A few days ago, I started my Tai Chi cardigan, purchased as a kit last week at Stitches East. Here is a pic from Twisted Sisters' Website:
It's a series of strips of blocks that form a sort of patchwork cardigan; the strips are joined with a 3-needle bind-off and the collar and sleeves are picked up and knitted on. There are three types of blocks: Seed Stich, Mitred Square, and Stockinette. Pretty simple, right?
Well, after reading through the pattern, I discovered that the cardigan is very cropped--only 16 inches in length. Even though I am petite and often have to shorten sweater patterns to fit, this is a bit too short for my liking. No problem, just lengthen the blocks, right? Well, first of all, when I emailed Twisted Sisters, the pattern creator/designer, to ask about this, they suggested that the kit for the smaller size would probably just about have enough yarn to complete the pattern as written. Second, doing the math to alter the blocks and still be able to evenly join the strips was keeping me up at night! Specifically, the mitred square's math depends upon a specific number of rows, and changing that is beyond my comprehension.
After completing the first two blocks (including my first-ever mitred square--which I LOVED and now want to do much more of--Ravelry, here I come!), I realized that the mitred square ends with 4 rows of seed stitch--so this part can be adjusted if I want a bigger square. Probably not too much, or it will look weird, and besides, there's the problem of running out of yarn. I've decided to lengthen one block in each strip and see how things measure out when I finish the first strip. I can then adjust the pattern accordingly; I will be winging it in terms of the yarn, but with all the work this sweater will be, I'd rather try to get it to be the size I want. I can always block it too; Twisted Sisters have advised me to do the 3-needle bind off loosely to aid in stretchability during blocking.
On a much simpler note, I made a fingerless mitt for my son in two days. I think this will turn out to be my holiday gift of choice for the officemates; either that or some cowls. Something simple...too many projects competing for my attention, and so little time!