My elann.com Sonata yarn for Fifi arrived Wednesday afternoon (a day early!). Here was my progress over the last two days. After finishing round 43 last night, I tried it on for size and determined that I had to frog it and start again: it was too wide across the front to stretch tightly at the neckline. The sleeves looked fine, but the width of the front and back were too gapey and and the neckline was much too high. I hadn't even gotten to round 51 yet which is the official place to stop and try on the size M that I was making. I know from making Green Gable, another top-down raglan, that negative ease is mandatory to help prevent the neckline from rolling outward, even if that means making a smaller size and adding short rows. I should've known better! All the pattern sizes use either a 120- or 140-st CO with varying numbers for the sleeves and front/back sections. Then, it's just a matter of continuing the raglan seam until the sleeves fit under the arms. I CO 140 sts for the size M/37.5" which uses 25 sts for the sleeves and 45 sts for the front/back sections. Due to my narrow shoulders and need for a shorter seam, I should've CO for a smaller size than my chest circumference determines (i.e., the S or XS). The S and XS use 25 sts for the sleeves and 35 sts for the front/back sections.
Here's what I've done and plan to do:
Instead of using size 7's, I used size 5's to CO 120 sts. Due to the smaller gauge, I had to use 16" circulars to be able to join in the round --wow! Then I did the first 5 rounds using the size 5's. Next, I plan on using size 6's for a few rounds and then switch to size 7's. When I get to the trying-on rounds, if everything looks fine I'll continue on and add short rows as needed. If the front and back are still too gapey at the point where the sleeves fit, I plan on frogging again and trying a 35-st CO for the sleeves to allow a shorter raglan seam and lower beginning neckline. If for some reason this doesn't work, I'll resort to a 35-st CO for the sleeves with a 25 st CO for the front and back. Sounds crazy, I know! But hey, whatever works to achieve the best fit.