One of my new year’s resolutions is to learn knitting pattern customization. I found a perfect project for a newbie like myself, the Shalom Cardigan by Meghan McFarlane. It is a perfect project because there is a Ravelry thread that guides me throughout the process. I shouldn’t be afraid of modifying patterns, it is just math. After all I am an ex-engineer and now a finance person, damn it.
Anyhow, the yarn suggested in the pattern is a chunky yarn with a gauge of 13 sts/4″, I am using worsted weight yarn with a gauge of 18 sts/4″. So, I am customizing the pattern so I can knit with skinier yarn. My yarn is a recycled from one of my ugliest projects (the neck hole is way too small), here is that disappointing project
and here is my progress with the Shalom Cardigan
I pretty much rewrite the pattern as I go as you can tell from my notes. So far, I am almost done with the yoke increase. The key to modifying the pattern is knowing a few key measurements and use a ratio to figure out the new stitch counts. The ratio between my gauge and the pattern gauge is 18/13 = 1.38 which means, for every 1 stitch in the pattern, I need to knit 1.38 stitch. In other words, take the stitch counts in the pattern and multiply them by 1.38. For example, when the pattern calls to cast on 67 stitches, I need to cast on 67 * 1.38 stitches which is around 92.4 but I round it down to 91 for a reason I am going to explain later
The first section after the cast on is the collar, which is pretty straight forward, garter stitch for 5 rows. After that, the yoke increase begins. The last section of this yoke section is to reach 169 stitches in the pattern or in my case 169 * 1.38 = 234 sts before separating the sleeves. In order to increase my stitches to 234 sts while still follow the increase as instructed, casting on 91 as opposed to 92 or 93 makes more sense (just do the math). This pattern is fairly forgiving, so if I miss one or two stitches, I just increase/decrease as I go along. I haven’t figured out the math for the rest of the pattern. I need some visual to work out the math, so it’s easier to fudge as I go along.
I haven’t started my coffee date dress project yet, I’ve been hooked on some good shows on TV while knitting. Emma, another of Jane Austen’s is on PBS. I am liking it so far, I haven’t watched episode 2 (in my DVR) but the fashion is yummy, watch it online
Right after Emma is Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and The Diary of Anne Frank.
I am also into Doc Martin on hulu.com. Funny comedy about a surgeon looking for a new start as a GP in a small beach town in UK (somewhere in Cornwall)