Modifying Galore

Drop the neck? Widen the sleeve? How to modify the Galore sweater for a perfect fit.

Drop the neck? Widen the sleeve? How to modify the Galore sweater for a perfect fit.

Here are few thoughts on ways to modify your Galore sweater.

Drop the Neckline

The neckline as written is quite high - I find it comfortable to wear but I know some people prefer not to have something right up against their neck. To drop the neckline down, skip the first increase by casting on the number of stitches listed after that first increase. Knit about an inch and then start the short rows. Reduce all the following yoke-depth based instructions by 1" - and if you want to be really picky, all the colour changes too.  I've got a version like this on my needles right now, and I added two extra sets of short rows by turning every 2 stitches instead of every four, but I'm not sure I love it yet. I'll update this post once I separate the sleeves and try it on.

Widen the Sleeves

The logic of this pattern - the way each section of 1x1 rib grows to become a five-stitch repeat makes it tough to modify one element without modifying another. However, adding four stitches to your initial cast on would make five additional stitches available for each sleeve. You will need to add 2 stitches to each of the sleeve sections when you place your markers and remember that all your stitch counts (except in the body section) will be affected. If you want the cuff to fit the same way, you'll need to add decrease rounds - at least 2. In some sizes, you'll add the final decrease round, in others, you'll eliminate it. (Don't worry - it'll be obvious which applies to your size once you get working.)

Add Bust Dart Shaping

I'm a B-cup. If I'd used bust darts, I might have been able to do down a size from 36" to the 34".

I'm a B-cup. If I'd used bust darts, I might have been able to do down a size from 36" to the 34".

Bust darts can be an essential element of getting a good fit, especially in a slim-fitting sweater like Galore. If you've ever had your sweaters ride up in front, bust darts are for you. There are two types of bust darts: vertical and horizontal. The slip-stitch patterning on this sweater makes it an unsuitable candidate for vertical bust darts. This is a technique that adds width over the bust area - and in bottom-up sweaters, those additional stitches are usually decreased away in the sleeve and neck shaping. Galore is a good candidate for horizontal short-row bust shaping, though. This technique adds length to the front of the sweater, creating a convex area for the bust to fit in, and eliminating that riding up.

My favourite tutorial on this is from Tess Knits, and within it she links to a very good piece from Knitty. Tess's post covers two important things. One: that while cup-size can be a guide for calculating bust darts, it can be misleading. Two: A less onerous place to take measurements (many tutorials ask for a plethora of measurements that are hard to take yourself).

If you successfully knit the short-row neck shaping at the beginning of the pattern, you can knit short-row bust darts. Mark the 'side seam' stitches when you begin working the body (the column of knit/slip stitches in the underarm) and use the same method for avoiding the need to resolve your wraps: offset your wrap-and-turns by one stitch on the wrong side so you're always wrapping a purl-facing stitch.

(Of course, you can resolve your wraps if you want to! I usually do hide the last "wrong side" one when I come around to it from the front on that first full round after short rows.)

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