Stretch of a cotton cardigan?

I’m knitting a cardigan that buttons down the front out of 100% cotton fingerweight yarn, and I want to know how much it will stretch so I can make my calculations. The pattern says to knit everything 2 inches smaller than your dimensions, but I’m kind of busty and worried that it will gape around the buttons. I want to be able to wear small tees under it, and I still want it to be somewhat fitted. Right now I have it calculated so that everything is 1 inch bigger than I am. Will that stretch too much? Any suggestions for washing and blocking?
Pattern: Glamour Knits by Erika Knight, Chinoiserie Cardigan
Yarn: 100% cotton Softball from Valley Knits
Gauge: 26sts/28rows=4in

Did you do a guage swatch? It is really difficult to anticipate how much something is going to stretch. It often depends on the stitches used and what not. If it said to do 2 in bigger and you were worried it would be big, then I think you are okay with what you did. Better to have it come out a little small, which you can fix with blocking.

What kind of stitch pattern are you doing? Some stretch more than others…and some vertically vs horizontally. Gravity also comes into play with time. Something that stretches one way at first may not look that way in a few weeks/months of wear.


I discovered I was being quite silly and inexperienced with reading patterns–I thought “actual bust” was what my size was, and “to fit bust” was the size of the cardigan. It actually has 2 inches of ease, as opposed to the 2 inches of negative ease that I mistakingly thought it had. I just followed the pattern (i.e. my bust is 36", so I’m making the cardigan 38"), except I made it nip in a lot more at the waist (ooo la la!). I never knew knitting required so much math!
Fortunately I did do a gauge swatch, but I’m not really familiar with how stretchy it is, qualitatively, since I’ve only done hats and scarves and never really cared about stretch. It’s in stockinette, with ribbing on all edges and up the sleeve seam. Do you think that’ll hold it’s shape ok or start to droop like Dali’s melting clocks?

St st grows vertically. Most likely the sleeves and hem will move south.