That’s about the size of it! Getting the right size.

How do I get the size for my project right so it fits me?  I’m often asked this, and so I thought we could chat about choosing the right size garment for your body shape, and making sure, after all the time to make it, that it fits! No more baggy jumpers, tight necks or over-long sleeves! (Unless that’s the look you want!)

Top Tip 1. Know what size you need. Surprisingly, we tend to over-estimate  the size we need, and allow a few extra inches “for ease” or size up a couple of sizes just to be sure. This may result in an oversized, and unflattering fit, and a garment you are unlikely to wear because it’s not the right size. So, check the finished garment sizes on the chart on the pattern, and choose the one that’s closest to your size, if necessary a shade larger. That way, you should get the right size and a good fit.

schematic, choosing a pattern
schematic, choosing a pattern for the right fit

Top Tip 2. Choose a style which suits your body shape. If you are a lady with a large bust, then a clingy rib jumper may not be as flattering as something with a better shape which flatters you in the right size. If you have a small frame, then an oversize baggy look may not be for you. Patterns give you the finished shape and you can then decide if it will give you the fit you want.

Top Tip 3. Know your tension! Yes, I know its a faff, knitting or crocheting a tension square, and we all skip this step sometimes……. But, it is worth the hour or two to do this. Then you can work out if you need to size up or down your needles or hook to get the correct tension, and therefore the right size garment at the end of all your work. (I save all the tension squares, and every so often, sew them together and donate the blanket to charity.)Thinking about tension, you may be able to get the right tension, but does the square feel right for the project? What I mean is, is the square soft and floppy, but your garment has structure, (Guernsey sweater) or is the square stiff and inflexible, but your project needs drape and flow (like a shawl or poncho) ? This dilemma leads on to….

Check your tension
Check your tension

Top Tip 4. Choose the right yarn weight for the project, unless you are very experienced and happy to Ad Lib your project to make it fit. (Tension squares will be essential if you do!) Have a look at this blog for ideas of how you can use different yarns than the pattern requires. I’m not saying you have to use exactly the same yarn the pattern calls for. If it is a generic pattern (rather than a designer brand pattern) you can probably substitute another yarn of the same weight fairly successfully. Think about the texture and colour of the yarn you want to use, so that you get the right size garment with colour and texture that suit it.

Top Tip 5. Last top tip is to enjoy the process! You are creating something beautiful and unique, and that makes it special. Measure your tension as you go; hopefully you will relax as you are making the garment and this can have a dramatic effect on your tension. The right size at the start may be much looser when you finish, but if you check as you go, then you can correct things as they happen. This includes looking back every few rows for mistakes too. The first Aran jumper I knitted had Blackberry stitch bobbles in cable diamonds, and it was sewn up and ready to wear before I spotted I had missed a bobble!

I am always happy to help if I can, if you get stuck with any of our patterns or yarns. Technical questions, I’ll try…! Drop me an email, and we can chat! These blogs and articles from The Spruce have more tips too.

Enjoy creating, wearing and using your projects!

Bye for now,


Bye for now!
Bye for now!

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