In my blog post, Knit Your First Sweater, I mention that many people do not like to knit sweaters because they have trouble with fit. Knitting a sweater from top down, as most patterns are designed these days, gives the you the opportunity to ensure the pattern will fit because it can be tried it on as you knit.
My Cargill Sweater is the perfect example of how important it is to stop and try on a sweater. I knew that trying the sweater on was going to be part of the knitting process for this project because I was in between sizes. I knit the smaller size 3 despite the fact it gave me no ease in the bust. The size 4 was going to be way too big for me. If it didn’t fit right, I was going to start over and knit the larger size.
I finished the yoke and put my sweater on my TKB Cord (something every sweater knitter needs) and tried it on. The sweater fit my square shoulders perfectly. For me if it fits my shoulders, the bust will also fit properly. BUT take a look at where my sweater hits, I do not have enough depth in the yoke.
In that same Knit Your First Sweater blog post, I also encourage you to “Measure your favorite sweater (yoke, bust, length, etc) and look for a fit that is similar.” Out came my favorite sweater, and I laid my Cargill WIP on top. Yes indeed, the yoke is too shallow and I need to add another inch to the yoke before dividing for the sleeves. (It may look like I need two inches but, because I knit and blocked my swatch, I know that I will get some extra length in blocking.) You can also steam your piece (and let it dry) before trying it on or measuring it if you are not sure of any gauge changes.
Fit crisis averted! Had I not slowed down and taken the extra step, my sweater would have not fit me. By trying on the sweater, I now know this will be a piece that will be comfortable to wear. I will follow the same process to ensure the body length is correct and then again to check my sleeve length. (See square shoulder reference….it also plays with sleeve length.)
Go forth and knit a sweater with confidence!