Posted by: GourmetGirl | April 5, 2011

Responsible Knitting 3

Ease is another category for responsible knitting.

Positive and negative ease is all over the knitting columns. You see it indicated in patterns. But, what does it really mean to you?

As a Responsible Knitter, you should understand how it can benefit you and how a lot of times it is just a bunch of houey.

When talking with  a knitting friend who teaches and has worked in the magazine industry, I commented on my bust measuring 39 and me knitting a 32 inch pullover. She commented that I like a negative ease sweater. My response was, but when I wear the 32 inch sweater it does not pull across my chest – it looks like it fits at zero ease.

She agreed. So what is this ease mumbo jumbo?

It puts us right back to the number one on my list for responsible knitting – Knowing your Numbers! Funny how it keeps coming back to the Numbers…..

Yarn, needles size and the looseness of the stitch pattern all come into play on how a sweater will fit your body. Unfortunately, the yarn and how it stretches is not something that cannot always be predicted. Most yarn will relax and after wearing your sweater will be a looser fit. So, in essence, you have positive ease in just the wearing of a sweater.

I really don’t call having a positive ease in a sweater when the knitter can choose the size to knit. Tech editors will size the sweater to the gauge. So, saying that a sweater has negative or positive ease will not mean anything to a responsible knitter.

Responsible Knitters know what size they want in the sweater and will look at the schematic or pattern information to adjust and knit to the sweater they want.

More on being a Responsible Knitter next week………a subject that can go on and on……

Happy Knitting,




  1. You are so right on! Your last few posts should be mandatory teaching for any new knitter of sweaters – a LOT of questions that are seen on Ravelry relate to ignorance of one’s own measurements and use of the schematics for a pattern 😦 Great job on clearly presenting the different aspects that are needed for a successful project.

    • Thank You!
      Even though I seek out to be recognized by the common masses (magazines and other publishers) I believe that “standardized” measurements and rules of grading sizes are so far off of the average woman! Well, there is no such thing as average…..
      I started designing for myself because the patterns out there did not cover my size. And I am convinced that the pattern goddesses out there are having us conform to unrealistic sizes. My largest complaint is in arm hole depth. Even models of scant size are shown with pulling arm holed sweaters. What of us with actual arms?
      Unfortunately, I must conform somewhat to be published. I always try to slip in my rebel ways!

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