In my last post, I discussed choosing yarn and finished size when cutting down a full-size afghan pattern to a smaller baby knitting pattern. The next thing to do in cutting down the pattern is to figure out how many stitches will be in each row.

First, I need the gauges for both old and new yarns. In the case of the Spumoni Crib Afghan, the original pattern (Cromwell Court Afghan) used bulky yarn and the new pattern will use worsted yarn.

The gauge on the (original) bulky yarn package said 9 st = 4 in.

The gauge on the (new) worsted yarn package said 16 st = 4 in.

The original pattern was 114 st wide.

So if all I was doing was reworking the original pattern in a different yarn, but not changing the finished size, the new number of stitches would be calculated as follows:

114 st bulky x (16 st worsted / 9 st bulky) = 202.7 st worsted

(If you remember from Algebra I, just make sure the right units cancel. In this case, the “stitches of bulky” cancel and you are left with “stitches of worsted”.)

But I don’t want my blanket to be the old size (46 inches). So in order to make my blanket only 36 inches, I have to make the next calculation:

202.7 st worsted x (36 in / 46 in) = 158.6 st worsted

For a pattern with no repeats (such as the one in How to Make a Baby Blanket Part 2) this would end my calculations. I could just cast on 158 stitches and be confident that my blanket would come out to be roughly 36 inches wide.

However, the pattern I am working with has a repeating wave. So for my baby knitting pattern to come out correctly, I have to figure ou

t how many repeats (or waves) I need to knit. The trick here is to figure out what the repeat is.

At first, I thought the repeat was 12 stitches, because that is what repeats in the “wave” row of the Cromwell Court pattern:

K3, (k2 tog)3x, (yo,k1)6x, [(k2 tog)6x, (yo,k1)6x], (k2 tog)3x, k3.

I just looked at what was repeating in the middle, between the brackets. But that doesn’t take into account the stuff at the ends. After working the pattern and studying it, I realized the repeat is actually 18 stitches. So we could re-write the pattern like this:

K3, [(k2 tog)3x, (yo,k1)6x, (k2 tog)3x], k3.

[If I might digress a moment…This points up kind of a bug-a-boo of mine. For some reason, pattern makers sometimes write patterns in ways that obscure what’s really going on. In math terms, the way they wrote the pattern made me think it was a sine wave. But in fact, the pattern is a cosine wave. Don’t worry if this makes no sense.]

But anyhow, let’s fix this baby knitting pattern to account for the repeats.

First, take out the border stitches: 158.6 – 6 = 152.6 st left for repeated waves.

Then, figure out how many repeats: 152.6 / 18 = 8.5 waves.

I decided to round up to 9 waves. Hence one row of 9 waves takes 9 x 18 =162 stitches. Add in the 6 border stitches to get a row width of 168 stitches.

Next: Figuring Out Number of Rows and Color Scheme

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