Monday, September 17, 2012

Sleeve Caps, Armhole and Neck Shaping Tutorial given by Helga Guyot

If you are anything like me, changing the sleeve cap and armhole shaping are so much trial and error that always ends in hit and miss. I was so pleased when Helga Guyot came to our local club and presented her tutorial on shaping our jumpers and cardigans (which in other parts of the world - "sweaters" combines into one the word- very frugal of them!)

I asked Helga if I could reproduce HER tutorial notes and diagrams to convert a drop shoulder pattern with no shaping into a set in sleeve. She said "Of course you can, I've been teaching this for more than 20 years" I offered to put it into a .pdf for her to offer for sale. She said she doesn't know how to turn a computer on, let alone "do all that" and it would be much easier for me to share it. However, I cannot take credit for her intellectual property, it belongs to her not me, so please respect that.

Here are Helga's notes in Arial, my explanations will be in this type.

Changing the pattern from a drop shoulder sleeve style to a fitted or semi-fitted sleeve style.
The drop sleeve is the easiest style to write and knit, as it does not provide for ARMHOLE SHAPING, and for this reason often used for tops in pattern books.

However it is also the most unflattering style. Having a Shoulder/armhole point makes the garment look more "dressey".

Diagram 1
- Start by establishing YOUR shoulder width which is the width between the ARMHOLES.
- Change YOUR measurements into stitches.(Number of stitches for 10cm x YOUR MEASUREMENT.)
- Subtract that number of stitches from the number of stitches used for the BUST width (not hip width), ending up with the number of stitches you will need to reduce which is the width of the garment at the armhole point.
- Establish the number of rows for YOUR armhole and divide 1/3 of that number of rows.

NOW shape your Armhole Curve:
Draw a graph of 3 squares wide and 3 squares high.

The number of stitches to be used for the cube in my example is 17sts for each armhole.
Diving that number into 3 lots ends up with 6 sts for each of the first 2 squares and 5 stitches for 1 square, which are marked on the horizontal line of the graph (See diag 2)
Diagram 2

1/3 of the total armhole height in rows in my examplein Diag 2 is 36 rows. This number is divided into 3 lots and marked on the vertical line of the graph (see diag 2)

Now: Row counter on 000.
- Cast off the first 5 stitches of the next two rows
- Decrease 6 sts in 12 rows (1 x 2 x 6)
- Decrease 6 sts in 24 rows (1 x 4 x 6)
- Knit straight to the shoulder point.

This method of curving your armhole can be used for the FITTED AND SEMI-FITTED SLEEVE.


 I work this out on an excel spreadsheet, I put the stitch and row counts in and work out the decreases. Helga said you start with every second row and-
- if you have too many, you start with every row, changing to every second row so you hit the correct stitch and row count as per the grid.
- if you have too few, you start with every second row, change to every three or four rows so you hit the correct stitch and row count in your grid.

Shoulder shaping
Most shoulder shaping is over 2.5cm. eg, approx 8-12 rows. Convert your shoulder measurement into stitches, and divide by rows, say 32 stitches per shoulder in 8 rows (totalling 64), divided by 8 is decrease 8sts each side every row, using short rows, then one final row over all stitches to seal them.

Either do a 3 needle bind off or cast off shoulders and sew together. neck stitches can be left on waste/deckers or fine circular, ready for neck ribbing/finishing.

Next, onto the sleeves:

Diagram 3
Example of Alterations required to change from Drop shoulder style:

To Semi Fitted Sleeve Style:

Knit the sleeve in the same way as the Drop Shoulder style to under the arm point.

From this point
Decrease in exactly the same way as worked on the bodice.

Start PK: On an adult sleeve, PK is worked over 16 rows, pushing 4 needles to hold (and wrapping) each time.

Knit 1 row over all needles before taking off with waste yarn.

The advantage of this sleeve style is that the stitches, taken off with waste yarn, can easily be joined to the armhole edge using the knitting machine or linker.

This design sleeve cap can also be knitted from the top down, picking up the stitches, knitting the short rows and matching your armhole shaping.

Diagram 4

Draw up a graph of 4 x 4 squares. 
Divide the number of stitches for half of the sleeve into the sections:
The number of rows for the graph is 4/5th of the bodice armhole shaping, (before starting the shoulder shaping).
Helga's example in diagram 4:
Cast off 7 stitches,
Decrease 1 x 2 x 8 (= 1st each end, every 2nd row 8 times.)
Decrease 1 x 4 x 4, then 1 x 2 x 12
Decrease 1 x 2 x 4, then 1 x 1 x 12
Cast off remaining stitches (not on WY).
Sleeve top needs to be sewn into the armhole by hand.

As with the previous armhole shaping, I use excel spreadsheet to count out the rows then mark out the quarter row marks to ensure I have the correct number of stitches at each point and the final sts count to cast off. If using the example in diagram 4, I'd have 15sts x 2 = 30 stitches remaining to cast off. However when I'm at the machine I don't want to bother with anything but what row count to decrease, and I've found this format works very well for me. Here is the sleeve cap for my ZZZora for instance:

My row chart I use at the machine- all I want to know is what row I have to do my decreases.

Now we move onto the neck calculations:

Changing from a V to crew neck - or as I like to think - how to make a crew neck from nothing


Diagram 5

You may have a favourite pattern that you want to use again, but create a different neck design or you want to make the neckline lower or wider.

You will need to work from a measurement
The standard neck WIDTH for a Lady's garment size 10 to 14 is 18cm; sizes 16-22 is 20-22cm.
The standard DEPTH of a cre neck for all Lady's sizes is 7.5cm.
The depth of a V-neck is entirely the choice of the designer

To get away from the standard, you will need to establish the new measurement and change that into stitches and rows for which your use the Base numbers (st/rs = 10cm)
The back shaping is straight unless the front and back are scooped design.

To change the pattern from a Crew Neck to a V-neck, find the number of stitches you need to decrease one each side of the V-neck = NEW V-NECK WIDTH IN STITCHES DIVIDED BY 2.
For the NEW DEPTH, find the measurement you want to use and change that into rows.

NOW DIVIDE THE ROWS BY THE NUMBER OF STITCHES YOU NEED TO DECREASE, which gives you the number of rows you will need to knit between each decrease. (If the numbers do not divide equally, knit the "left over" at the shoulder straight without shaping - in fact having this last part of the neck shaping straight is preferable.)

To change the pattern from a V-neck to a Crew neck, find the number of stitches you need to decrease on HALF of the NEW NECK WIDTH.
Find the number of rows for the NEW neck depth.
Diagram 6

Work the curve in the same way as the Armhole curve

Cast off the centre stitches (2 x 8 sts)

Decrease 8 sts in the next 16 rows (1 x 2 x 8)

Decrease 8 sts in the next 32 rows (1 x 4 x 8)



That's it everyone, Helga (Guyot) would be thrilled if you used her instructions to make a better fit, however, please respect her intellectual property and acknowledge it.

Also please let me know if I need to expand any of the information. It is a lot of info to take in at once, but we had a lovely couple of hours, coffee and we could ask questions as we went.
And here is my sleeve cap and armhole shaping on my ZZZora:

7 comments:

Anna said...

Ozlorna, thank you for the valuable information! These calculations are made in a very accessible manner!

ozlorna said...

I will pass on all comments to Helga. She will be thrilled.

Lorna

O! Jolly! said...

Very nice presentation! Thanks, Helga. Thanks, Ozlorna.

Blonde said...

Thank you Ozlorna for sharing all this very useful information!
I'm printing this right now!

mrs ferret said...

How generous of Helga to pass this information on so freely! I'm going to print this off and study it.
Many thanks.

Slisen said...

Great article. Thanks for making it possible to share with us.

Valentyna Hordiyenko said...

Grazie mille!!!