Every so often, my knitting takes a wrong turn and I end up in the not-so-enviable position of having to figure out how to fix it. When this does happen, it is almost invariably due to knitter-error, rather then a mistake in the pattern. To whit, my current knitting dilemma:
This is the finished body of my Insight Pullover, designed by Kate Heppell. The pattern is fabulous, and I've been enjoying the colorwork pattern immensely. However, unlike Alli's Gauge Goggles, which we discussed on a recent podcast, clearly I have been investing in a stunning pair of Realistic Body Shape Googles, through which I am far more curvaceous and shapely then in reality. The problem is this: the pattern is written for someone whose bust and hip measurements are both larger then their waist measurements. Not too surprisingly, actually, as this is a pattern written for a women's sweater, and women, as a general group, tend to be shaped that way.
Tend being the operative word in that previous sentence. And while I have a waist that is smaller then my bust and hips, it's not all that different then my bust. So a sweater with an outline like this:
does not work so well with a body shaped like this (i.e. mine):
There is way too much fabric around my bust on this sweater. Waaaaay to much. I knit the size that would fit my full bust measurement, but upon reflection, I should really have gone with one size down, which would be closer to my upper bust measurement.
This brings up a tricky point in garment sizing: when looking at a pattern and deciding what size to make, how do you know where is the right place to measure to get the proper fit from your finished sweater? Lots of things come in to play here - ease, fabric, shape of the armholes and sleeves. For this sweater, which is meant to be very close fitting, I decided to do the slightly larger size, thinking that the stranded colorwork would be a bit less stretchy then a fabric worked in a single color. It is less elastic, but as I am not exactly amply supplied in boobage, it turns out I don't really need that extra stretch. It also turns out that my gauge is very slightly larger then that given for the pattern: I'm getting 22.5 sts/10 cm instead of 23 sts. I haven't blocked the body yet, so my gauge might end up being spot on, but over the body of the sweater, that extra 0.5 stitch means I've got an extra 2.5 cm around the chest.
In any event, my dilemma is thus: what do I do?
Choice A: rip out the entire thing and start over again one size smaller.
Choice B: rip out back to the waist increases and increase up the number of stitches for the smaller size, which should fit me better around the bust, but would still leave room in the areas where I am more amply supplied with heft (i.e. the back forty, as the Knitmore Girls like to call it).
What do you say? I was initially leaning towards B, if only because the thought of starting over makes me want to cry hot tears of woe and despair. Even though I am loving the colorwork. Although now that I've tried it on again, I am thinking that maybe it's a bit too loose through the hips too?
Aaaargh! And sadly, this is only the first of two sweaters I have to MacGyver into fitting. Woe, misery and woe.