Sweater sizing

I have a pattern that I really really want to make. Its the cutest raglan sleeve, cowl neck sweater. The only problem? I keep second guessing myself on the sizing of the sweater. The smallest size of the sweater on the pattern has a 42" bust and 30" length. I have a 38" bust and am about 5’5". I normally wear about a size Medium and/or between an 8 and a 10. I keep thinking that the sweater will be big enough to fit me and have some room to it, but I am so paranoid that I will get finished and the sweater will be way to small or way too big (although bigger is better than too small). I have also measured a sweater of mine and the pattern seems large comapred to the sweater measurements, but I am still worried.

Also, the model shown is wearing a large and it only looks about 2 sizes too big (she has it sort of draped off her shoulder if that makes any sense).

So, hopefully someone can help me out. I have had the pattern and the yarn for about a month now and am too scared to try it out.

Thanks in advance!!


There’s a good chance that the sweater is meant to be worn oversized. It sounds like that is the way it is modeled so that certainly something to consider. I think the only thing that could end up hurting you is if the arm holes are too snug. It probably won’t be an issue, but that’s the one place where sizing might pose an issue. That said, I’m 5’5" with a 36" bust and I easily fit into most small sized knit wear. There is absolutely no consistency among pattern designers and we all get to decide what we want to consider Small, Medium, Large, etc. One person may consider a size 2 to be “small” others might think a size 6 is “small” and what size 2 or 6 means varries from one person to the next.

If the measurements appear to be about right for you, I think you should proceed with the small.

I have no idea if this applies to knitting, but American sizes are different from European sizes. I have a friend who used to live in Europe for a while and I think this is how she explained things to me. In terms of measurement, the European sizes are more accurate. American sizes are smaller than European sizes, which I think was done to feed into womens’ vanity about their body image. Example, a size 4 American is actually, and more realistically, a size 6 European. European sizes are used most often in wedding dresses.

It may help to know where your pattern came from in terms getting a better idea of how it will fit.

It came from a Knit1 magazine… I don’t know where it originated from though. Hopefully the size small will be ok. It looks like it should be sized for an oversize look, but can’t be sure.