I hate being a bad knitter, I really do! Look at all that work, and it's all got to go! Last night I got out m-i-l's jacket and took a long hard look at it.
First, my tension seems to be fairly close but, the fabric is very soft and stretchy, so I've decided to use a half size smaller needle to give it more body. Luckily my new Knit Picks needle is the right size and has lovely sharp tips.
Second, the blackberry stitch is a nightmare! It looks messy where I start it, it looks messy when it transits into the cable pattern and it looks vile where I decreased. After some thought I decided to put two bands of garter stitch and the beginning and the ends of the cuff, and to be very, very careful when I decrease.
I will keep a row count for each piece while I knit up to the sleeves - then it will all be on one needle for the raglans and that will keep it the same size.
The moss stitch is twisted here and there - be consistent. I'll decide what I'm doing (knit into front or back of stitch) in the first panel, write it down and stick with it. The reason for confusion here is, I think, that I'm doing what some people call combined knitting, purling with the yarn under the needle, which prevents rowing out, but twists the stitch on the needle so you have to knit into the back of it.
No yarn joins at the front edges of the garment - that ought to be a no-brainer, but I obviously need telling!!
Now, sizes. Knitting the 40-42" size gave me a garment with a 48" chest. There is no schematic, so I don't know what it should have been. (Could maths tell me that? Probably. There are 295 stitches at the point under the arms where I measured. The tension is 19 stitches to 10 cm so, er, what do I do next? If I divide 295 by 19, that tells me how many blocks of 10 cm fabric I should have (I hate metric! No I don't. I hate the fact there are two measuring systems in knitting). I get 15.5. So, multiply that by 10 and I get a garment that measures 155 cm around. Well that's clearly a rubbish answer. I give up on the math.)
So, starting again, without math because I can't do it, I'm saying the thing is too big. A good 10" too big, so, you know what, I'm going to knit the smallest size, because Mrs Hill has lost weight, not to mention being far too small to wear a garment scaled to fit 42" bust.
Hm, do we have a clue here as to why my sizing goes so horribly wrong so horribly often? Every Friday morning I go for maths lessons, but so far it hasn't improved my ability to figure out knitting patterns.
I should be able to work it out! Will think about it while I'm frogging.