When I started my Helena, the first thing I needed to do was pick which size to make. Based on the bust measurement, I needed to make the small.
I printed out the pattern and started circling everything for the small size to makes sure that all the other measurements that go with that size worked for me.
Here I've circled the lower sleeve width and the neck width measurements for the small.
Here I've circled the front/back width for the small. 39.5" isn't wide enough for my hips, especially if I have any pants or a skirt on, and I was planning on wearing bottoms with this sweater. Ha!
I was also planning on making the sweater one motif-stripe longer than the pattern so it would hit me at an even wider part of my hips than the pattern anticipated. That meant I needed to modify the pattern to be a little wider at the bottom.
As you can see from my note, I decided that I needed to have the bottom opening be 20.5" wide.
This sweater is knit sideways from cuff to cuff, so I was going to need to do some short rows to add width at the hips. These are my first short rows, ever!
First I figured out that I needed 12 extra rows at the hem - six on each side. Then I drew the short rows and decided that I would make the first short row 1 motif-stripe tall, the second short row 2 motif stripes tall, and the third short row 3 motif-stripes tall. This way the width would be gently sloped.
Here's where it was a little tricky - I had to do this in-pattern. The big line with the arrow and the "3" is the normal row. It's a wrong side row where I would knit Row 3 of my lace chart. For the short rows, I had to go backwards on the lace chart to make sure I worked up to Row 3.
I do just the opposite on the other side - taller short rows that decrease each row until I get to the bind off edge.
And it worked! Here is the first set of short rows to add a little width at the hem. It's exactly what I was hoping for!
Here's what the edge looks like once a bunch more of the sweater was knit. I added the white arrow to show you where the edge of the sweater would have been.
Around this point in the sweater, when I was knitting the body, I did some math on the number of rows I needed to complete as I went across. The pattern says stuff like "knit until it measures X number of inches from the cast on row" but I need an actual number of rows.
You can't just measure your knitting, that's crazy. It stretches. Not to mention the fact that I have to knit a front and back that match so I can sew them together.
And doing that math was when I noticed something totally weird ...
Oh, no! When I printed the pattern, the extra small and half of the small number didn't print. When I circled the "19 3/4" thinking it was the small size, it was actually the medium. Look at the photo above to see what I mean about the printing ... how did I miss that it went from 8" to 19.75"? Ha!
I almost freaked out until I realized that all the small measurements and work I'd done so far was fine. The only thing that it affected was the body row count, and I hadn't finished the body yet. Whew!