Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fitting the Knit

One of the things I love about knitting is that I keep learning new things, even after all these years. When I decided to alter the raglan sweater pattern to fit my 'curves' I searched for help on Ravelry. I found a recipe for raglan shaping that made it all become clear to me. It involves math!
Simple math.
If your gauge is 4 stitches per inch, and your widest measurement is 40, then the largest number of stitches you will have on your needles is 4x40=160. Wow. That means that I can measure the hip for knitting bottom up or the neckline for knitting top down and know how many stitches to cast on.
For this sweater, I knit top down, and cast on as follows: The neck needed to be lower than crewneck, so I decided on 21 inches. 21x4=84. Simple!

Then after the ribbing I needed to divide my stitches for the body of the sweater. This is where the new knowledge sets in...For a raglan, one takes the number of stitches and divides by 3.
1/3 goes for the back, 1/3 goes to the front and 1/6 for each sleeve. Or in my case,starting at 84 stitches already on the needles for the neck ribbing, I counted  28 for the front and 28 for the back and 14 for each sleeve. When I begin increasing, I will make 8 new stitches at the dividing markers every other row until I reach the magic number 160, that is: 80 for the front and 80 for the back. (I am not counting the sleeve stitches, which get put on waste yarn and knit later.) That's when I know that I have the number of stitches needed for the body. No measuring needed, or trying on either. Sigh. That makes it so much less stressful to knit, knowing it is going to fit. So, if I wanted a looser fit, I might add an inch worth of stitches or 4 to give me some breathing room. Or if I were young and less busty I might stop short of 160 to make a tighter fit, to emphasize my good points, heh heh. But those days are long gone.

Here's another thing I learned, late in the game. Quality yarn produces a quality garment. It does the work for me. This yarn is merino and silk from Filatura di Crosa, and it has a tight twist, making it very springy and bouyant. It looks like a machine knit it. ha!
Diet Update.
I am still not hungry. I don't miss the sweets, fats or the wine. But it is still early in the game. On the other hand, I have gone down one bra size and one pants size, which is the #1 goal. I have lots of clothes that used to fit and when I had to hike up my jeans several times yesterday I figured it was time to get out the old jeans, packed away under the bed, and try on a pair. This took courage. But I was happy to easily zip them up and now I suddenly have 7 pairs of wearable jeans. Woowoo! But not to get complacent, as these are still three sizes bigger than my target weight. But still...
My other goal is to be more flexible and Jazzercise is helping me there. I touched my toes yesterday!

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  1. Anonymous8:50 AM

    I touched my toes yesterday!

    Way to go! and it is only January.... keep movin' don't you love jazerise.

  2. There are some excellent books on fitting knits. It's a lightbulb moment when you realize the math and the fact that switching needle sizes will increase or decrease sizing. Sometimes, that's all you need to do. I use a larger needle for ribbing as opposed to a smaller one. That's my widest point.

    Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits is for top down, fit as you go, patterns with great learning info -

    Shirley Paden's Knitwear Design Workshop: A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits is VERY thorough. Great resource to have.

    Funny how we know the quality supplies equals quality product ratio for other things - quilting - but we need to learn it again when we switch mediums. I'm now knitting "the good stuff" too. Took a bit to get there.

  3. Tell me you didn't knit that sweater in the last couple of days! You must knit like the wind.

  4. Marina12:06 PM

    Congratulations on the weight loss!It is a great incentive to be able to wear smaller undies and jeans! Love the sweater too! You sure knit fast!

  5. Woohoo! Love, love, love the purple sweater. Looks to be a little flare in the cuffs- love that feminine touch.
    Ok, as for the diet, I need a few ideas on what to eat in between meals. My blood sugar drops if I don't eat every 3 hours.
    Cathy B

  6. Well, my brain revolted when I read the knitting directions, but it's that time of day for me. I'll read again when I'm more focus. It does sound quite straight forward.
    Congrats on the weight loss!

  7. I am trying your diet. Very easy to go with. You didn't say what amount of vegies to have. I assumed that it doesn't matter seeing as how they don't have calories or fat. I don't know about sizes, but I went from OMG to well, it's working....

  8. You motivated me to get serious about the diet too Melody, thank you. Glad you are getting such great success. I need to get into the exercise now... Thanks for the encouragement

  9. Absolutely gorgeous!!!

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