In one spectacular, flame-filled fall from the sky...
For some reason I decided to double check my row gauge before I did the armhole shaping. With more than 2/3 of the back done....gauge checks are a snap!
At any rate, I pulled the pattern open to recheck their row gauge....and that's when I saw it.
It's true, I am absolutely getting the right gauge...but not for the correct portion of the sweater. The pattern lists two gauges. The first is the gauge for the body of the sweater, checked over stockinette stitch on the larger needles. The second measures the gauge for the ribbing done on the smaller needles. Apparently, when I started this sweater, I looked at the gauge information and my mind registered what it wanted to see. That is to say, that I saw that gauge was listed at 22 stitches per inch, and my addlepated head ignored everything else and decided that was the gauge for the body of the sweater. After all, I already knew that if I used a US 6 needle for that yarn I would get the perfect fabric.
There's really nothing to be done but to tear the whole thing out - all 14.5 inches of it - and start all over again. If I keep on with the current size, than I will end up with a sweater that's only 36.5 inches around. At my pre-wedding thinnest, I measured 38 inches. (I have always had a rather ample bosom.) The sweater I thought I was knitting would have had a chest measurement of 40 inches. No matter how often I check the gauge and/or the math, the fact of the matter is that the blasted sweater just isn't going to work as is.
Which leads me to the second problem. As I'm obviously not getting the gauge the pattern calls for - even if I am getting a knit fabric that I adore - am I even going to be able to just do a simple regauge? Probably not, because this is a fitted sweater. I may get the correct size around, but the shaping is just not going to fall in the right places.
I need a nap.