Making Waves

I have a new pattern available, and it was a lot of fun to write!  Meet the Making Waves Cardigan:

When I first designed this cardigan, I had never knit with Wollmeise Twin before (see the purple cardi below).  Oh.  My.  Bob.  The color is so saturated, and while the yarn feels a bit stiff in the skein, it softens considerably when knit up!  I’m in love.  Now if I could only be awake at 2:15 am EST when Claudia updates their website!  The grey cardigan above is knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light–I love how this base takes the dye as well.

Anyhow, I’d originally thought that this would be a fairly easy design to knit & to write, and in truth, much of it was not difficult to engineer–it’s a top down raglan, and I’ve done so many top-downs before.  With this pattern, however, I wanted to offer a broader range of sizes, and so the grading of the various sizes was my challenge this time.  For example, bust and upper arm measurements do not increase at the same rate when going from a size 30″ bust to a 50″ bust.  While many patterns in the past recommended that upper arm measurements of a sweater be a certain percentage of the bust, other knitters and designers have found that this guideline just doesn’t work for grading a variety of sizes.  One Raveler decided to take an informal poll of bust & upper arm measurements, and published his data in a post on Ravelry.  I’m not a statistician, but there were enough participants in each size to show a definite trend:  Smaller bust sizes had upper arm measurement that were ~37% of the bust, whereas those with busts measuring over 46″ had upper arms measuring to ~30%.  So, what these meant to my pattern grading is that smaller sizes needed some rows that increased only the sleeves but not the bust, whereas the sizes 46″ and above needed some rows that increased only the bust, but not the sleeves.

The ruching itself took a bit of engineering as well, and I had to play around with the edges of it…Just how much garter stitch needed to be at the lower edge of the fronts to keep it from flaring too much?  Did I need a smaller needle for it or should I use the same size?  How do I get the ruched neckline to form a scoopneck rather than a rounder yoke (ans: by doing extra decreases within the ruching where I wanted the scoopneck to curve).  I had to knit,  rip it out, and reknit a few times to get it just right, but I like to think/hope that I made all the mistakes so that folks who knit my patterns don’t have to:)


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marcy
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 22:18:44

    I love this pattern! I’m going to favorite it on Ravelry. I’m not a cardi or a 3/4 sleeve type, but I think it would be equally beautiful as a pullover with long sleeves.


  2. Katinka
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 22:51:35

    Lovely design! It’s such a fresh way to use the ruching detail. 🙂


  3. MerryKarma
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 23:37:49

    Love it!


  4. SarahR
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 00:13:02

    Its gorgeous! I will definitely be knitting this one soon!


  5. StephCat
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 01:26:26

    just gorgeous! love the ruching


  6. marymealittle
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 03:17:06

    Thanks, Everyone! You know, turning it into a pullover is a nice idea–the grey one actually has enough ease that I could fasten it all the way down the front for more of a pullover-look.


  7. yarnstylist
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 01:15:48

    Thanks for sharing what you learned about grading sizes–that was fascinating!

    Congratulations on the beautiful pattern. The ruching is a lovely detail, particularly at the neck.


  8. Gretchen
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 14:39:05

    Wonderful sweater, love the detail work. Hope it is successful


  9. SoKnitpicky
    Apr 27, 2011 @ 00:41:22

    This is such a lovely pattern! It’s so interesting to read about the grading, too.


  10. patati0
    Aug 20, 2012 @ 00:32:32

    how much of the skeins of madeline tosh for size : large or extra large,thank you.


    • marymealittle
      Aug 20, 2012 @ 01:07:19

      Size 48″ bust will take 5 skeins of Tosh Merino Light. I’ve estimated just barely 6 skeins for the size 51″ bust, but you might be able to get away with only 5 skeins since the estimates are intended to be on the generous side. Hope that helps!


  11. Trackback: Something simple and lacy that screams W A I S T y | Diabollical Knits

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