As of 10am this morning I was still the only one in my office. For a while I wondered if I had missed the take-Friday-off-it's-summer memo.
My knitting, however, is most definitely not taking the summer off. It keeps me hopping. Fair warning: I'm about to delve into a technical discussion that involves knitting math. If this is too much for you (and, hey, I don't blame you if it is) then just click on over to another knitting blog. You have every excuse not to keep reading.
So, one of the things that I like about the Child's Placket Neck Sweater from LMKG is that it's an easy pattern to modify. And you know if there's one thing that Subway Knitter likes doing, it's modifying patterns.
Or I should say that I'm not afraid of doing it. I sometimes don't enjoy the process, but I enjoy bossing around a pattern so that I does what I need it to do.
In this case I needed the pattern to accommodate a different yarn. The yarn that I'm using has a very similar stitch gauge (4.75 sts/in instead of the called-for 4.25 sts/in) to, but a hugely different row gauge (5.25 rows/in instead of the pattern's 8 rows/in) than the Lorna's for which the pattern was designed. Normally, if the stitch gauge is just a wee off, I'll mostly fudge the adjustments. I'll double check the number of cast-on stitches or change the overall amount of decreased or increased stitches. But if the instructions say to bind off three stitches, I'm not going to bother to worry about the fact that, at my gauge, I should be binding off 3.35 stitches. That's not enough of a difference to make a difference (and it goes without saying that one cannot bind off .35ths of a stitch).
But, the significant difference in row gauge and a slight difference in stitch gauge meant that not only would I need to adjust the number of decreased stitches in the shoulder shaping (125 stitches decreased instead of 112) but also that the larger number of decreased stitches would need to be spaced within fewer rows (15 decrease rows in 17 overall rows instead of 14 decrease rows within 26 overall rows).
Is your head spinning yet? Mine certainly was at this point. Furthermore, because these are raglan decreases they need to happen in quantities of 4, 8, 12, or 16 (email me privately if you don't understand why--but to briefly explain: what happens at one raglan needs to happen at all four). Let's think. The pattern decreases eight stitches at a time. 15 x 8 = 120. That's not quite enough stitches for me. How could I add four more decreases to get it to 124? Let's just forget about that extra stitch, 124 or 125, it won't make a huge difference at this gauge.
What if I did a double decrease on one side of each of the the raglan lines in one of the decrease rows? Ha! That'll work. I decided to do it on the first row. So, because four of the decreases are double decreases (and decrease two stitches instead of one), I decreased 12 stitches in that one row instead of only 8. 14 x 8 = 112, 112 + 12 = 124.
Still with me? Good, now follow these instructions: go mix yourself a nice mojito, sit on a beach chair, and relax. It's summer.