I finally came clean with myself and admitted that I actually have no precise idea how big the bottom edge my next two projects will be. Oh, I swatched with care, and I did the math (over and over), and I’ve measured each about 50 times, but until I knit further, and possibly not until I block the finished piece, I won’t be sure.
The schematic for Thora shows only the width for the part of the sweater over the cable godet.
That is about 40 inches for me, and it is fine, considering that this is a jacket-style sweater that will be worn over a shirt and slacks or a skirt. But the bottom edge looks huge when knit, but not so huge when I put it up against my body.
The edges of the godet form a kind of pleat—which is very deftly accomplished by the combination of the 2k border and the decreases at the sides of the Viking cable. That cable is decreased away at the waist.
Although this is an Elsebeth Lavold pattern, it was published in Knitter’s Magazine, Fall 1999 (and reprinted in Arans and Celtics), and so it does have a schematic. Lavold’s Designer Book I, which has the pattern I used for Liv, has no schematics, and that was a source of frustration for me. If I assume that the Thora schematic is drawn to scale, then the size of the bottom edge on my sweater is about right. So for now, I’m knitting on assuming things will go right. I know that is a dangerous idea.
I cast on for my Cherry Tree Hill Rustic Silk sweater, and it also seems big as I knit each of the 233-stitch rows. Here, I have no one to blame but myself because I am designing it. The variegated yarn is very busy, and it is only suitable for something with very simple lines. I’ve planned a Chanel-style shape with some minor decreasing at the sides, just to reduce the bulk. Linen stitch breaks up the colors and gives the knitted fabric a hopsack texture. When I blocked it out, it softened up and became drapy. But when knit it is stiff, and impossible to measure accurately. Plus I haven’t gotten that far:
I am hoping this will be about 43 inches around the hip—also somewhat large because I will wear it over jeans for the most part. I am knitting this in one piece to avoid breaking the color at side seams. There will be no buttons or button band, but just a simple row of single crochet to finish the edges, so this represents the entire hip circumference. I’m using a 40-inch circular (the KnitPicks Harmony interchangeables), and when I spread the bottom edge out, it looks about right. But again, not really exact enough for me to know for sure unless I knit on, and that is just what I’m doing.