March 29, 2009 update: Whoops! All of a sudden this old post is getting a lot of traffic. The pattern for Maude Louise has been completely rewritten as of this month, and you can get it here. Sorry for any inconvenience. The entirety of this post applies to previous incarnations of this pattern, none of which was entirely complete. Even if you’ve downloaded Maude Louise before, I highly recommend downloading the new pattern rather than trying to work with the old. I’m leaving these notes, up, though, in case they help anyone who has the old pattern still.
Well, I’m exhausted, and I don’t really want to do math ever again (though I shall be doing lots shortly to figure out the other sizes), but I finished the pattern in my own size! Ha! Victory is mine! I do the happy ninja dance of joy and drink the blood of my enemies in celebration! Um, OK, maybe I don’t drink the blood of my enemies, but I am boogying in my seat pretty hardcore. Oh yeah.
I apologize in advance for any errors and remind you again to let me know about them as you come across them. Before you start, please be sure to look at the notes here.
The latest version of Maude Louise has multiple sizes, but not in the sleeves. Until I figure out the math on this one, you can use these great instructions, or those found in Barbara Walker’s Knitting From the Top, to make the sleeves work even without me knowing how you should make them from the bottom up.
On the subject of torsos and the many sizes in which they come, I wanted to discuss the sizes I’ve given in my pattern. Maude Louise is intended to have a fitted waist, but there are a few important things to keep in mind to make sure your sweater fits. One is bust size, of course, and all of those are listed in the top, but I wanted to explain how big the waist is for each size. That way, if you want to mix and match bust and waist size, you’ll know how many stitches you need. Bear with me.
The size 32 and 36 inch bust each have a 27 inch waist that gets a little smaller when seamed. It stretches, so it shouldn’t be a problem if your waist is a little bigger or smaller than 27 inches. The size 40 and 44 inch busts have a waist size of 32 inches. The size 48 and 52 have a 35 inch waist, and the size 56 has a 42 inch waist. This is assuming you’re knitting in gauge, of course. Now, I’m limited here by the lattice stitch, which requires the addition of a very particular number of stitches to come out right. However, there are two ways you can make sure this sweater fits your own particular waist. One way, if you’re knitting in gauge, would be to see if one of the measurements I’ve listed is close to your own, and swap out the number of stitches on the bottom half of the sweater for the one that will fit you best. The other, probably more precise way, is a bit more work. You’re going to have to knit a few more gauge swatches of the lattice stitch, on several different sized needles. By changing the gauge around, you should be able to make a sweater that fits your body type.
One last note – the size 40 and 42 are designed so that the waist seams will not line up perfectly at the sides. If it all works out as I think it will, this won’t matter much, but it’s certainly possible that I’m wrong. If I am, I will be sure to try to fix it. Anyway, I think the twisting will be minimal and won’t really show when the sweater is worn, but please do keep me updated if you run into any problems with it.
Thanks for reading all of this, and good luck! Send me pictures of your finished projects – I really want to share.