April 16th, 2013

Tuesday’s Tip – How to Choose the Right Size

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Today’s tip is from Kirsten Hipsky, designer for Valley Yarns. She has some great suggestions for selecting the perfect size to make for your next garment. 

To help figure out which size to make, I recommend measuring around your chest at its widest and choosing the closest size to that measurement, making the larger one if you’re between sizes.

Another helpful exercise is to measure the bodies of your current favorite sweaters or sweatshirts just underneath the sleeves. This will help you see ahead of time which size sweaters you like wearing the most.

We try to design all of our Valley Yarns sweaters so that they could be worn with zero inches of ease. That is, a person with a 40″ chest should be able to wear the 40″ finished chest measurement sweater without the sleeves or neck being too tight. But if you prefer looser sweaters, you could easily make a larger size.

Most of the sweaters could also be worn with a couple inches of negative ease if you like tight-fitting sweaters. The Kohl Lace Pullover, for example, has a stretchy, lacy stitch pattern and a roomy, straight sleeve that could probably be worn with up to 4″ of negative ease. But I would measure your current sweaters first to make sure that’s what you would like.

The sweater shown in the picture is Valley Yarns 464 Bittersweet Pullover knit in Valley Yarns Sheffield.

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Grace

Customer Service Liaison at WEBS - America's Yarn Store
I started working at WEBS in September 2010. I learned how to knit 5 years ago and have been crocheting since childhood. When I'm not knitting, I love to be outside with my Black Lab, Ellie.
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  • http://www.facebook.com/jusshar Jus Shar

    My problem is that my knitting is “relaxed”. I’ve tried gauging on a handful of ocassions, but that hasn’t really worked out so well for me. :-) Could be why I really dislike doing it. Generally, what I end up having to do is make my sweaters a size or two smaller than what I think I should make, OR size my needles down a size or two.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jkluender Jennifer Kluender

    So you are you saying all I need to do is measure my chest?? I am a tight knitter, do this matter?

  • Kay

    What a cute sweater in the illustration! What’s the name of the pattern?

  • http://www.facebook.com/AmandaLynC Amanda Lyn Anganes

    I was just going to ask the same question :-)

  • Katinka

    Thirding that request! :)

  • spenn

    As long as you are knitting to guage, it should not matter if you are a tight knitter or not.

  • spenn

    I usually go down 2-3 needle sizes with my knitting too (helps reduce the stress in my wrists). I find that a nice big swatch works well… and I HATE to waste the time & the yarn… but it is just so necessary. Sigh. If I am swatching something that is to be knit in the round, I make sure to swatch in the round too… the sweater I’m working on, I made two sleeve swatches, about 8″ long (different needles) before I could make the final decision on which look I liked better, and whch size of the pattern I was going to make. Now that I took the time I’m thrilled I did… because my first cable sweater is looking super beautiful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.marquardt.735 Karen Marquardt

    Making it 4 requests for the pattern name.