The cardigan I made recently that I designed using my actual measurements, is so comfortable and fits so well that I’m planning on making more to fit me rather than making them to a pattern. I was discussing issues around this on Ravelry the other day and there appears to be a growing trend in making a different size for the back than the front.
This was an idea I having been thinking about for quite a while considering I carry all my extra weight on my front so if I make the size that should fit the front is too small and therefore stretched and the back is far to big and hanging badly. Now I have a cardi that fits all of me I want more!
One woman who was involved in the discussion said that when she runs knitting courses the first thing she does is get people to take their measurements; back and front separately and then make the 2 halves to fit. Of course it is only the width that needs to change, the vertical measurements must be the same on the front and back to match and to fit the sleeves.
The reasoning behind this is that a pattern with a 36″ bust will have an 18″ wide back and an 18″ wide front. I doubt there are many people that have these measurements. Some will be close but others will have a 16″ back and 20″ front. Some people have an even greater differences. If it is just the bust that is larger then short row shaping and bust darts will do the trick on a size 32″ or 34″ but if you also have a thicker waist and hips you need to take these into account too. The 36 pattern may have a 30″ waist. If your waist is 15″ front and back again no problem but if you have had a child or two chances are you have a belly so it is more likely that your waist measurement is 14/16 or 13/17 to make up the 30″.
If this is the case you may find a 34 back and 38 front is the best place to start as far as the horizontal measurements go.
The bit I’m still struggling with is how to get from the required width for the bust to the narrow shoulder without changing the shape of the armhole. My theory is that the extra stitches need to go from the centre of the garment, this would change the neckline of whatever is being made.
I need to get this sorted in my head first before I even try to start making the jumper I need. I think I will have to break out the graph paper and draw the schematics for the garment I want to make, add my actual measurements and do some maths to work out what I need to do.
This is going to take a while, I can tell.