Thursday, September 27, 2007

A small problem.

As you may recall, I am knitting a sweater for a 7-14 year old Afghani child. That's a pretty big range, so I didn't worry about gauge or fitting or anything. I just picked out some yarn and a stitch pattern and cast on what seemed like "enough" stitches. I was wrong.

Here is the sweater body being modelled by my almost-four year old daughter. (It's a tube without armholes, so she can't put it on.) I don't care how skinny those Afghani kids are, this isn't going to work.

Now of course I noticed almost immediately that it was pretty small, but I kept on knitting while I wondered how small was too small, and by the time I worked that one out, I had gone too far to think of ripping it back. So then I had quite a while more to think about how I was going to deal with the problem.

First I thought I'd just make a little sweater and send it. But that seemed like giving up, and I thought of some cold 8 year old shivering in the brutal Afghani winter (cue Dr. Zhivago theme) and I just couldn't do it.

So I decided to slice it up the sides -- that's why I didn't bother with armholes -- and insert these:

Basically I'm making a square set-in sleeve by widening the body under the armholes instead of by decreasing the body width at the armholes.

There was one hitch:

Because I hadn't planned on cutting this sweater open, the end of round was not in a convenient place. (A convenient place is the middle of your cutting lines, so that you have solid fabric on each side.) So I sewed it one stitch over (after darning in the ends) and sewed it twice; it seems like it will hold well enough.

Here are the front and back, separated, and one of the side inserts. I'm sewing those in now. They're live at the top so I can make them longer or shorter as seems appropriate.

Looking at Charlotte, I wonder -- is that sweater too short? It's 13" (33 cm) which I thought was pretty good since my measurement chart gives armhole depth and armhole to waist both as 5 1/2" for a size 8. I picked size 8 because that has a cross-shoulder width that approximates the size of this sweater. So then I figured this would give me shoulder to natural waist plus a couple of inches of ribbing.

I could make it longer by adding a little at the shoulder but then the neck would dip down pretty far. It's already 3" deep because I wanted to make sure it would go over someone's head easily. Should I add a little at the shoulder? What do you think?

Oh, and while I've been knitting this sweater I've also been reading Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top Down. What a great book! I can't believe I've never read it before. I had no idea how much it covered. I can't wait to knit something -- anything, really -- from the top down. Except of course that I'm busy knitting from the body up and then cutting it into pieces.


Caroline M said...

I'm seriously impressed. Me, I just cut up socks and you are doing whole sweaters. I would have made the tube into a bag and started again.

-R- said...

Oh my gosh, that looks so complicated. I love the pattern of the colors though, and I'm sure it will turn out great.