Friday, August 17, 2007

Hey Presto! (modifications)

I've had a some questions about the modifications I made on the 24-month size of Presto Chango, which I'll call the Lightning Bolt Version (LBV). Sara, since I'm not sure that the email address I have for you is correct--and Karen, since you asked, here are the specifics.

About 2 weeks ago, I sent some pattern edits to Jimmy Beans Wool. Laura (Jimmy) was so reassuring and kind (because I was feeling like a complete idiot) in her reply and told me that she had forwarded those changes to her webmaster. The edits were posted today, August 17, and they correct the neck and sleeve on the larger sizes to more reasonable dimensions. The neck has been brought in on the 12- and 24- month sizes; the straight-across sleeve width has been decreased on the 24-month size. So what am I trying to say here? The Jimmy Beans pattern is now good to go. If, however, you are like me and are rarely content to knit a pattern as written, read on.

What necessitated the changes, you ask? I was very concerned that you lovely trusting knitters who want to make the 24-month size might have the same disappointment I had upon seeing the very-wide neck. Commenter Karen also pointed out the huge cuffs on the unmodified 24-month size. If you're after the full-on kimono look for the sweater, the big cuffs would be good, but I think they were a little too big--so they got changed.

After considering how to explain the LBV mods, I thought you might want to see exactly what got changed in the original version, as well. So, along with the sleeve and shoulder shaping and lightning bolt panel pattern that I post today, I will include those changes that I sent along to Jimmy Beans. I refer to the Jimmy Beans site throughout these pattern changes and I got the okay from Jimmy Beans to post this, so here we go.

P.S. If you are knitting for a chunky baby and want to have the original wider sleeve width at the top where it meets the body of the sweater, I would highly recommend shaping the sleeve so that it is not huge at the wrist; that's what I did on the LBV. The numbers for that mod are included below {in these kind of brackets}.

Changes are in red.

  • CO 36 (39, 45) sts.

  • Rows 1-5: Work seed stitch, creating bottom band of back.

  • Row 6: P across, increasing 5 (6, 6) sts evenly across the row; 41 (45, 51) sts.

  • Row 7: K across.

  • Continue in st st until back measures 6 (7, 9 {8 for LBV shaped sleeves}) inches from cast on edge.

Add Sleeves

  • Cast on 24 (28, 32) stitches at beginning of next 2 rows; 89 (101, 115) sts.

  • Work k1, p1, k1 on first 3 sts, stockinette across row and k1, p1, k1 on last 3 sts of each row until back measures 9 (11, 13) inches from cast on edge.

  • Begin seed stitch band for neck edge as follows: K1, p1, k1 (cuff), st st 29 (35, 42) sts, seed stitch on next 25 (25 for all sizes) sts (neck border), st st 29 (35, 42), k1, p1, k1 (cuff).

  • Repeat this row 4 more times.

Neck opening

  • Next row: K1, p1, k1, st st 29 (35, 42); seed stitch 4 at neck edge, Cast off 17 (17 for all sizes), seed st 4, st st 29 (35, 42). k1, p1, k1.

  • Sweater will now be worked back and forth to form one side of front.

  • Continue in st st, maintaining 4 seed stitch border at neck edge and 3 seed stitch border at cuff. Work until sleeve measures 8 (10, 10 {11 for LBV}) inches, ending at cuff edge. Piece measures 14 (17, 19) inches from cast on edge.

Side fronts

  • Cast off 24 (28, 32) stitches to end sleeve; 12 (14, 17) sts remain.

  • Work remaining stitches for side front in st st, maintaining 4 seed st border along inner edge.

  • When work measures 6 (7, 9 {8 for LBV} ) inches from sleeve cast off edge, work seed st across row, decreasing 1 (1, 2) stitch(es) by k2tog.

  • Work seed st 4 more rows.

  • Cast off remaining stitches.

  • Join yarn to neck edge for other side front.

  • Work back and forth in st st maintaining 4 seed st border at inner edge and 3 seed st border at cuff.

  • When second sleeve measures same as first, cast off 24 (28, 32) stitches to end sleeve.

  • Work remaining sts as mirror image of other side front.

Front panel with cascading leaves

  • Directions for all 3 sizes are changed to the same stitch counts as the smallest size--please see the pattern on the Jimmy Beans Wool website. Buttonhole spacing and panel length are unchanged.

  • As the panel is knit, make a buttonhole in each side at an interval of 2 (2 1/2, 2 1/4) inches, approximately every 12 (15, 14) rows. The top buttonholes should be 1/2 inch from the top.

  • Repeat the 8 pattern rows until panel is 6 (7 1/2, 9) inches from cast on edge.

  • End with 5 rows of seed stitch (remember the top two buttonholes) then cast off.

  • Panel measures 7 (8 1/2, 9) inches from cast on edge.


  • Sew up seams on sides and under arms. Sew on buttons, using buttonholes on panel to mark placement for buttons.

Lightning Bolt Version sleeve shaping

  • Follow directions for casting on and working body as above.

  • After adding sleeves, work 4 rows. On next row, knit to 4 sts from left edge. Bring yarn to front work, slip st from left needle to right, take yarn to back of work and slip st from right needle back to left needle; turn work. (If you haven't done short rows before, this is called "wrap and turn", often abbreviated as "w&t".) Purl back to within 4 sts of edge, w&t. *Knit to 6 sts before previous turning point on this sleeve, w&t. Purl to 6 sts before previous turning point on this sleeve, w&t. Repeat from * 2 more times (4 turning points on each sleeve).

  • Now this is the nifty part: Knit all the way to the cuff. As you reach a wrapped stitch, pick up the wrap together with the stitch it encircles. Knit the two strands together, making sure to lay the stitch yarn over the top of the wrap yarn and so that the wrap yarn disappears behind the stitch.

  • Continue to knit the sweater, following directions for making the neck opening.

  • After about 2 1/2 inches of sleeve after casting off for the neck opening, start the short rows again: work to 22 sts from the cuff edge, w&t the next st. *Work back to neck edge, turn and then work back to 6 sts past last turning point, w&t. Repeat from * 2 more times (4 turning points). Return to neck edge, then work all the way to the cuff edge, again knitting the wraps together with the sts they encircle. Finish knitting sleeve as directed in original pattern, taking measurement of the sleeve only at the point where it meets the body. Finish sweater front as specified in the pattern on the Jimmy Beans site.

  • Join yarn to neck edge for other sleeve and follow shaping directions as for first sleeve. Finish front same as other side.

Lightning Bolt Version shoulder shaping

  • This is going to take some time to put into words. I fully intend to edit this post to include this info after I'm done knitting the blasted magazine sweater. If, however, I don't get back to it, I followed the shoulder shaping instructions for the Bog Jacket found in Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I did four increases every other row as I approached the top of the shoulder, then 4 decreases every other row as I came down the front of the shoulder.

Lightning Bolt Version front panel

(This panel was designed for the 24-month size before the neck opening width was changed to be narrower. It would still work for the revised 24-month size, but it would bow out a little, as it is wider than the opening. That might be a good thing, considering little tummies bow out, too.)

  • Cast on 27 sts. Work 6 rows in seed sts, just as for original panel pattern, placing buttonholes as directed. Work one plain row of knitting between seed st borders, increasing 4 sts evenly across row (31 sts).

  • Keeping 4 sts on each edge in seed st, work zig-zag pattern across the middle 23 sts.

Zig-zag pattern:

  1. K3, k2tog, k3, [yo, k2tog] twice, yo, k11.

  2. Purl.

  3. K2, k2tog, k3, yo, k1, yo, [ssk, yo] twice, k3, ssk, k6.

  4. Purl.

  5. K1, k2tog, [k3, yo] twice, [ssk, yo] twice, k3, ssk, k5.

  6. Purl.

  7. K2tog, k3, yo, k5, yo, [ssk, yo] twice, k3, ssk, k4.

  8. Purl.

  9. K 11, yo, [ssk, yo] twice, k3, ssk, k3.

  10. Purl.

  11. K6, k2tog, k3, [yo, k2tog] twice, yo, k1, yo, k3, ssk, k2.

  12. Purl.

  13. K5, k2tog, k3, [yo, k2tog] twice, [yo, k3] twice, ssk, k1.

  14. Purl.

  15. k4, k2tog, k3, [yo, k2tog] twice, yo, k5, yo, k3, ssk.

  16. Purl.

  • Continue to place button holes as specified in original pattern. Repeat 16 rows of zig-zag pattern until 1" from desired length. Finish with 6 rows of seed st, evenly spacing 4 decreases across in first row of seed st.


Jean said...

Well done! I think you must be the most conscientious designer out there.

gloria115 said...

I love this sweater and I want one for myself!! Do you think this sweater can be resized for an adult?

woolydoodles said...

Hope you are OK?
I've finally knitted Presto Chango for my mates bump(pics on my blog when I've blocked it). I've done the smallest size and would love to knit the 'new' panel...would it be too big??
Take lots of care
Love n hugs to you all
Mel x

Rachel said...

Looks great! This pattern is still in to-do pile!!

Karen said...

Whoo hoo....
I am working on this now.
I will let you know as SOON as I finish. I'm halfway done.
Karen =)

jbie said...

fantastic, this sweater just gets better and better.
i'm making a 6mo one - do you think the shoulder/sleeve shaping will work well for it?

can anyone fill me in on the shoulder shaping a bit more?

ie - HOW are the incs made? by picking up a stitch?
- and how many sts are added, per shoulder, in an increase row? from the picture it looks like only 3 sts are added in total at the widest point,

Valerie said...

For jbie:

The increases are M1 (make 1 or lifted bar increase) and I made one increase on each side every other row 4 times as I was knitting up the back. The decreases are ssk on the left shoulder and k2tog on the right shoulder; each side has 1 decrease every other row 4 times.

I hope that helps. Feel free to email me if you have more questions. --Valerie--

jbie said...

thanks so much!
i'm so happy about this sweater; i've started it in 3 different yarns already and have a 4th option i'm considering too. i might make it in 2 diffeent sizes, i love it that much.
best wishes=)

miss_molly said...

I love this sweater, Valerie. Thank you for designing it and making it available. I've just completed my first and there'll be many more to follow, I'm sure!

salt said...

What a great pattern. Would you allow me to make a couple of these sweaters as a donation for my son's school fundraiser? They would be auctioned off and the money used for operating costs.
Thank you for your consideration.

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.