Sunday, October 18, 2020

For Jo: Answers to some Audrey Questions

Jo has written to me on Ravelry:

Now I’ve started to knit, I’m a little bit confused by the stitch numbers in the raglan shaping. I just can’t get the maths to add up…

The left front after the collar starts off with 4 sts, and the right front with 5. (I’m not talking about the seed stitch panels because they are marked off and separate).

However, when coming to the divide for the body and sleeves, you state an equal stitch number for both fronts - which, since the increases are symmetrical at the ‘sleeve’ edge of each front all the way through, just doesn’t add upp.

I’m not making the mistake of counting the seamline stitches; but if you start off with a different number for each side, and make symmetrical and equal incremental increases to each side, I don’t understand how they would both end up the same at 22 sts (plus seamline stitch). Either I need to miss an increase for the right front, or add an extra one for the left; but the pattern makes no mention of this…

I’m also a little bit puzzled by the sleeve stitch counts.

They start off at 4 sts each on the first row after the collar, and are increased on either side, therefore adding 2 sts to each sleeve every alternate and subsequently every 4th row. But at the divide, the pattern says the sleeves should each have 39 sts.

Since it’s mathematically impossible to start off with an even number, add an even number, and finish up with an odd number, I’m not sure again whether I need to do a single increase somewhere to each sleeve, and if so, whether this should be in the raglan line at the back of the sleeves, or at the front. But this would make the armholes slightly asymmetrical…

I’m now trying to work out whether to add in another stitch after increasing regularly up to 38, thereby adding another 4 rows in length to the shoulder area, or whether to go with 38, and panicking about whether this will affect the fit of the sleeves in a material way.

I’ve gone through the pattern line by line with a fine toothcomb and plotted the increases into a spreadsheet to try and see if I am missing something…but I just can’t get the maths to add up.

I’ve also tried to resolve this by going carefully through the pattern notes for others who have made this pattern. But I can’t see any mention of an issue with the maths - everyone seems very happy with it, and no-one seems to have had this problem.

I’d be really grateful if you could respond and help me out on this.

Since it's not straightforward to post photos into my Ravelry message box, I'm writing the answer here. Perhaps it will help someone else too. 

First, here is a diagram of Size 43 at the divide for the underarms. 

The overlap at the front is shown at the top, and the seed stitch back pleat is at the bottom. The "1+" indications are for the seam stitches. The dividing row is a RS row and for Size 43" it reads:

Seed 17, k22, remove marker, k1, transfer next 39 sleeve sts to a length of waste yarn, remove marker, CO8 for left underarm by backward loop method, k30, work Pleat Chart sts, k29, remove marker, k1, transfer next 39 sleeve sts to a length of waste yarn, remove marker, CO 8 for right underarm, k23, sl marker, seed 17 (working in buttonhole if applicable). 167 total lower body sts. 

You can see that the raglan seam stitches are being added to the body stitches. The totals for each section after the above row are:

Back: (1 + 29) x 2 + 11 = 71

Fronts: (1 + 22 + 9 + 8) x 2 = 80

Underarms: 8 x 2 = 16 

Total = 167

 Now for the sleeve question. Again, here is the chart from my workbook.

Although the sleeve begins with 4 sts (an even number), one of those is a "seam stitich", so the actual number is 3. You can see that every now and then in my chart I show a number in parentheses; that's the actual sleeve stitch count. So, at the end there really is an odd number, 39. Remember, in the dividing row all the seam stitches end up as part of the body. 

I hope this helps.