing for the neckline, so if you added an extra 4 stitches to either side of your cardigan for extra room in the bust you’d need 4 extra decreases in the first decrease row of the yoke. With this option once you do the initial compensation you can follow the rest of the yoke directions as written. If you had to increase a lot of stitches however, like if you worked a larger sleeve and added stitches for the bust, it might not be possible to decrease all the additional stitches in the first decrease row. In this case add a few decreases each row until you have the same number of stitches as the pattern. This means your stitch count will be off for several rows, but as long as both sides of the cardigan and symmetrical you should be ok!
Have more questions? Feel free to leave me a comment here, or join the Ginny’s Cardigan KAL in the Mari Knits Ravelry Group.