Calculating Aline Shaping

Width and length were added to the body of the vest master pattern to create the A-line shape of the tunic shown here. For this adjustment, you calculate how many more stitches are needed for the added circumference at the hem and at what interval, row-wise, the shaping decreases should occur.

Let's say you want to make the hem 6 inches larger in total circumference than the pattern calls for, and you want to add 10 inches to the body length below the armholes. If you're working the sweater body in two pieces—a back and a front—you divide the extra circumference by 2 and add that amount of width to each piece at the hem. If you're working the sweater body as a cardigan in three pieces, you add half that amount to the sweater back and one-quarter of that width to each front piece. In our example, we're adding 6 inches of circumference to a two-piece garment, so we add 3 inches of width to the hem of each the back and the front. Here's how it works:

1 Multiply your stitch gauge by 3 to determine how many more stitches to cast on. If the result is an odd number, round up to the nearest even number. For example, if your gauge is 5 stitches per inch, multiply 5 by 3 and round up to 16 stitches.

2 Add the number from step 1 to the cast-on number in the pattern to determine how many stitches to cast on for the new width. For example, if your pattern says to cast on 90 stitches for the back or front, add 16 to 90 and cast on 106 stitches for the wider hem.

3 To calculate the 10-inch length adjustment, multiply your row gauge by 10 to determine how many additional rows you need to knit. For example, if your gauge is 6 rows per inch, add an additional 60 rows.

4 Multiply the original body length (from cast-on edge to armhole, as written on the schematic) by your row gauge to determine how many rows make up the original length. For example, if the original body length from cast-on edge to armhole is 11 inches and your gauge is 6 rows per inch, you need 66 rows for the original length.

5 Add the result from step 3 to the result from step 4 to determine the total number of rows to knit for the new length, from cast-on edge to armhole. For example, adding the 60 rows from step 3 to the 66 rows from step 4 equals a total of 126 rows to achieve the new length.

6 Because 2 stitches are decreased every decrease row, divide the number you achieved in step 1 by 2 to determine the number of decrease rows to work over the tapered section between the cast-on edge and armhole. For example, the number of extra stitches in step 1 is 16. So divide 16 by 2 to determine the number of decrease rows—which in this case is 8. The goal is to decrease gradually over the tapered section the same number of extra cast-on stitches, so that you'll have the original cast-on number when you begin the armhole shaping.

7 Divide the number from step 5 by the number from step 6. The result equals the number of rows to work between decrease rows so that the decrease rows are spread out evenly from hem to armhole. For example, if you divide 126 by 8, you get a number slightly less than 16, so you work decreases about every 15 or 16 rows.

Note: If you're beginning the shaping after the edging at the hem, subtract that length in rows from the result in step 5.

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