Sorry for the loooong pause in the tale of this sweater. We have been furiously knitting for our book deadlines (more on that soon!) and we have finally come up for a breath of air. Courtney has actually not even touched this poor lonely Canopy Worsted sweater in almost 2 months, and is so excited to have it tagging along with her on the trolley to and from work and sitting with her in the evenings after the baby's in bed. So, if you don't remember what it is, take a peek here. It became very clear that the original goal of being able to wear the sweater at TNNA didn't quite pan out timing-wise, but perhaps it'll get finished up for the knitting Olympics. A girl can dream, can't she?
The next task in line for this sweater was the waist shaping, which is optional of course. The baby size doesn't include it, for obvious reasons as babies more closely resemble a soccer ball than an hourglass. Courtney worked 18 rows of ribbing at the bottom, and then worked 32 rows in pattern to the first set of waist shaping decreases. This point is where you are going to decide where the sweater falls on you at the hip. For Courtney, she measures up from where she wants the sweater to fall to her belly button. This measurement, give or take, is the length to the first waist shaping decrease. Then, she measures the distance from her belly button to the center of her waist. This is the length in which she has to work the decreases. For this sweater, she decided to work only two decrease rows 5 rows apart. Also, the decreases are worked one stitch in from either selvedge, which makes the sweater easier to sew and creates a nicer line along the edge. So, once you have decided where your first decrease row is you will work: K1, SSK, work in pattern to the last 3 sts of the row, K2tog, K1. Why the SSK and K2tog? This makes the decreases slant inwards, towards your middle which--if you were really looking--creates a more slim silhouette. You can work as many decrease rows as you like, but how to decide how many is right for you? Courtney only did two decrease rows, decreasing 4 sts total, or less than 1" decreased for the total circumference. Why? Well, her hip measurement and waist measurement are more close than different (38" hip, 31" waist). If, for instance, your hip measurement was 43" and your waist measurement was 29" you may want to do more decreasing over more rows.
Now, after all the decreases are worked one has to work increases back to either the same number you had, or more or less depending on your body type. You may want to work extra increases to accomodate a large bust or fewer to accommodate a more pear shaped figure. Courtney worked the increases in the same proportion as the decreases and worked them as follows: Inc 1 (Kfb), work in pattern to last 2 sts, Inc 1, K1. The two increase rows, like the two decrease rows, are spaced 5 rows apart. However, after the last decrease row 12 rows were worked straight to the first increase row. Having some extra room between the decreasing and increasing creates a more sloping and elegant curve.
After the increase rows are all worked, it's time to work straight in the pattern to the armhole. Again, shockingly, the number of inches here is up to you, the designer. Courtney is headed to about 5.5" more after the last increase row--but will spend a little time holding it up and checking that measurement. It's all flexible!
Next up...armhole shaping! Stay tuned!