Knit A Bit

Complete Idiot's Guide To Knitting & Crocheting

How To Adjust Knitting Sweater Patterns

A knitting pattern for a sweater may indicate size S, M, and L or it may say it's written for sizes 8, 10, and 12. There may be an indication of the total length of the sweater, the armhole, and the sleeve length.

Even if it doesn't include a schematic where you can see these measurements in a drawing, they'll be indicated in the pattern somewhere. Look carefully and you may see something like:
Work until piece measures 12 inches from the beginning and then begin shaping armhole.

This means the body of the piece is 12 inches long.

It's important to understand your own body type and measurements. Do you have extra long or shorter than average arms? Is your torso long, short, or average? Or perhaps you simply prefer longer sleeves.

Read through the pattern carefully and be sure you understand how it works. Especially if it's a simple pattern stitch, all you need to do is work an inch or two extra or an inch or two less. You may only need a few extra or fewer rows. You can do this at any point that measures vertically in the pattern: the sleeves, the body, or the armhole.

My book, The Complete Idiot's Guide To Knitting And Crocheting (3rd edition), is a comprehensive resource. You'll learn all the basics and then add additional skills that will take you well beyond the beginning stages.

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