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Gigi Modifications :: A very good place to start.

Hi, Knitters, 
I am so excited to start off my Gigi Cardigan modifications posts today. I know if you are like me that when knitting sweaters and cardigans from a pattern that sometimes it is fun to make a few changes to make it your own. The Gigi pattern, by Devin Ventre, is perfectly great as is and it didn't really need any changes but I knew there were a few little tweaks that would make it just a little better for me. Again, none of these changes are necessary and if you are a first-time sweater knitter I would recommend just sticking to the pattern to keep things simple.
So, what I'm going to do is start from, well, the start! I'm beginning with the nuts and bolts about my version of Gigi. 
 
Size: 38-inch bust ~ I generally make a size 36-inch bust sweater or cardigan but I knew I'd be layering the Gigi and I wanted a little extra room. It worked out great and I love the fit. There is positive ease built into the pattern so make sure you look at the finished measurements when selecting your size.
Yarn: 4 skeins of Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted in the Sherwood colorway. I used all four skeins and had plenty left over from the fourth skein. I also included a knotted steek, which I will discuss later, that uses extra yarn. 
Needles: US size 8, 32-inch circulars, for the body and US size 7, 32-inch circulars, for the button bands and bottom hem. I used US size 7 double-pointed needles for the sleeve edgings and collar. 
Increase Note
The cardigan in the pattern is worked back and forth and starts at the top and is worked down to the bottom edge. Take note that Devin uses the abbreviation M1 for a backwards loop increase. When I skimmed through the pattern I assumed she was using a standard M1 for the raglan increases but it turns out she used my favorite backwards loop increase which is a great thing for me since it is my favorite increase.
 
Adding Short Rows at the Back of the Neck
I decided right away to add short rows to the back of the neckline. The reason to do this is that it raises the back of the neck, therefore, dropping the front of the neckline of the sweater or cardigan. Many sweater patterns have the neckline designed the same for the front and the back, basically going straight across. I know that this neckline style often bothers me at the front of my neck. So here's what I did to change it.
I worked the first two rows in the pattern, and placing the stitch markers. On the next right side row (Row 2 in the pattern), I worked the row as directed across the back stitches, stopping one stitch before the second sleeve stitch marker or the third stitch marker in the row. Now I only worked on those back stitches for the short rows as follows.
Wrap & Turn.
Work the back stitches to 1 stitch before the stitch marker. Wrap & Turn.
Work the back stitches to 5 stitches before the stitch marker. Wrap & Turn.
Work the back stitches to 5 stitches before the stitch marker. Wrap & Turn.
Work the back stitches to 10 stitches before the stitch marker. Wrap & Turn.
Work the back stitches to 10 stitches before the stitch marker. Wrap & Turn.
Work to the end of the row as if you were finishing Row 2 in the pattern, picking up the wraps and you encounter them (see the tutorial for how to pick up the wraps). 
Carry on as the pattern is written. I worked the pattern as written until I separated for the sleeves. At this point I added a knotted steek. I will be talking about the knotted steek in the next post on the Journal if you are interested. 
I'll be back soon with more. I hope you all have a great start to knitting your Gigi Cardigans! The Gigi Cardigan Kits are flying out of the shop so I know there are lots of Gigis on the horizon.
love, susan

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