Posted by: GourmetGirl | March 26, 2013


It takes a certain amount of experience to knit a garment the correct size.ForestNights

Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation out there!

The majority of books, magazines and blogs tell you to measure the chest and add 2 inches for your sweater size. Unrealistic, unless you only wear big and baggie sweaters. (My opinion)

When I knit sweaters, I usually knit size 32 or 34. I have found that after wearing a sweater, the yarn relaxes and my sweater becomes a 34 or 36 in size. (Nine times out of ten the photos of me in the sweater are before the sweater relaxes.) – oh, and by the way, the larger the needle used, the more your sweater will relax.

To the right is my Forest Nights sweater – size 32. Yes, it is a more fitted sweater. But, even before it relaxed, does not look like a sweater that is 9 inches too small. It definitely does not look tight across the bust. (See my What is this Ease Mumbo Jumbo – if you want to talk about “Ease” to a knitted sweater).

I measure (depending on the bra I am wearing) 39 inches at the bust. If I am buying something ready wear I buy a small. I am 5 foot 1 inches tall. I will shop in the petite department for pants – but NOT for tops (I have regular lengthed arms).

Why am I tell you all this? I just finished a size 40 inch sweater for someone and I now have the proof to show you what a 40 inch sweater would look like on me. (Still one inch smaller than all those “experts” say I should knit).

20130320_101353Personally, comfy for around the house with sweats, but NOT a flattering fit.

It looks like I am an extra 15 pounds! (My Opinion).

So, back to My Opinion on how YOU should figure out what size to knit: Take a sweater or top that you love the way it fits. Lay it flat and measure it!

Measure the width under the arms then double that measurement for your size sweater. 17 x 2 = a size 34 inch sweater. Measure the arm hole depth – comfortable wear is not 6-7 inches like the “experts” tell you. Look back to Forest Nights – it is 9 inches along the raglan and 8 inches for a straight drop and that is a more snug fit for me. (I now knit 10 inches along the raglan.)

A lot of information to figure out – no wonder shawls, scarves and other accessories are so popular to knit!

Knitting is a lifetime of learning. Experience brings rewards.

Knitting one of my Top-Down Sweaters allows you to customize your fit. You can try your sweater on and have the perfect width for sleeves, armholes and body, perfect sleeve length and the perfect length for your body. In my patterns, it is my goal to help you customize your sweater.

It is rare for anyone to find a perfect fit off the rack – so why would you “knit off the rack” when you can customize your sweater?

A lot of learning, yes. But, worth the journey. (My Opinion).

Happy Knitting, Nancy


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