A while ago I was talking to some colleagues about a canteen I hadn’t tried out. They sang its praises in two-part harmony.
“It’s really good,” said one. “The food’s really wholesome.”
“And huge portions,” said the other.
“Yes… and it’s very… tasty.”
“Lots of, um, lentils. And carrot salad. But delicious, really.”
After a few bars in this strain, they slipped into a minor key.
“It’s just that…”
“I get to a point where I think: dear god, am I still eating this?”
“And about four o’clock, I absolutely have to have some chocolate cake.”
Which is pretty much how I feel about the wedding shrug.
It is, of course, very beautiful. The colours. The halo. The softness. But oh my, it does go on rather.* And my thoughts are turning towards something small and treat-y for when it’s done. Probably a cashmere scarf.
Well, anyway. I get on a plane tomorrow afternoon. Clearly, the shrug will not be done. I’ll finish it over the weekend… I really hope.
Meanwhile, in between drudging through mile upon mile of kidsilk lace, I have washed the denim jacket. And hear the choir of angels sing: it FITS!
I know, you want a picture. I tried, actually. But consider for a moment. You know what my pictures are generally like even when I’m using a decent camera and photographing something not on me. Now imagine how they came out using my cameraphone and self-timer. (Or Kinnear** shots. Both equally bad, except the Kinnear versions had even more unattractive angles on my belly and boobs.) Don’t worry – there will be pictures; you’ll just have to wait till I, and my camera-wielding Armin, get back from holiday.
And of course, even more than pictures you – at least one of you – want detailed notes on adjusting this pattern for differing row gauge.
Okay. What you have to understand here is that… even though I know better… even though I hardly ever follow patterns, so when I do, I really should make the effort to follow them carefully, because I don’t have enough experience with fudging them to be sure I can make it work… I, um, I’m sort of lazy. Or daring. Let’s call it daring, that’s much sexier.
I didn’t adjust for row gauge.
I sort of meant to. I said to myself, Myself, you should do the maths. Oh, Myself said. But 26 rows is *almost* 28… I’m sure it will be fine. I like a long jersey. Myself, I said sternly, it is *not* almost 28. That sort of carelessness is going to come back and bite you. Make an effort! But Myself waved this aside airily. It’ll be fine, Myself said. I’ll just drop a row here and there when it doesn’t look like it’ll be missed. That’ll sort it right out.
Now, if there were any justice in the knitting world, I’d be wearing a potato sack. Sadly, I’m not. It really does fit. The waist is maybe a *tiny* bit low – at most half an inch. The sleeves are a smidge long, but go back to that Rowan picture: doesn’t it look like she’s folded the cuffs back? Does to me. That’s the pattern’s fault, and I’m fine with it.
But a large part of the reason why this worked – and it really shouldn’t have, and I’m not sure I can argue that I meant this all along – is that I have a pretty long torso, and a Capacious Bosom, and waists generally ride stupidly high on me. If you are more regularly proportioned, you might want to try a bit harder than I did.
And if I were regularly proportioned, and not in a terminal hurry to just get on and knit the damn thing, here’s how I’d be looking to do it.
The shaping of the raglan parts – both sleeve and body, but especially sleeve – is surprisingly complex. And even with all the extra length I should have up there, the armhole isn’t particularly deep. At all. (Again, see photo; it’s a very close fit.) So I wouldn’t suggest adapting this section, unless your gauge is really dramatically off, in which case I think you have bigger problems and should maybe knit a scarf instead.
The important part is just to place the waist correctly – which shouldn’t be too hard but will of course require a little maths. You’ll need to:
1. Measure your body carefully from waist to armhole
2. Carefully read the instructions for the back from armhole to shoulder and add up all the rows needed to decrease to X, then Y, then Z, etc
3. Multiply that by your actual row gauge to get the actual depth of the final armscye
4. Subtract that measurement from the final length
5. Subtract your waist-to-armhole measurement from that hem-to-armhole measurement
6. Check the pattern for the number of stitches you need to decrease, then increase, for your particular size
7. Do the maths for those two sections. Remember to accommodate 8 rows of ribbed hem,*** and a short straight section at the waist.
I hope that made sense. It’s after midnight, I have had Some Wine (hi ORK!), and I’m getting on a plane tomorrow. I really am not too sure. If it’s bollocks, please make amendments (the polite word for red ink all over the damn page) in the comments box, for benefit of other readers. Thank yoooooo… and good night!
* That stitch pattern is effectively just two alternativing right-side rows, even if those rows are staggered. Dull? Does not begin to describe. But pretty. Must remember the pretty…
** A Harlotism. Scroll down to 2 August.
*** I used only 7 rows of ribbing, because (a) I use a long-tail cast-on, which means I like to start with a WS row, otherwise my RS starts off looking bumpy, and (b) dude! Weren’t you listening? I didn’t get row gauge!****
**** In other words, I don’t like ribbing, and leave off as soon as I can get away with.