My yarn has arrived for the Ginny’s Cardigan, and although I’m dying to get started and cast on I have a ton of deadline knitting to do that are looming over me, so I’m hoping to get those done before the August 10th start date.
In the meantime I’ve been getting some questions about how to choose what size to knit, and what to do if your row gauge is off.
What if your row gauge is off?
As I mentioned in my last post if your row gauge is off the first thing you should do is block your swatch. A lot of yarns bloom and grow a bit, and thanks to gravity the chances are that your knitting is going to tend to grow more vertically than horizontally. If it’s still off it might be good to figure out how much it’s off by. The row gauge recommended in the pattern is 26 rows = 4″, or 6.5 rows per inch. If you’re getting 28 rows in 4″ that equals 7 rows per inch. If the body of your sweater, from the underarm to the hem is supposed to be 14″, than that should equal 91 rows, but if you’re row gauge is 7 rows per inch instead of 6.5 than you’ll reach 14″ in 98 rows. In the body section of the sweater this doesn’t matter as much, because you will often measure until the body is at the prescribed length, and the same is true with the sleeves. Where it does get tricky is in the armhole and the yoke. If you continue to swatch and swatch, and can’t get both stitch and row gauge, you can always do what I just did above to see how short (or long) you are running, and compensate by adding extra (or omitting) rows in the pattern. So for my example if my armhole is supposed to be 7″ deep, and I’m getting 7 rows per inch instead of 6.5, so for my pattern I should have about 45-46 rows, but instead I’ll need 49 rows to get to 7″, so in this case I would need to add an extra 3-4 rows in the yoke/armhole section to make sure my armhole is deep enough.
What size should I pick?
Amy Herzog did a fantastic post last week about how to choose your size, and I’d like to provide a little more information about this specific to this sweater. This sweater includes short rows that are customized by your cup size, which is great for getting the perfect fit. One thing that’s different about this sweater from Amy’s examples is that this is a cardigan. Generally with a cardigan I will go with about 1″ of positive ease for a fitted look, just because I don’t want any stress on the bust, because that will cause your sweater to gape at the bust, making you look like the Incredible Hulk busting out of his clothes…not very flattering if you ask me. If you like a looser fit cardigan I would suggest choosing a size that is 2-3″ larger than your full bust measurement. Another important note about this pattern, the schematic doesn’t show the button band, it’s the measurement of the sweater body. If after knitting your sweater you notice it’s a little small you can give yourself a little extra room by extending the button band.
Feel free to let me know if you have any more questions!