Here are the four crucial things that make a garment come out just right:
1. Choosing the right size pattern
2. Getting the color perfect
3. Checking your gauge
4. Choosing the right yarn

Making the Right Size Garment

Sweater size is more than just choosing small, medium, or large.

A very important thing to understand about getting your sweater the right size is the concept of ease.

Liat wearing knitted sweaterEase is how loose or tight a sweater is on you. It is a matter of preference. If you like your sweaters form-fitting, like at left, you can make them with no ease, which means the sweater is exactly the same circumference as you are.

You can even make a sweater with negative ease, which means that the sweater is smaller than you are and when you put it on it’s going to stretch on you.

Alternatively, you can make it with positive ease: one or two or even five inches of ease if you want a big, comfy, loose, boyfriend-type sweater. Many patterns won’t mention ease but you can factor in ease on your own if you know how you like your sweaters to fit.

Fair Isle Yoke Pullover by Elizabeth Zimmermann
This sweater has zero ease
Giant fuzzy blue sweater lots of ease
This sweater has so much ease

An easy (no pun intended) way to know how much ease you like is to measure your favorite sweater – the one your friends always say looks great on you. Just measure across the chest and down the inseam of the sleeve, and find the size in the pattern that is closest to your measurements.

Up next: tips for choosing the right color of yarn for you. Plus, you’ll get to see my disastrous first sweater.

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