The Shalane Sweater is my newest beautiful thing. And I’m super proud of it. I originally bought a pile of Berroco Summer Silk to knit someone else’s pattern, and I actually worked the entire front of that lovely sweater. And then I realized I had screwed up the patterning – so I had to rip it all out. And once I ripped it out, I didn’t have the oomph to start all over again.
I’ve wanted to use this ribbon lace that I used for the top portion forever. Like seriously, for over a decade. And I realized that it would be perfect with a comfy summer sweater that was constructed sideways!
Want to make your own Shalane Sweater? Head on over to Ravelry to get the pattern!
What’s the best part of this sweater? It is completely customizable. So I thought I would list here a bunch fo ways that you can change up this sweater easily!
LONGER OR SHORTER SWEATER BODY
This is the easiest modification of all! When it’s time to cast-on the body stitches every size casts on the same number. If you want the body of your sweater longer, just cast on more stitches. If you want more of a crop-top style, just cast on fewer stitches. The way the instructions are written the only other thing you need to do is to make sure you bind off the exact same number of stitches that you cast on. See? Super duper easy.
MORE OR LESS BODY WIDTH
This one is a little trickier, but not much. Let’s say you want a custom body width. So instead of a 60” bust you want a 64” bust. What you need to do here is add more rows of body by starting on a different row of the lace repeat. You always want to end the body Lace Chart on Row 24, so it seamlessly transitions into the Neck Chart. So for example the 60” bust size starts the Lace Chart on Row 1. If you wanted to add 4” total, you need about 16 more rows – 8 on the front, and 8 on the back – so 4 more rows on each end. In this example, you would just start the Lace Chart on Row 21 – no matter what row you start on the ribbing for the sleeves blends in perfectly. And then you just need to make sure you add 4 more rows on at the end before you do the second sleeve! Don’t forget that when you are making any adjustments that require more length or width, you might need more yarn. Don’t be caught losing a game of yarn chicken!
WIDER OR NARROWER NECKLINE
The neckline for all the sizes is the same. Do you want a wider boatneck? Here’s what you do. Every 3.5 rows equals one inch – so if you say wanted an inch wider on each side you would just want stop 4 rows before you the neck shaping chart begins (on Row 20), and place your seaming marker. Then instead of the working the first stitch of the row in stockinette, you would slip the first stitch on Rows 21 & 23, and then knit the last stitch on Rows 22 & 24 to make that nice slip stitch edging. After the neck chart is complete, work the first 4 rows of the rest of the body in the same manner – slip the first stitch on Rows 1 & 3, and knit the last stitch on Rows 2 & 4.
Do you want the neckline to be narrower? In this case you would just want to work the edge stitches of the first 4 rows of the neck chart in stockinette stitch (so you have a nice edge for seaming) instead of doing the slip stitch edge. And then do the last 4 rows of the neck chart in the same manner!
Making the sleeves shorter or longer is as simple as working more or fewer rows of sleeve ribbing. Want the sleeves wider or more fitted? You can easily cast on whatever number of stitches you would like for the sleeve as long as it is a multiple of 4 stitches plus 1 extra. So 33 stitches works for a more narrow sleeve (8 times 4 plus 1) or for a super wide sleeve you could do 53 stitches (13 times 4 plus 1). You just want to keep in mind that you might want to cast on more or fewer stitches for the body.
Also if you change the sleeve count, it will affect that first row of lace you when you cast on the body stitches. Don’t want to fuss with that? Just do another row of rib, cast-on the stitches you need, and then when you come back work all the cast-on stitches as purls and then work rib for the rest of the sleeve. It will work just fine!
So get your copy of Shalane and make it your own! If you have any questions about changing things up you can always shoot me an e-mail. My e-mail address is right on the pattern!