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Crocheting/Knitting a Sweater: How to Choose the the Right Size for YOU | KT and the Squid

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Crocheting or knitting a sweater can be very intimidating if you have never done it before. I can tell you from experience one of the worst feelings is to take all the time to make everything perfectly only to have a sweater not fit quite right. Then I found out there was a little more to choosing the right size than I thought. It’s not quite as easy as just choosing small medium or large. Here are some tips that I hope will save you some of the frustration I’ve felt in the past.

chrocheting/knitting a sweater. how to choose the right size for YOU by KT and the Squid

You can find the pattern for the sweater in the photo HERE.

Know your body measurements.

When taking your measurements you will want to think about how you might wear the garment you are about to start. Take your measurements while wearing whatever undergarment /shirt you plan to wear under the sweater. Be sure to relax. Try not to “suck it in” as this will not give you accurate measurements. If you can try to get someone to help you.

Most patterns are written off a bust measurement so this is a great place to start. Place the tape measure around the fullest part of your bust.

Some other helpful measurements will be your shoulder with, arm depth  and sleeve length. In most cases your shoulder width and arm depth are more important than your bust because that is were the weight of the sweater will be supported.

Most patterns are based off Craft Yarn Council’s Standard Body Measurements. Which can be found HERE. They also explain how to take all your measurements so I highly suggest taking a look.

Know your pattern measurements.

Although you may consider yourself a medium or small that may not be the size that’s right for you for a particular pattern. Most patterns will state the size with some finished measurements at the beginning of the pattern. Like I said, this is usually based off one’s bust measurement. If there are more measurements and even a schematic (usually at the end of the pattern) take those measurements into consideration as well. Most patterns should also tell you how much ease there is. Positive ease is added to the body measurement and will make the garment fit looser. Negative ease is subtracted from the body measurement and will make a garment more fitted.

Here, I am wearing a sweater with zero ease.

Here, the Squid is wearing a top with positive ease.

Measure something to compare.

One of the best things I’ve done is measuring clothes in my closet. This will help you save time! Knowing your measurements and the pattern’s measurements is great but picturing what it will look like in the end is tricky. This way you physically have something you can try on before hand and maybe get a better idea what may actually fit best.

When you have your numbers don’t be afraid to stray away from the “right size.” You may want a looser fit or tighter fit. You’re the one making the sweater do what will make YOU happy.

How to choose between 2 sizes

I had this exact dilemma with the My Favorite Sweater. My bust is 34″ but using standard sizing I could choose the small which is for 32″ or the medium which is for 36″. This pattern was written with 2″ of positive ease. This means size small had a finished bust of 34″ and size medium had a finished bust of 38″. If I went with the small that would give me no ease (a fitted sweater). If I went with medium that would give me 4″ of positive ease (a looser fitting sweater). Personally, I wanted this particular sweater to be more on the fitted side so I went with the small but the great thing is I could still make the medium and get a little bit of a different look.

Once you get a little more experience with making clothing you might even be able to stray away from the pattern a bit to customize your fit. For example, you can follow the length for one size and the width for another size but I don’t suggest trying this unless you’re pretty familiar with clothing construction.

Hope this helps!


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