Sweater makes a U-turn

So, uh, I’m halfway down the arm of my Stitch Diva bodice and I notice the arm is flaring kinda dramatically even though I’m following the pattern, so I decide to try it on. And, uh … well.

The shoulders and bust had fit just fine the last time I tried it on, so I had continued with the lace band around the middle in a finer yarn. So far, so good. Right down to the bottom of the bra band, everything went wonderfully smoothly and fit like a dream. And then I had resumed with the Cash Iroha at the midriff and forged ahead.

Cash Iroha? Not the same as the silk yarn called for in the pattern. It’s thicker and stretchier and less drapey. All this went well for me around the shoulders and the tops of the arm, where I got a really beautiful and pucker-free fit, and now I’m at the part where the loose fabric is supposed to fall in an appealing wash of airy fabric around my arms and waist and it’s sort of … not.

Instead, the arms grow straight out from my elbows, and the body? Not so hot. I’m getting a nice tight fit around the ribs and then it sort of goes all stupid. It’s like a giant, baggy ruffle: think a sloppy parody of a 1910 Gibson Girl fashion plate, all corseted waist and giant leg-of-mutton lower silhouette. The thing angles out from my body in a gentle cone shape.

Stitch Diva bodice schematicI’m thinking part of the problem is probably not a popular one to complain about: not enough hourglass goin’ on in the pattern. I mean really, who wants to hear someone saying “Oooh, poor me, I can’t fit my giant breasts into a sweater that fits the rest of my torso”? But it’s my blog, my sweater and my bust, so I can do whatever the hell I want with them.

So: The top fits my (not small) bust pretty well (maybe a little on the small side) and the hip measurement has an extra seven inches. When I checked out the pattern schematic, I noticed that, duh, there’s no decreasing below the bust. It jumps right into the lace panel and then flares out at the waist, and that’s why everything literally goes all pear-shaped.

Simple BodiceThe model in the photo? Skinny. Not so much in the way of breasts. She’s got just enough to gently pull the sides of the V-neck wide enough to get a pleasant view of her sternum. That’s what I like. (Not shockingly, the model is built very much like the pattern designer, Stefanie Japel, whom I like and am not gonna dis. Even though I really, really want to right now.)

Now, on me, not so skinny with a dramatic swell of junk up front but less corresponding increase in the hips-and-waist department, that V-neck just ain’t enough. If I picked a size by waist and hip measurements instead of the bust and worked it as written, the edges of the V-neck would land only halfway between my armpits and my nipples. And while I pride myself on trashiness, I’m not the kind of trash who parades the girls around in sloppy skankwear. I like my skankwear classy.

I guess I should’ve realized the schematic would hold all the answers, but the pattern specifically said to pay attention to the bust measurement. It didn’t mention anything about judicious increasing to accommodate my inspiring dimensions. And while that’s forehead-slappingly obvious to everyone else, remember — it’s my first time making a sweater, and I genuinely forgot the scrawny sweetie in the photo isn’t built anything like me.

So … more reknitting. I get to rip out a foot of knitting and do a bunch of decreasing where the Cash Iroha resumes. I think I’ll have to decrease immediately to get a rib-hugging fit and work narrower darts a little later in the game. I’ve already halved the number of increases in the arms so I won’t end up with floppy wizard sleeves big enough to hide a familiar in. Right now the only pets I have that could stand in as familiars are two Siamese fighting fish, who probably wouldn’t be too happy with that situation.