Step One: Upon choosing the pattern one wishes to knit, one must read every part of the pattern, except the parts about finished measurements and gauge. One must be sure to hone in on the differences between the sizes, but ignore the actual sizes themselves.
Step Two: Using supreme mathmatical skills, one must add two cable repeats to said pattern using this logic – There are three sizes, each one cable more than the last. The largest size is 2 sizes smaller than needed, therefore, one must add two cables.
Step Three: Ignoring all nagging doubts and misgivings, one must cast on and begin to knit. One must never stop to check her gauge. One must never double check the finished measurements. Rather, now is the time to knit blindly while watching a movie.
Step Four: After days and days of knitting stockinette stitch in the round, after using two balls (this would be half of the yarn purchased for this project, of course), finally begin the armhole shaping and start working back and forth across the front…… which happens to be NINETEEN INCHES ACROSS. (keep in mind, this is for an eight year old boy…)
Step Five: Blinking back the tears, realize one must refer back to the pattern. The painful truth will slowly creep into ones mind. Given ones gauge (which, of course, is off. By a lot), and the finished measurements of the largest size, one realizes that the largest size is adequate and no fancy math was needed after all.
There you have it folks. The knitter is completely reduced to a pile of blubbering hopelessness, the knitted “garment” must be frogged post-haste, and the poor child for whom the sweater was intended must wait that much longer for his promised prize.
The cure? Dishrags. I needed some new ones anyway….