Please help. Sizing a pattern and ease

Hi everyone. I really want to knit a sweater from the Winter 2008 Interweave Knits. It is the Victoria Yoke Pullover on page 86 (here). I have a couple of questions about this.

The first is that the largest size for it is 44 1/4. My bust measures
44 1/2 - 45. Would it be possible for me to make this sweater to fit me.

Which brings me to ease. I understand that you add for a more comfortable sweater. Does that mean that I would add 2 to 45 making me need a 47?

I would consider myself and advanced beginner or maybe intermediate so I’m not real sure how to make changes here. Could I just use a different yarn and go for a larger gauge and follow the directions for the largest sweater? Also this will be my first sweater.

I would really appreciate any advise. I really love this sweater and would like to give it a try if possible. Or should I just move on to a different pattern?


Ease can be zero - same size as your bust - or negative - somewhat smaller. Or positive, larger, which is what you’re asking. So it depends on how you would like it to fit. Even just using a DK weight yarn, with a needle one size larger, should give you an extra inch or two using the larger size without making the fabric too loose… Why not make a larger swatch with the larger needle and the yarn you’d like to use and see what your gauge is and figure the finished size.

BTW, the knitting daily site, blog for IK, has had several articles on ease, and they have a gallery of different patterns from the magazine with various staff members wearing the sample that was knit. Most of the sweaters looked best when they were on women for whom the ease was negative. And I bet if you were to measure some of your own sweaters you like, you’ll find that they’re smaller than your actual bust measurement.

Thank you so much. This is the first Interweave Knits I’ve ever bought, so I had no idea that they did that. I went and checked out the gallery for this sweater and after looking at the models, I guess I will need to pass on this for know. I’m afraid I’m a bit too large for it right now - too much tummy after 4 kids!

I will definitely check out their articles on ease. Thanks again for pointing me in that direction.

don’t forget that in the galleries they use the same seize top on all thair models (normal one of the mid range sizes) which is why it can look much tighter on some than others. The bigger women are often wearing a top with much more negative ease than is recomended so it makes a difference. MAking it in the recomended size with a slightly larger gauge would probably give you a comfortable fit, and you could also add a bit of length or other shaping in places where you think it might improve the fit.

I’m looking at making a very daring sweater that’s meant to be quite tight - drape is nonexistent and it’s a heavier fabric, so I think it’ll stretch. What kills me is that the bust measurements are 34 1/2 and then 39 - I’m a 36. Y’all have given me the confidence to make it in the smaller size, and, well, if I have to frog it… It’s just time, right?

Could you go to a [I]slightly[/I] larger needle?

Yes, that’s why I wanted to point out the galleries. All the models were not skinny, some of the items looked better with negative ease and not so good with even 2" of positive ease. So going up a needle size should do quite well.

Trish, if you measure some of the sweaters you already have, you may be surprised that they do have negative ease. Also a larger gauge stretches more and negative ease looks very good.

I measured a couple of my sweaters that fit pretty snug and they measure 46". So if I make this and the largest size is 44 1/4 I will need to make it a couple inches larger. I may try it. I just became concerned about the tummy area. In the comments people were saying that if you had a bump or bulge of any sort that it would show with this sweater.

I may just try another sweater from the same issue. The climbing Vines Pullover seemed to look good on all the models. I’m just not sure I can do that one. As I said, I’ve never done a sweater and the Victoria Yoke was top down and just seemed easier to understand. I’m afraid I won’t be able to seam up the other one. I’ll read through it again and see if I can do it. I suppose if I get stuck I can always get help here!!:thumbsup:

I think that because it’s knit with a size 4 needle, you could probably go up to a 5 or 6 with slightly heavier yarn and that would gain you the couple inches. You could also skip any waist shaping if there is any, or increase a few sts on the front only if there’s not. That would give you a little bit extra so it wouldn’t be as snug over your tummy.

Sue, Thank you so much for all your help on this. For the lower body it says to work 6 rnds even. Then there is a decrease rnd. It says to work a decrease rnd every other row 6 more times. Then work even for a few rnds. Then an increase rnd every other row 7 times.

Would those decrease rnds be the waist shaping you are talking about? If so, am I correct in thinking I would just work even until I get to the increase rnds (which I’m assuming is the hips).

Also, if I added increases would I work them in where the decrease rnds are instead?

I’m back to wanting to give this a try, I just want to have it all worked out in my head first! Thanks again!

I would also check and see if you can get a copy of Big Girl Knits at your local library. I checked it out of mine and found a lot of good shaping info to emphasize and de-emphasize body parts. They have some lovely patterns in there as well. I made a top called Bombshell from the book. The sizing started at a 42" bust.
I have used info from the book to make my own design and shaped it to flatter my own body.

Have you looked around on Rav to see what it looks like on other real people (i.e. not skinny model types). People usually post what size they made, and I think it gives a better idea of what it will look like on a real woman’s body. :slight_smile: I have had patterns that I thought wouldn’t look good on me that I changed my mind about after seeing them on Ravelry, and vice versa as well.

Thanks. I just checked and my library has a copy of this book. I will def. go check it out as soon as I can!!

I checked on Ravelry. There aren’t many on there and the ones that were on there were smaller sizes.

I can’t get the yarn just yet, so I have plenty of time to get it figured out and planned. Thanks to everyone for all the advice!

Yes that would be the waist shaping. And you could just work even all the way to the hem. The dec rounds takes the measurement down a bit for the waist, and the inc rounds take you back to where you started. So you may not need to inc any. The great thing about top down sweaters like this is that you can try them on as you go. You don’t have to wait and knit the whole thing and put the pieces together to try it on and hope it fits. You can adjust as you go.

Well, I think I’m going to go for it. I’m going to start yarn shopping online and was wondering if you all had any suggestions for yarn substitutes. This was knit in Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK on a size 4 needle. I want to gain a couple inches, so I’ll go up to a size 6 or so needle. What weight yarn should I choose? Should I go for a worsted weight?

Also, when checking gauge, is it the less stitches you have per inch, the larger the item will be? Or is it the other way around?

A lot of DK yarns knit well on size 6s. For gauge if you get less stitches/inch then yes the same number of stitches will be larger. So if the pattern is 24 sts/4" or 6 per inch, and you get 4 sts per inch, then 24 sts will be 6".