Monday, February 27, 2006

Mermaid pattern alteration

Hello All!

First, thanks to Amy for the superbly detailed Mermaid spreadsheet and for her generosity in sharing it with us all.

I just purchased Mermaid #2 and have been avidly reading all your comments, hoping to learn from your experiences and to build up some confidence before starting. I'm a relatively new knitter, although I have sewn since I was a teen, so have some idea of garment construction. My question regarding the pattern has to do with lengthening it. I intend to knit the Small size (to fit 33" chest and 25" waist), but since I am long-waisted I would like the jacket to have a finished length of 25" (which happens to be the length of the Medium; the Small comes to 23 3/4" according to the pattern specifications). My initial thought was to lengthen the bottom by knitting extra stitches near the hem, but Amy pointed out that that could result in extra flaring. So now I am thinking that to keep things from getting too complicated, I would knit the Small and then try to gain the extra 1-2 inches in length during blocking. Does anyone know if this is a reasonable approach? The other idea, if I understand how this garment is knit, would be to cast on the 181 stitches as for the Medium (vs. 171 for Small), but to knit all the rows per the Small instructions and to see to it that the extra 10 stitches were "placed" in the waist area, not affecting the Small instructions for any of the gussett shaping. Am I making sense here? I guess what I am saying is that I would knit the Small, but cast on as for the Medium to increase the length only. I would appreciate your opinions and feedback on this.

Many thanks,


Mari said...

You could also up the needle size by one and instead of 6.25 stitches to the inch aim for 6/inch. I'm 6' and that gave me the little bit of extra I was looking for in the length. I did the medium finish for the chest, and went from a 25" to about a 26-1/2".

amy! said...

I think that upping the needle size would also increase the row gauge and thus the size around the body.

debra said...

Thanks Mari and Amy. I'll swatch with size 3 & 4 needles and see how it affects both stitch and row gauge. Do either of you see any problem with casting on 181 stitches and then proceeding with all directions according to the Small? I would just have to be aware to start gussets at the appropriate places so that the added 10 stitches are "placed" in the center (waist area) of the garment and do not otherwise affect the gussets.

Lauren said...

Hi Debra,
I'm just starting my Mermaid and had the same thought - to knit the size small but cast on 181 for the Medium so as to increase the length.
Did you try this and how is it going? (I'm 5'8", 35 1/2" chest, 26 1/2" waist........ maybe I should just make the Medium). Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.