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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mad Props to French Girl's Kristeen



Just wanted to post that I got fantastic pattern support from Kristeen at French Girl Knits. I bought the Fantine pattern from Dreamweaver yarns, and (for the first time) took the time to do a gauge swatch – the pattern called for Rowan Big Wool and a size 17; I wanted to use Rowan Ribbon Twist which indicated the same gauge on the ball band. But my fabric in a 17 as well as a 15 looked too loose, and I was ahving a hard time doing the math with my stitch count (I posted about this previously) keeping in mind the 3 stitch rib pattern and where to place markers for the raglan shaping. I emailed Dreamweaver and French Girl, and Kristeen took the time to email me, and helped me come up with a great way to customize the pattern. Her email response was prompt and clear and so very helpful. I am going to get going on it later today. Yeah French Girl, I will be coming back for more patterns! And I may want to do this one again in Big Wool – that’s a pretty yarn too...

Here is her reply:
bonjour rebecca,
i have done some fiddling around to make this work and here is my take on things:
if we used the stitch gauge and your measurement (which i think might be a tad bit too high...it is difficult to get that scoop neck measure just right...plus there will be some stretching with this yarn...i know...i have used it a lot!)....soooo in light of all this if we used the two measurements we would come up with a cast on of about 77 !!! which is way too much i think...so if you don't mind experimenting a bit(it is only wool and time right?)....here is what i think might work for you...
CO 59 sts (use a size 15 needle to get it looser)...make sure to use the cable cast on method , then switch to the #13 and begin the pattern
with these changes:
Row 1: (LCS, P 1) 10 times, PM etc on center purl st. then (RCS,P 1) 9 times, RCS (that will give you a st ct of 59 for the first row)....if you use a long enough needle you can stretch it out around you and see if that is going to work for the neck area...questions to ask...does it just meet or is it overlapped(too many sts) or if it doesn't meet, how many inches do i need...again remember we can do some blocking with this and when the work is off the needles it is even stretchier...so once you get that far then if it is right just do row 2 & 3 as written(substituting our revised row 1).
Row 4: follow the directions but place the markers after 11sts, 8 sts, 21sts, and finally 8 sts, then work to the end...that will get you set up for the raglan increases that will follow....
once you get there just work merrily along in the pattern but disregard the number of repeats on the spot where it says "repeat rows 5 & 6 " "x" number of times...we will customize that for you....i would say start with 10 repeats and we will work from there....we should definitely add some short rows to the front...as i advise in the upper size ranges so you can get a good fit in the bust area...more on that later...
in essence, you will be learning to custom fit this for you so in the future you can take patterns and amend them...yippee...isn't that fun...i do it all the time...being pretty small but incredibly busty(what can i say...it's those italian ancestors!)...so i have a load of experience with this...

now...if things are too big or small after that first row then check back with me and we will adjust....bonne chance and let me know how it is going....
a bientot, kristeen & the french girls

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