Son Of A.R.A.N. Project
Part 7: Finalizing the Pattern Layout for the Back
Copyright 1999 Janet Szabo. All rights reserved.
I know that as a group you have expressed a preference that I provide as
much hand-holding as possible. I am more than happy to oblige. This is
the point, though, at which you're going to have to make some more
calculations and decisions yourself. Hopefully my sweater will provide a
good example of what we need to do next. And as always, if you have
questions, please e-mail me, and put ATTN: SOA in the subject line so I
see it right away.
Let's review here:
Now that the saddles are knit, we can pick up along their edges and knit
the back. But, you may wish to fine-tune the pattern
layout at this point. For example, I decided that I want to have five
repeats in the Aran Honeycomb pattern instead of the four repeats that I
specified in the swatch directions. With four repeats, my Aran Honeycomb
is 4" wide. With 5 repeats it will be 5" wide, and I like that better.
The group of cables to one side measures 5". I measure them as a group
rather than individual patterns. Also, when I measure, I include one purl
stitch to either side of what I am measuring (so I measure the width of
the Aran Honeycomb plus one purl stitch to either side).
- We knit a swatch containing the main cable pattern (Aran Honeycomb)
and the cable patterns to one side of it (Right Twist, Little Twist
Cable, and Four-Rib Braid). [My examples will come from my sweater,
which is a worsted weight, but the same principles apply for the sport
weight version.] After the swatch was knit, it was washed and blocked
to determine the final gauge. Gauge in this instance does
not really refer to the traditional "sts per inch," but rather how much of
the final width of the sweater each individual pattern will take up.
- We decided how long to knit the saddles based upon the cross-shoulder
measurement we wanted to use. I have decided that a cross-shoulder
measurement of 19" will work well for me. We subtract out the back neck
measurement (from 6-8" based on your size), and divided the remaining
number in half. Therefore, for my sweater, 19" - 7" = 12", so I knit two
saddles measuring 6" each.
So....the total width of my cable patterns will equal the width of the
group of cables on one side plus the width of the Aran Honeycomb panel
plus the width of the cable patterns on the other side, or 5" + 5" + 5",
for a width of 15". Remember, though, that I want the width of the
sweater here to be the same as my cross-shoulder measurement, which is
19". I have to make up that 4" of width, and this is where I add in my
There are 4" to be "filled in" -- 2" on either side of the cable
patterning. My gauge over moss stitch is 4.5 sts/inch, so I would add 9
or 10 stitches to either side of the cable patterning to make up the
What happens if you have a cross-shoulder measurement of 21" and your
cable patterns only take up 14" of width -- should you fill that
remaining 3 1/2" on either side with filler stitch? It's up to you --
you can make up the width by adding filler stitches, or by increasing
the width of the Aran Honeycomb panel, as I did with my sweater.
Likewise, if your cross-shoulder measurement is 14" and the cable
patterns take up 14" of width, you can either not have any filler
stitches in the top of your sweater (I've seen it done that way -- it
looks nice), or eliminate a repeat of the Aran Honeycomb pattern.
Let's go back to that back neck measurement for a moment. I decided
that my sweater will have a back neck width of 7", which just happens to
be the same as the width of my Aran Honeycomb panel (5") plus a Little
Twist Cable to either side of it (1" each). I don't like my front or
back neck openings to cut into my cable patterns if I can avoid it.
It's better to have a back neck opening be a little wide than have it
slice into the middle of a cable pattern.
Your current assignment, then is to decide on the final pattern
placement for your sweater. Coming shortly (later this
afternoon), I will give specific instructions for figuring out how many
stitches to pick up along the saddles and how to cast on for the back of
Last Updated: May 10, 1999
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