Just maybe…

No one ever said I play by the rules. Bwahahaha!

Okay, my friends, I think it’s time for an explanation, especially considering some of your responses to my last post.

  1. I’m not sure it’s useful to look at the finished sweater as worn by the model. I certainly don’t want mine to be as baggy as the one on her – that’s not my style at all. So, let’s stop looking at the way her sweater fits, and where the pentagons end up, okay? I guarantee mine will fit differently because otherwise I wouldn’t wear it.
  2. I know that according to the sweater schematic, the measurements of the smallest size match the dimensions of all my favorite sweaters exactly. This is incredibly serendipitous, and highly unusual – it’s wonderful!
  3. Therefore, it is my goal to knit a sweater the dimensions of which are identical to the pattern’s smallest size. Very simple.
  4. From this it follows that the pentagons have to be 5.25″ high, since that’s what the schematic specifies. The ones I had before, 6.5″ in height, are simply too big.
  5. While moving the entire yoke lower on the body might seem like an obvious answer, we must remember that doing so doesn’t change the size of the pentagons.
  6. Pentagons which are too high are also too wide. Therefore, leaving them the same size as before, even while moving them lower, would result in too much fabric around the shoulders. Case in point – look how much extra fabric ends up overlapping the sleeve.

Reduced to this simple line of logic, my goals became crystal clear: do whatever is necessary to get 5.25″ pentagons. Follow the pattern even if it means deviating from the directions! Hehe – doesn’t that seem completely oxymoronic?!?

And follow (or is it deviate?) I did!

I ended up using US 6 needles, the same as the body of the sweater, and casting on 15 sts for each side of the pentagon. In contrast, the pattern calls for a US 9 and 20 sts (no wonder they were coming out so big!).

The switch from 1×1 ribbing to stockinette comes down to personal preference – I like it better, and I’m the one who’ll be wearing the sweater, right?

Notice how perfectly the pentagons match my existing sweater.

So… either I need an anti-crazy pill, or this might actually work out!


63 thoughts on “Just maybe…

  1. Mags

    You know what Kathy, I think that might actually work. I’m amazed by your daring do. I’d never do that, I’d suck it up and follow the pattern. Which is why I’m not as cool as you are.

    Anyhow, it’ll be awesome.

  2. Rachel

    I second the comment Mags left. I’m always so amazed when I read your posts to see how you’ve changed a pattern to your specifications. I also wanted to say that I really like how the pentagons look in stockinette stitch, rather than the ribbing. It’s more subtle, but I think it will be more flattering.

  3. Navi

    I’m amazed at how all your modifications turn up to be perfect and even better than the original pattern. You’re right it soooo looks much better on stockinette. May I add: Gosh you are fast!

  4. SigMa

    I think working the pentagons in stockinette is much better than working them with a k1 p1 rib as the patterns suggest. This way they look much more elegant.

  5. LaurieM

    Nicely done. Looks like it will work like a charm. I think the stockinette pentagons look nicer too.

    Three cheers for the brain!

  6. Angela

    Nice job! When I saw that sweater in the book, I thought the idea was really cool, but the fit was too baggy; in the original pattern, the pentagons appear to form the top of the sleeves as well. This is a cleaner look. Nice!

  7. JennyRaye

    I’m curious about your thought processes, just because….well, I’m a bit of a dork/nerd. Do you find that you have to remove yourself from the problem to work it out mentally, or do you have to have the project there in front of you while considering all the possibilities?

    I’m in the former group, get me away and out on my bike, and all kinds of ideas come to me. Of course, it’s sort of hard to write down those ideas while turning the cranks. But I have way more lightbulb moments while on the road than when I’m agonizing over the item in person. What about you?

    And yes, I do think your solution will work….brilliantly, as usual.

  8. Mary K. in Rockport

    I’m not sure why, but I like the look of the ribbed pentagons bettter, albeit in the smaller proportion. It’s a plain sweater, except for that yoke, and the swirls of the ribs leading the eye hither and thither are appealing, I have to say, although I am not the one knitting or wearing this sweater!

  9. Susan

    Are you saying that the pattern instructions call for the body to be knit on size 6 needles and the pentagons on size 9? Sure does sound like a typo, as you noted in your previous post. Have you contacted the designer or publisher? Not that you need to, but if it is in fact a typo, it would be helpful to other folks who purchase this book to know about that (so they could insert a loose leaf corrections page or post it on the web). Other knitters may not be as adept in needling around the pattern instructions as you are! In fact, I’m quite sure most of us aren’t!

    The pentagons look really awesome now! SO much better than pointy pentagons on your chest (or just north thereof).

  10. Cheri

    I like the way the stockinette looks compared to the 1×1 ribbing. It makes the design of the sweater look more fluid now.

  11. yahaira

    ahhhh I had no clue they were knit on 9’s in the book….that’s definitely a d’oh! moment. glad it’s working out

  12. anne

    the new pentagons look MUCH better; the old ones were horrrid! do you think it was an error? they didn’t really want women walking around with all those pointy things across their shoulders, did they??

  13. Dawn

    I think you’re on to something! I’m so impressed by your abilities to redesign patterns as needed to make them work for you.

  14. Barbara

    I like the sweater better with your modifications. The stockinette pentagons are more subtle and elegant. It’s a cleaner look. And I just have to believe that needle size for the pentagons specified in the pattern is an error. Anyway, beautiful knitting on your part.

  15. Martha

    It looks awesome! Well done. What are you going to do for the neckline? It doesn’t seem to need much to me, maybe a row of crochet.

    But now what are you going to wear to the Star Trek convention? πŸ˜‰

  16. Esther

    I have never commented before, but you my child, are incredible. Beautiful work. I joyfully anticipate seeing the “follow the pattern/deviated” sweater you will soon be showing us.

  17. Jennifer

    You are not crazy. You are genius. Will you come live in my guest bedroom and spend your evenings teaching me to modify any pattern to fit my fancy? No? Well then, please keep posting here. I read you every day and am consistently amazed with what you’re able to do to a pattern.

  18. Rachel H

    Looks to me like whatever crazy you’ve got going on is working for you, so I don’t think a pill will be necessary.

  19. Nonnahs

    Brilliant! Much beeter! Your sweater is looking so beautiful! I like the fit of it much better than the one in the book, actually. I’m doing a tank for the KAL- your sweater is inspiring!

  20. Ang

    Oh, I like the pentagons MUCH better in stockinette, that looks fabulous! Way to boss that pattern around!

  21. Martha Saatjian

    What a great solution! You are clever. It’s going to fit and those pointy ends disappeared! Way to go!

  22. beth

    You are so smart! And talented and funny and smart! I knew you would figure it out. That’s why I come here.


  23. Ruth

    You are totally inspirational – I have had a tendency to give up on a project as a bad idea when pattern flaws become apparent (or finish it and never wear the horrid thing), but you appear to have a bottomless well of patience and optimism that anything can be salvaged and reworked to perfection with a bit of careful figuring.

  24. freecia

    I love how the pentagon inners swirl just a bit. It makes it look so very cute and Anthropologie-ish! (Yes, home of the very expensive and wonderful fitting jeans)

    Gumption and Moxie. It is looking fantastic!

  25. Sara

    So. Much. Better.

    Unlikely many commenters, I actually prefer the look of the 1×1 rib; I enjoy the greater contrast with the body. But I do admire how beautifully your stockinette pentagons flow out of the body of yours. Most elegant. And, as you say, it’s *your* sweater.

    I think it’s definitely going to work! Very clever.

  26. domesticat

    very very cool, and lookin’ reeeal good. i just came across this book at the bookstore today – the construction for everything is fascinating.

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