The Math behind the Sweater
Creating your own pattern is really nothing more than using your swatch and your recorded measurements and making a few calculations.
Once you can cast on, knit, purl, make increases, decreases and cast off. You are on your way.
It is worth noting here that it is recommended you review all lessons and videos prior starting the sweater. No one likes to rip out their knitting. By reviewing all the lessons you will get a better sense of the steps you are taking and the ones you will be completing later.
Use the Calculation Sheet and the Pattern Sheet found at the bottom of this post. Completed samples have also been provided to add clarification. Numbers highlighted on the Calculation Sheet in yellow are the calculation answer and will be carried over to the Pattern Page. The numbers you will use to knit from in your pattern are in the pink tone. Also worth noting here is we use a pencil for all calculations as certain calculations are adjusted to ensure the proper number of stitches such as an odd or even number.
swatch gauge calculation
sweater measurements from lesson one
calculation and sweater pattern sheets
32” round needle in the size used for your swatch
1. This will be for the bust line A. You will complete A x 2 x stitch gauge. You multiply by 2 because your measurement of A needs to account for the front and the back. This number needs to be an even number. Adjust your number and place in pencil your number in the yellow box 1.
2. This is the hemline and also provides you with your cast on number. It is 90% of box 1. This will be the number of cast on stitches needed. Then add an additional 5 stitches to be the steek of the sweater. This is the line you will cut on to open the sweater up into a cardigan
NOTE: In my sweater I am adding a sixteen stitch repeat pattern after my garter hem line. For this reason I will adjust my cast on number to be divisible by 16.
My box 1 is 234 stitches. 90% of that is 210.6. As this cannot be evenly divided by 16, I will adjust my cast on to be 208 stitches giving me 13 repeats of the 16 stitch design. Once my 16 stitch design is done, I will be using a 6 stitch repeat in the body of the sweater. I will then increase two stitches from 208 to 210 to make the number of stitches divisible by 6. If you want a 2 inch ribbing on your sweater be sure your cast on number is divisible by 4. This will give you the correct number for a knit 2, purl 2 ribbing.
3a. To calculate the stitches I need to increase I will take box 1 minus box 2. This number needs to be divisible by 4. An increase stitch is done on either side of the seam stitch, therefore 4 stitches are added at each increase round. Adjust 3a to be divisible by 4. The knitting can be adjusted by completing increases in the first round after the hemline.
For me I need 234 stitches at the bust line. I increased my hemline to 210. My increase number therefore is 234-210 = 24. This is divisible by 4.
3b. This is the number of increase rounds to get to the total stitches needed at the bust line. Take 3a and divide by 4. For me I need 24 increase stitches divided by 4 = 6. I will be doing
6 increase rounds.
4. This is where we calculate how many rows are between the increase rounds to be completed. Increases are best done in the first 3rd of the sweater. Take your H measurement and divide by 3
My H is 15. Divided by 3 means I have 5 inches in the first 3rd of my sweater.
Take that number and multiply by the row gauge. For me 5 inches X row gauge of 8.75 rows per inch = 43.75 rows. My hemline and design will take 15 rows to complete. 43.75-
5. Box 4 divided by box 3b will give the number of rows knit in between the increase rounds. For me Box 4 with 28.75 rows divided by Box 3b which is 6 increase rounds = 4.79. I will knit 5 rows between my increase rounds.
Now that I have the calculations completed I can transfer the numbers into the pattern page. Be sure to check your math first. All yellow boxes from the calculation are transferred to the pink boxes. Your pattern then becomes all the pink boxes.
It is worth noting here that 5 stitches have been added for the steek. The steek is where we will cut open your sweater to make it a cardigan. Do not panic. I’ve got your back here. Information and a video are provided to complete this. For now just be sure to add 5 stitches in addition to your cast on number. These should be knit as a 1 purl stitch, 3 knit stitches and 1 Purl stitch
Now follow your pattern and knit the body. Once you have knit to your H measurement, set the body aside.
Be sure to visit Murlo Discovery Channel for the video to accompany this lesson.
Work sheets and a pattern page are offered here for you to print.
Once you select the download, head to the file icon on your device to find your download
A note about Stitch Increases
My preferred method is the M1. If you have a method you prefer to use for increases you stitch count, by all means use that. This is your pattern.