Spotlight On Process: Creating A Sweater Template

Do you have a sweater in your closet that fits you to perfection? If you were to reach for a sweater, this is the one you automatically put your hands on....You are comfortable in it; you feel good in it and like how you look.  Maybe there are two.  One can be the sweater you pull to run errands or hang around home and love how you feel.  The other can be one you reach for when you are a little more dressed up, going to grab dinner with a friend or perhaps a party.

I encourage you to measure that sweater(s) to determine the finished fit for future sweaters you knit or crochet. If you take detailed measurements of those rock star sweaters in your wardrobe, you can quickly look at a schematic, figure in the ease of the sweater, and select your size with ease.  These measurements will also help you know if you might need to modify your new project to make it a sweater you will love and wear.

I bought my template years ago at Ann Taylor (I think in my early 30s), and it has been a favorite. It has a little stain on it that I cannot get to yield so that I might reverse-engineer the design. Now, that is love.

So grab your favorite sweater and a tape measure and join me in taking some important measurements of your "template" sweater.

Please remember a few things:

  • We are measuring this garment flat, so if you want a circumference measurement, please multiply by 2
  • This is a finished measurement—you should also have someone help you take your actual measurements and note those as well.
  • Note how much ease your template sweater has at the bust. 

Here are the measurements I will take on my sweater:

  1. Bust 
  2. waist, if any
  3. bottom circumference of the sweater
  4. upper sleeve circumference
  5. sleeve length
  6. back of neck to cast off of the sweater
  7. underarm to bottom
  8. armhole depth for set-in sleeve
  9. yoke depth front
  10. yoke depth back

    With your favorite sweater mapped, you have all the information to make an informed decision on what size to knit. Material and ease will always vary, but you have a road map for your sweater-knitting journey!


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