Choosing A Size For Something Pretty

Note from Sandi: Welcome to my little corner of Knitting Daily! Every Thursday, I'll be sharing stories of my knitting adventures, as well as some tips and tricks I've learned along the way. Thanks for coming by!

I've never been able to focus on only one project at a time—I like to wander from one set of needles to the next, knitting on a little of this and a bit of that…Sometimes I'll work on a couple of different projects on the same day, especially if there is a rough spot I'm trying to figure out, or if a pattern is very repetitious. It helps keep things moving if I set one project aside for a bit and work on something else, switching back and forth as my moods take me.

I guess all of this is a lead-up to me saying: I couldn't resist it. I've cast on for yet another project. It's just a small detour from the Star Light, Star Bright blanket, I promise. And besides…see how cute it is? That's the little Bolero from Interweave's Feminine Knits, and a few weeks back my friend Anne told me she thought it would look cute on me, and ever since then I've been a wee bit obsessed (NO! Who, ME?) with the pattern. So I threw up my hands at the idea of ever being a Sensible, Orderly Knitter, and went for it. (You understand. I know you do.)


Choosing a size

Ah, here we go—the first, most crucial, and sometimes most challenging step in knitting any garment is choosing the correct size. And lately, for me, this has been a bit more tricky than usual—those of you who've been on Knitting Daily for a while know that I've lost quite a bit of weight, and I don't think my brain has accepted just how much weight I have lost! It seems that everything I knit is just a bit on the large side, as though I'm unconsciously adding back in some of those lost inches. So this time, I decided to measure, measure, measure, and try to knit for the REAL me instead of the me I imagine I see in the mirror.

I started with the pattern's Finished Bust measurement. My full bust is 40"; the largest size given in the pattern is 41"…but with the stretchiness of the lace and all, I'm thinking I'll knit the next size down, the 38.5", and see what happens. Normally, I would knit the 41"—"just to be on the safe side"—but maybe I don't need to be safe like that anymore. Maybe I just need to be…me. The REAL me.

I did some checking with my tape measure, a couple of my own garments with similar fit, and the pattern schematics. First, I held the tape measure loosely around my bust to see where the ends of a 38.5" bolero would fall; it turns out that those ends fall in the center at a very attractive distance apart for my new shape. If I hold the tape measure to see where the 41" sweater fronts would fall, they overlap, even if held loosely.

The rest of the measurements on the schematic I used to check things like width across the back at the underarm (compared to a little raglan sweater I have in my closet that I like), cuff circumference (compared to a similar short-sleeve top), and so on. After all this, I decided that the 38.5" was a pretty close match to how I wanted this little sweater to fit the body I have now.

So we all know what comes next, right? The best part: Yarn shopping! Yippee! Local yarn shop, here I come.

Next week: The yarn. The cast-on. And, you know what else is looming just ahead…the gauge swatch. (Will I talk my way out of doing one? Will I make charming excuses? Will I do one and be wildly off? Check back and see…)

Knit with joy,
– Sandi

P.S. Let me know what you think! You can leave a comment below or even email me at [email protected]

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