Pop quiz time, folks!
Assume you've cast on a sweater. You have knowingly skimped on your gauge swatch. After knitting about 4 inches at what-you-think-is 7 stitches per inch, you discover, to your dismay, that your lovely sweater is sized appropriately to fit your pre-teen neice.
a) Progress happily onward--making a gift for your neice.
b) Sit on the floor with a bottle of wine until the pain stops.
c) Stomp around the house, scaring the dogs, knocking over boxes of fiber and finally tossing said sweater into trash still on the Addi Turbos and swear off sweaters forever (wait--go grab those Addi's out of the trash first.)
d) Progress happily onward--pretending you didn't know you are actually getting 7.5spi. Maybe the yard gnomes will magically make the problem go away?
e) Schedule lipo and breast reduction surgery (wait now, that's an interesting idea!)
Any one of the above options is probably appropriate. I, of course, took a slightly more mature approach. I channelled Tim Gunn and said: Make it work.
After I finished my waist decreases, I decided to check if this sweater will fit. Rather than slipping it onto waist yarn, I grabbed several of my US1 needles. (It's a long story, but I have at least 6 circular needles in US#1.) I just spread the stitches between all these needles. My first clue that there might be a problem was the length measurement. My waist decreases should have covered 4 inches. I've only finished a bit more than 3 inches.
After a bit of steam blocking, I see the cause of the trouble. I'm not getting 7 spi. I'm getting closer to 7.25. My sweater is only about 34 to 35" wide. I know I like negative ease, but that's skin tight for me. But the fabric? Oh yeah--this is going to be gorgeous. Tiny, but gorgeous. It may be worth making that surgical appointment.
Make it work.
Wait--this isn't even a problem. What would be the right number for a 37" sweater? 268. I currently have 256 stitches. Is there a way I can add 12 stitches without ripping everything out?
Here's what I'm going to do. My original plan was to knit 5 increase rows from the waist to the bustline over 4.5". What if I change that to 8 increase rows over, say 5"? Since I get 4 more stitches per increase row, there's my extra 12 stitches! No problem?
Well, no problem except that my hips are not smaller than my bust--they are pretty equal. But again, this really isn't a problem since I started this sweater with a provisional cast on. When I'm done with the body of the sweater and ready to add my hem, I'll just knit down and add 3 increase rows at the bottom. Worst case? I'll add some lovely lace edging that flares out.
This does mean that my sweater will have much more waist shaping than I'd intended, but that's fine.
For those of you snickering, stop it. This will work. It will. I said stop that snickering already!