Cro­chet So­lu­tions 101

De­signer Jill Han­ratty shares some tips on choos­ing the cor­rect pat­tern size.

Crochet! - - Contents - By Jill Han­ratty

Here are some tips on cro­chet­ing gar­ments to fit and flat­ter.

Q: I have some­times been dis­ap­pointed in the fit of sweaters I have cro­cheted, even though I thought I chose the right size. How can I be sure to choose the size that will fit?

A: Know­ing your own mea­sure­ments is your first step. The style and func­tion of the sweater you in­tend to make should be your next con­sid­er­a­tion. The dif­fer­ence be­tween body mea­sure­ments and fin­ished mea­sure­ments is the amount of ease in­cluded in the fin­ished gar­ment. Wear­ing ease al­lows move­ment in the gar­ment, and de­sign ease ac­com­mo­dates the style of the gar­ment. A cardi­gan or pullover made to be worn over some­thing else will have larger di­men­sions— or greater de­sign ease— than a snug- fit­ting pullover, which may have wear­ing ease that amounts to lit­tle or no ease, or even neg­a­tive ease.

Keep­ing in mind how you plan to wear the sweater, check your wardrobe for some­thing sim­i­lar and use that for com­par­i­son. Nat­u­rally, the closer in style your gar­ment is to the sweater you plan to make the bet­ter, but as long as the func­tion is sim­i­lar, you will be in the right neigh­bor­hood. Take mea­sure­ments to cor­re­spond with the mea­sure­ments pro­vided on the schematic. Draw your own schematic and record the mea­sure­ments. This is for your use, so it does not mat­ter if your draw­ing is im­per­fect! Pay at­ten­tion to how you like the fit of this gar­ment. Is it per­fect? Do you love the fit but wish the length was dif­fer­ent, or that the sleeves were longer or shorter? Would you pre­fer it to be looser or closer- fit­ting? Make notes on your draw­ing re­gard­ing the fit and hold on to it for fu­ture ref­er­ence. In ad­di­tion to notes, in­clude the date so you will know to al­low for any changes your body may un­dergo in the in­terim be­tween mak­ing the draw­ing and us­ing it again for fu­ture cro­chet gar­ments.

Now com­pare the mea­sure­ments you have recorded to the mea­sure­ments pro­vided on the schematic ac­com­pa­ny­ing the pat­tern you will use. Tak­ing into ac­count any changes you might like to make to your ex­ist­ing gar­ment, choose the set of mea­sure­ments that is clos­est and use the cor­re­spond­ing size. How­ever, if … (see next ques­tion).

Q: The di­men­sions of the gar­ment I mea­sured are in be­tween mea­sure­ments given on the schematic. Should I size up or down?

A: When you com­pare mea­sure­ments, if they fall be­tween fin­ished mea­sure­ments for the cro­cheted gar­ment, there are a few things to con­sider. Look­ing at how the sweater fits the model can give you some guid­ance. How­ever, rather than re­ly­ing solely on the photo, you should once again think about how you want to wear your new sweater and look at the notes you made on your schematic. Is the sweater you plan to make sup­posed to have a fair amount of ease? Choose the larger size. Is it a fit­ted sweater? Choose the smaller size. Think about how you like things to fit. If you like a sil­hou­ette that hugs the body, the smaller size might work; if you pre­fer to have things fit loosely, the larger size should be right. How­ever, the phrases “might work” and “should be right” sound too iffy once you have come this far! This is the point at which mak­ing a swatch will help you de­cide.

How much stretch does the swatch have? If it has a lot of give and you like a close fit, you can choose the smaller size; if there is lit­tle or no give, choose the larger size. In mak­ing this de­ter­mi­na­tion, you should also keep in mind the

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