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!


wow...i haven't even BEGUN to adapt patterns, really... the yarn looks nice for the new sweater. hope you get it all figured out!

Oh yes, keeping the pattern going while (or despite) waist and armhole and neckband shaping is always very tricky, especially when one pattern repeat is pretty big, like 16 stitches! I'm glad you noticed what was happening, and I hope you're able to come up with a clever solution!

hey colleen,

i needed a little downtime at work and decided to see if i could figure out a solution for you. i charted out the cable because i'm much better at seeing things once they're charted.

i also tried to figure out which size you're making based on your circles and i think you're making a large.

once you've done the waist shaping you'll have 4 less stitches (2 from each side). at that point, when you hit a Row 13 row you'll:

K2, P2, do the 6 stitch cable, P2, K2, and then follow the full repeat until you hit the end.

On Row 25 you'll:

*do the 6 stitch cable, P2* until 6 stitches remain, and then end with a final 6 stitch cable.

I think that should do it (unless I'm missing something). I know Marta has said she'd be offline for a while so if you need more help let me know.

For some reason it's always much nicer to fix other people's knitting problems ;)

I have always understood that if a pattern indicates that the repeat is 16 +2 that means 16, 32, etc, plus 2 overall rather than 18, 34. etc.

I haven't looked closely enough to see if that is useful

and an all over 2 x 2 rib in a reasonably elastic yarn probably doesnt need waist shaping. As EZ says - not if you want to preserve your dignity .

Good Luck.


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