We have a problem.
After I determined that I could get the correct gauge, and that I liked the way that the yarn looked when knit at that gauge, I cast on for Madeleine. I altered Marta's instructions for the waist shaping, and as I knit along, I finally reached the thirteenth row, where the cabling pattern was set.
Hmm, I thought. This doesn't seem right. The last cable doesn't end at the same point where the first began.
Sure enough, the ribbing pattern wasn't centered across the back. I blamed it on my revised waist shaping, ripped it back, and began to work the pattern as written (I know, I know). Once, again I reached the magic row, and began to cable.
Once again, the ribbing pattern wasn't centered across the back. What's a knitter to do? This knitter carefully put her needles down on the knitting chair and went to bed. Perhaps sleep would office a solution.
It did not. But a clear head drew my attention to the pattern. I remembered that when I read the pattern that numbers didn't make any sense to me.
The ribbing pattern is knit in multiples of 16, plus 2 stitches. That means one pattern repeat would have 18 stitches, two 34, etc. Let me check the cast on stitches against that criterion.
Small: 98 stitches. Check!
Medium and large: both 114 stitches. Check!
But wait! Once I started to decrease, I didn't have enough stitches for the pattern to work. In order to keep the correct number of stitches for the cabled ribbing pattern, I would need to decrease eight stitches on each side within 13 rows.
There are two solutions that came to mind. At first, I though that I could simply leave out eight stitches on each side of the cabled-ribbing count. That would work. Then I realized that an all-over rib probably doesn't need any waist shaping. If the swatch was any indication, this tank will have a lot of stretch.
I dashed off an email to Marta, to see how she achieved the shaping and kept the stitch pattern correct without keeping the necessary number of stitches.
In other news, stay tuned for a Venus modeling shot tomorrow!