Friday, April 6, 2012

Miette 1: Making a plan

Ok then, let's get started!

If you are going to knit the sweater and haven't already downloaded the pattern, it can be found on Ravelry here, and on Andi's website - which of course I'm unable to pull up at the moment!  I'll edit this post once I can get her site to open.

ETA:  The pattern can be found on Andi's website here.

The first thing you'll need to do is decide what fit and size you'd like your finished sweater to be.  Knowing those two variables can help you choose your yarn, if you're going to do a custom size.  The pattern is written for three sizes:  finished bust measurements of 34", 38", and 42".  Andi states that the design is meant to be worn with two inches of negative ease.

Let's talk about ease for a moment.  If you've done a fair amount of garment sewing but not much garment knitting (or vice versa!), ease can be confusing.  Because knit fabric has so much stretch, the ease needed for a close fit is often a negative, rather than a positive number.  You would never try to sew a blouse with any negative ease whatsoever, but in knitting it's quite common.

Back to the pattern:  if the finished bust measurements are 34, 38 and 42 inches, to be worn with 2 inches of negative ease, that means that the sweater is meant to fit actual bustlines of 36, 40 and 44 inches.  Not that buxom?  Worry not!  You can make your sweater to fit YOU!

If you look closely at the pattern pictures, you'll also notice that there is quite a bit of underbust shaping at the front.  This is great if you have a more, ahem . . . *prominent* bust.  But what if you are less well-endowed?  Leave off the shaping! There are a number of lovely examples on Ravelry to sift through, with many variations.  Some people have left off the shaping altogether for a sweater that falls straight to the hip; some have moved it to the sides for a nice inward curve at the waist; some have done only half the shaping on the front, and moved the other half to the back.

The beauty of knitting a sweater from the top down, as this one is done, is that you can try on the sweater as you go, so that you can make shaping decisions along the way.  However, I think it's good to have a general idea of the direction you want to go.  You can always change your mind later, but you need to be aware that it might involve ripping out some of your work.

Here are some ideas to consider:

How close a fit do you want?  Do you want the recommended 2" negative ease for a fitted sweater, or would you like something a little looser?

The design is cropped - do you want to make it this short, or would you rather lengthen it?

Do you want or need the underbust shaping?  If not, will you eliminate it, or move it to another part of the sweater?

How do you intend to wear the sweater?  This will help you decide whether you want the underbust shaping - these darts can look awkward if the sweater is going to be worn open.

If you are going to lengthen the sweater, will you do any shaping on the sides?

Do you want to do the 3/4 sleeves, long sleeves, short sleeves?

Again, a look through the finished Miette sweaters on Ravelry will give you lots of great examples and help you decide how you want your sweater to look.  Here's what I'm planning for mine:  I'm going to eliminate the underbust shaping and replace it with side shaping.  I think I'm going to make mine only slightly longer than the original, to finish at my low waist, but I may change my mind later and make it hip length.  And I'm also planning on doing the 3/4 length sleeves.

I think that's enough to think about for today, right?  Tomorrow we'll talk about gauge and sizing.  Happy knitting!


  1. Gail, you're explanation is great.
    I've already learned a thing or two.
    Thanks for taking the time to make things easy.

  2. I want this cardigan to be nice and fitted.

    Okay, so based on your info, I'm thinking I need to take 5" out of the bust on the smallest size, as my bust is about 31". So I guess I leave off the bust shaping!
    Moving the shaping to the sides sounds pretty good! I'm assuming you'll let us all know how!

    Good point about the sleeves! I think I'll either keep them the same or shorten to nearer the elbow :)

    Thanks for the post!

    1. Yes, I think you probably don't need the bust shaping any more than I do! But side shaping will help keep it more fitted :-)

  3. Ooooh. I think I need to get on this knit-along. I need hand-holding when it comes to knitting.

    1. Awesome! I'm happy to hold your hand :-) And I know how much you love a cardi!

  4. Wanting to see some of the variations people have done led me to login to my Ravelry account for the first time in way too long--found I had three messages waiting, so thanks for the nudge. :)

    1. You're welcome! I actually JUST found out from Jo that you can set your messages so that you get an email from Ravelry when you receive a message! Who knew?!

    2. Good to know--I looked everywhere for that feature when I first joined but haven't kept up with all the changes. Will have to go set that now, thanks!

  5. Gail: I think you have sucked me in. I may have to make this sweater just to learn from the knit along. Hmmmm.