Knitting Design Tutorial - 毛衣設計

Hung Chueng Garments

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Guide to Basic Knitwear Design: Shaping - 毛衣設計

This is the fourth article in a series on basic knitwear design (毛衣設計) and looks at the how to calculate the increases and decreases needed to give your garment its shape. The third article in this series can be found here.

Calculating your sleeve and neck shaping. The sleeve - mathematical method

Taking the example of our child’s sweater, we know that the sleeve is 46 cm long, 19cm wide (42 sts) at the cuff, and 42cm (92sts) wide at the top.

If we wanted to put a 5cm rib at the cuff, and this is not to be rolled back once the garment is worn, then we need to work out our shaping over 41cm (90 rows), and not 46cm.

To calculate the number of increases.

  1. Calculate the amount of stitches you need to increase over the length of the sleeve (eg 92-42 = 50)
  2. Remember that with a sleeve you will be increasing on both sides simultaneously, so half that number (50/2 = 25)
  3. Divide this number by the number into rows in the sleeve (90/25 = 3.6)
  4. Round this number down. This will then tell you how many rows between each increase. Eg Start off with 42 sts and increase 1 st at each end of every third row until you have 92 sts (row 75) and then work straight.
  5. If you feel that this gives the garment a “top heavy” sleeve shape, then you can of course alter it. For example this sleeve could be worked with the first 12 increases worked on every 3rd row (to row 36, when you’ll have 66 sts), and then change the frequency of increases to every 4th row, which means that your final increase row will be row 88.

Calculating the gradient of the neck – graph paper method.

The two sides of the neck are knitted separately, and so we need to work out the decreases needed on each side.

We know that the front of the garment is 106 sts, which divided by 2 is 53 sts for each side.

The neck is 20 cm wide – again this is divided by two, giving us 10 cm on each side.

The bottom point of the V is 18 cm from the shoulder.

However, we have already decided that we will want a ribbing around the neck, 2cm in depth, and so we need to adjust these measurements accordingly.

Width of neck – 12 cm on each side (26 sts)

Depth of neck – 20 cm. (38 rows)

Draw out the basic shape that you need on graph paper, and then draw in the decreases needed to match the shape, but still keep it easy to knit. If you wanted to keep a straight “V” in the sweater, you would need a combination of increases every first and second row. In the case of this particular V-neck, however, decrease one stitch on every row for the first 14 rows, and then every second row until the top of the garment is reached, and you have 27 stitches remaining.

As you can see when these decreases are marked out onto graph paper, this shaping gives a slight curve to the neckline, which gives a more natural line.

You are now ready to begin knitting your garment, which you can enjoy all the more for knowing it is a unique item, and your own original design (設計).