Understanding Those Pesky Measurements (And More Galleries!)
Getting to know you…
Hi there…Sandi here again! There were quite a few questions regarding schematics and measuring, so I thought we’d take a little stroll into Measurement Land today. We have a few more galleries to share with you, but I think the galleries will be more helpful if we are all speaking the same language. So let’s start with some critical measurements which correspond to those either found directly on the schematic, or those which can easily be figured out from what is given in the schematic.
Finished Bust Size: This is used as the benchmark measurement for most knitting patterns. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT YOUR BRA BAND SIZE. Mixing up the two measurements is the single most common mistake knitters make. (The bra band size is a formula used by the lingerie industry, not an actual body measurement.) To find your finished bust size: Take a flexible tape measure and measure around the fullest part of your bust.
Waist: This is often described as “the narrowest part of your torso,” a phrase which isn’t much help for the voluptuous goddesses and the very petite pixies amongst us. Find your hip bones, then wiggle your fingers up your sides until you find the natural indentation just above the bones. That’s your natural waist.
Tricia finding her full bust measurement
Center Back Length: This is a measurement that is sometimes mentioned in sewing books, but beware: there are several different measurements with similar names! Here on Knitting Daily, Center Back Length refers to the distance between your most prominent neckbone and your tailbone. Why this dimension? Because your tailbone often is at the same level of your hip measurement, so it can provide a useful guide to determining garment length vis-a-vis your torso length. Although Center Back Length is often not shown directly on a schematic, you can usually add together some of the schematic numbers to come up with a neck-to-hem number which you can compare to your own measurements.
Don't forget to include L'Belly!
Hips: Find your leg joint, and your tailbone. Wrap the tape measure around yourself at that level, and look down. Is this the widest part of your lower half? Wiggle the tape measure around until it is around your widest bits. That’s your hip measurement. NOTE: Many sweaters are designed to fall at your high-hip point, which is about halfway between your waist and your hips. Where you want your garment to fall is YOUR choice, so measure yourself carefully, compare to the schematic measurements, and adjust accordingly.
If you are gifted with Bellyliciousness: Realize that the widest part of you may be a bit above your actual hips, closer to the widest part of Lady Belly. Since the point is to determine how the bottom of your sweater will fit, you need the widest part of you nearest your hips, curvy belly included.
You'll get the best knit-to-fit results if you swatch carefully, measure yourself accurately (and often!), and study the schematics provided. (A willingness to rip back and re-knit when something isn't turning out right helps, too.)
Be a fearless knitter.
Knit for the real you, not for the model in the magazine or for some distorted image of the woman you think you are.
We have four more galleries for you, some of them with customization suggestions by Katie Himmelberg, everyone's favorite assistant editor of Interweave Knits magazine! By popular demand, Katie has reviewed the Refined Aran Jacket, and you can read her comments on the gallery page itself. You can also find a listing of all the Interweave Sweater Galleries by clicking our new Galleries button!
Those are all the galleries we have left for the Winter 2007 issue, at least until my Gathered Pullover is done. (The sample sweaters are no longer available, as they are winging their way across the U.S. for their starring roles in the Interweave Knits Trunk Shows.) I hope you enjoyed them—let us know what you think!
Nominate your favorite patterns!
Don’t forget to nominate your favorites! Next Saturday, December 15, is the LAST DAY we are accepting nominations for the Interweave Knits Reader’s Choice Awards. We’ll announce the top ten finalists right here on Knitting Daily in January, after which you’ll all get to vote for your all-time top five favorite patterns, which will be released together as a free ebook in Spring 2008.
The CPH returns!
Next week, join me in welcoming back Lisa Shroyer, editor of Knitscene magazine, for a week-long adventure in modifiying the Central Park Hoodie for larger sizes. An extended, enhanced version of the original pattern—including an extended range of sizing—will be available for sale on Knitting Daily starting Monday. As if that weren't enough, Lisa and I are cooking up a little surprise along the CPH theme for y'all.
Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.
What's on Sandi's needles? Seven inches of the Gathered Pullover; a pair of socks on two circulars with partial heel flaps, and eight inches of the hood of my husband's cabled hoodie.