If you’ve read through the Sloper pattern and notes and the posts about resizing and reshaping it (congratulations! phew), you’ll see that what I’ve charted above, for my #sloperKAL sweater, is a combination of all of that. Knitting with two strands of Kestrel* on US13 needles, my gauge is 2.75 sts/inch instead of 2.25, plus I want this one to be more like 40″ circumference at the chest, so for both of those reasons I’ll need a few more stitches than the pattern calls for. (Here’s my swatch.)
My row gauge is actually more like 4 sts/inch (based on my blocked swatch) than the pattern’s 3.75, but I know from my striped tank that this Kestrel fabric will grow as I’m wearing it. So for my calculations, I’m sticking with the pattern’s 3.75. Which means I only have to recalculate the stitches (widths) and not the rows (depths).
20″ x 2.75 sts per inch = 54 sts
Technically that’s 55, but I’m rounding down to 54 stitches each, front and back, because I want an even number of stitches. I also want this version to be A-line, more like 42″ at the hem, so I’ll cast on 58 stitches (which conveniently works with the multiple for the [2×2]+2 ribbing) and decrease twice (2 sts per decrease row) on my way to the underarms. I’m also planning to knit 15″ (56 rows) from cast-on to underarm, for a somewhat longer sweater. (The pattern is 11.5″ to the underarm.)
I want the armholes to be even narrower — the shoulders even wider — than the original version, so I’m sticking with 3 armhole stitches, which at this gauge will amount to just under an inch difference between the side and the armhole edge after seaming. And I also want the neck width to remain somewhere around 7″, which at my gauge of 2.75 sts/inch means 18 sts (rounded down from 19.25). So when you subtract my 6 (3+3) armhole stitches and 18 neck stitches from my 54 sts, that leaves 30 for the shoulders — 15 each. As you can see in my chart above—
3 armhole | 15 shoulder | 18 neck | 15 shoulder | 3 armhole
All of which I’ll match on the back piece. I still have a little more thinking to do about the decreases and edge treatment for my neckline (I’ll report back about that) but the above is all I needed to know to cast on!
I hope you’ve found this series of Sloper posts informative and inspiring, whether or not you plan to cast on a sweater for the #sloperKAL. But of course what I really hope is that you’ll take a leap and cast on!
(Fashionary sketch template and Knitters Graph Paper Journal from Fringe Supply Co.)
*I have no idea if doubled Kestrel is a good idea or not! I’m basically making chunky linen, which is a weird concept, on its face, and might result in a tank that turns into a dress over the course of a day — who knows! But I’m excited to find out. And I have no idea how much yarn it will require. I’ll let you know when I’m done with the first piece.
PREVIOUSLY: Sloper mods, part 2: Reshaping the pattern
“I have no idea if doubled Kestrel is a good idea or not!”
I love this, and I love that you are trying it. I know that doubled Sparrow was a (good) revelation to me, and I look forward to seeing how the Kestrel turns out. And though I’m not knitting along, your posts and tutorials are excellent! Thanks for all the work and sharing.
Glad you’re find it worthwhile!
Yay for swatches but double yay for treating the swatch for a while the way that you plan to treat the finished garment (both wash-wise and wearing-wise). Amy herzog gives great advice on searching and living with the swatch for a while to see how it behaves (and what its measurements are after a while).
Yes, takes some time so maybe not useful for your current purposes. A tank that turns into a mini dress could be the ultimate day-to-night (on the town) garment.
I couldn’t agree more: https://fringeassociation.com/2016/07/11/hot-tip-abuse-your-swatch/ ;)
However, with a yarn like Kestrel it’s sort of beside the point — I mean, beyond washing it and seeing if you like the fabric, in a general sense. This is my third time working with it, and you just have to give yourself up to the notion that it will be completely different just after a washing than after a day or two of wearing, and be ok with that and think of the gauge as more of a range than a precise measurement!
Ahh, advice on swatching. Swatching!!
There’s quite a bit of swatching advice here: https://fringeassociation.com/2015/02/11/how-to-knit-a-gauge-swatch/
These are some of the most important game changing posts I have read. My favorite sweater is with Kestrel, but not doubled. I hope when my life settles down I can give this a try.
Thanks, Francis — glad you’ve liked them!
Karen, why are the straps shaped the way they are? I haven’t knitted a lot of tank tops so I’m asking about their construction – why do you bind off about half the strap width, complete one more row and then bind off the other half? as opposed to binding them off at the same time or a three needle bind off?
That’s just standard shoulder shaping. If you bind them off all at once, they shoulder edge will be at a 90° angle to the fabric, and your shoulders are almost certainly not at a 90° angle to your frame — you need some slope there, in most cases. So it’s worked either like this (ideally with a sloped bind-off, as the pattern calls for, to smooth the transition) or with short rows.
If you take a look at any sweater pattern, there will almost certainly be a shoulder shaping portion, and if you mapped out the instructions on graph paper, this is what it looks like.
(Sometimes at superbulky gauge there is no shoulder shaping because when each row is like an inch tall, it’s somewhere between unworkable and counterproductive.)
I should note that at a finer gauge it would be divided into more sections and worked over more rows. But the taller each row is, the fewer you can afford to work before the slope gets too extreme, if you see what I mean? At this gauge, spreading the shoulder shaping section over 3 rows total amount to about a inch of slope.
“If you bind them off all at once, they shoulder edge will be at a 45° angle to the fabric, and your shoulders are almost certainly not at a 45° angle to your frame — you need some slope there, in most cases.”
Oh. that makes sense!!! thank you!!! I haven’t looked at many tank top patterns but yes, I’ve made knit flat seamed sweaters that do the sloped bind off too. thank you!
Right, it’s any sweater with a shoulder seam — not specifically a tank or sleeveless sweater like this.
Eh? I think you meant that if you bound all shoulder stitches off at once, the shoulder seam would be 90 degrees to the fabric – and if a tank has very narrow straps 90 would probably be fine. I can never find little things like the degree symbol!
LOL, whoops — fixed! Thanks for catching that.
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I have recently discovered your blog and have been enjoying it greatly! I don’t know if I can join in for the KAL – I have so many things going right now. I am reading and absorbing everything and will knit it later if not during the KAL – I already have the yarn decided from my stash and ideas in mind. It will be the first time doing something like this and I look forward to it!
I found your comment re. your linen tank interesting. I have had the same thought about my yarn choice, Elle True Blue. Held triple, my cotton may tend to grow a bit more than linen. I’m hoping the 5% shrink rate, much observation of my swatch and accurate calculations will result in a well-fitting Sloper.
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