Remember how I cast on for this simple sweater? I was just gonna knit it as written?
I was gonna cast on, and knit merrily along. Really. And, because ribbing is so forgiving, I wasn't really going to do any adaptations to make it fit me well enough to be a good sweater. (You noticed that past tense, didn't you?)
And then, I decided to double check that gauge, because I really do like the fabric better on 9's than I do on 8's. Turns out that means that I like the fabric better with the wrong gauge. Okay, gauge isn't really that hard. It's super simple math to make those changes. So simple I don't even really count it as adapting.
But it turns out that the fit aslo came with a glitch.... The way the sleeves are designed, in order to have the upper arms big enough, the panel across the upper back to be too deep to leave me with a neck-line high enough not to embarass myself (unless, of course, I'm making a tubey-under-bust-corset:
It's modification time.
First up, I need to work out different shaping for the back/sleeves so that it will be narrow enough across the back of my shoulders, and yet wide enough to avoid strangling my arms once it becomes a sleeve.
And then, I'll need to recalculate the number of stitches I'll need for every cast on, and the number of rows for every stretch of knitting, given that I'm using 4.3 sts/inch instead of 5 sts/inch.
Tutorial time, I guess. Or at least, at opportunity to peek over my shoulder while I work this out.
The first thing I'll need to do, so I can get started right away ('cause I want to be KNITTING), is to figure out how wide the panel across the top of my back should be. I already know that my bicep measurement (comfortably) is 12" (which matches the pattern's 13"). But I also know that those same 12" would make the bottom of that band wind up well below the place we need it to be. (I've noticed that on some otherwise gorgeous finished Tubeys on Ravelry others have had that same problem, which led to a weird droopy place on the back - and yes, I just plain stole these images.)
It's a subtle thing, but it would bug me.
Where is that place, you ask? -- well, the schematic is not quite as clear as I'd like, but it seems to me that that line should come down to the point where one would expect armhole shaping to begin in bottom up sweaters (which puts it above the bust, instead of just under it). On the Ravelry images of sweaters that seemed to fit their knitters the best, that's where it wound up -- just an inch or so above where these hit their knitters. For me, that's only 9 1/2" from the top of this band. (Perhaps this is why I wanted to grow up to be 5'7"?)
So... How do I figure out where to put the increases to get me from from that 9 1/2 to the 13" I'll need when we close the sleeves?
First, of course, is to determine how many stitches I'm adding in. In this case, 2 3/4 inches (the amount I'll need to add), multiplied by the number of stitches I'll be getting per inch in my newly beloved gauge (4.3 stitches per inch (rounded)) is 12 stitches.
Then, I'll figure out how fast I want that increase to happen. I'm pretty sure I don't want to just cast on twelve stitches all at once. But I'm also pretty sure I don't want to create a baggy spot at the back of my shoulder (poochy isn't pretty). So, I'll be making a fairly a rapid increase (possibly with a few just up and cast on at the end). I may wind up doing some trial and error stuff here, but I'll start with a plan.
I'm getting 6.6 rows per inch ... which means that the fastest I can pull out those twelve stitches (unless I do some increases mid row), is to take one inch to do it (increasing once at each end of every row for six rows. I've never seen that look pretty. I tend to prefer increasing every other row, which would mean I can get it done in two inches (again, assuming I don't do any mid-row increases). On the other hand ... it occurs to me that mid row increases might be in order, since we're talking about shaping AT the shoulder.
For now, I'm going to cast on for my 9 1/2 inch back panel, and fuss with the numbers for how I want my shoulders/sleeves to work. If I had some sort of cool graphic design tool that lets me DRAW without a mouse, I'd show you. But I don't... so I'll have to show you when I figure it out.