I haven’t really made a lot of sweaters ….I have made countless pairs of socks, but sweaters not as much.  (I have started a lot, but haven’t finished.) The ones that I’ve finished are beautiful…but at the same time just don’t fit very well.  I made one for Larry that is just a bit too big for him  – ok, its actually a whole size too big – and the sleeves – way too long!  I made a summer top for me last year – again, just a bit too big.  I made Soleil last year and it was so big I just couldn’t wear it and gave it to Goodwill.  But I thought it was gauge related – I never really did gauge checks before when I knit, and now I do so I really thought this problem had been solved.

So when I started the Lutea Lace shell, I made sure to do a gauge swatch, measured myself ….and chose the right size.

As I was working on it, a little voice kept on whispering in my ear….”this is too big”…but I kept on going.  I loved the pattern, the yarn….I was clipping along….”its too big”…..nope, I measured….

I got past the part where you divide front and back, did the short row section (I still don’t “get” what the short rows do but hopefully once I’m done with both sides I’ll see it).  This morning, I sat out side and finished the back right shoulder…beautiful.  Amazing pattern – love the lace (wonder how this would be in a sock?).  I was confident that I would finish this today….but  I kept on hearing the little voice…”too big”….


So I brought it in and tried it on…um…well, hold on, maybe if I hold it this way. Seems to gape a bit all over…  So I compared it to the shirt I was wearing…


Yeah, I’d say its a bit big, eh?  I went back to the pattern and saw that it says its close fitting  – this isn’t going to  be close fitting on me by any stretch of the imagination. 

I’m not sure where the problem is, but I suspect two things.  First – I have a problem accepting the fact that I wear a smaller size than I used to.  So I picked a large for this even though I don’t wear a large anymore.  I don’t want to get into a whole discussion on body image but I have the same problem when I buy clothes – I think I’ve worn baggy/large clothes for so long that its just weird for me to have things fit the right way  – in fact the shirt I’m wearing and compared the shell to is actually a bit big for me but I was afraid it would shrink so I bought a size larger than I should.

I also think that Cotton Ease doesn’t drape the same way as other cottons – maybe its the arcylic blend in it, but I just think it lays differently.    Its just not clingy – and it doesn’t have the same weight of 100% cotton.

So I did measure, but I didn’t take into account that its close fitting, doesn’t have a lot of ease…and that between what I should wear, the yarn, and everything else – I shouldn’t pick a large size to make up!  So…where am I with it now? I’m looking at two big yarn balls on the table and an empty needle.  No point in continuing to make something that I won’t be able to wear, so I’m going to start over in a smaller size.  Sigh…


This is the hem of the shell – the pattern calls for straight stockinette from the get go – and thsi is what happens.  I think I’m going to change and do a couple of rows of either garter or something to help it from rolling.  Any ideas? 


18 Responses to Sizing

  1. much-adored says:

    i’ve had the same exact thing happen to me with the honeymoon cami from knitty. for the bottom, to keep from rolling, how about one repeat of the lace pattern from the shoulders (minus the short rows)? that could look really pretty and subtle.

  2. Dayum!! Well, I would definitely still make it in the smaller size. And there is no way your a large, so lets just accept that, shall we? I like the idea of doing some of the lace at the bottom – that would look nice.

  3. rhoda says:

    I like the idea of doing some of the lace @ the bottom too–that would be really pretty! sorry to hear you got so far along to realize it wasn’t going to fit..hmmm, socks in that lace pattern? They would look gorgeous!

  4. tiennie says:

    What a bummer. I do love all that white though!

  5. Irie says:

    I’ve resolved to stop belittling my inner voice by calling it a “little voice”, and start paying more attention to what it is trying to tell me! Sounds like you will benefit from doing the same, at least when knitting sweaters ;)) … at least you’ve faced the truth and I wish you happy knitting (in the right size!) on the second round! 🙂

  6. barbara says:

    I agree – that inner voice says what we don’t always want to hear but what would save us time and anguish by heeding! And the white is great – it will all work out and be gorgeous!!!

  7. Laurie says:

    Sorry the shell didn’t turn out for you. Restart it in the smaller size RIGHT AWAY!

    Love your spinning.

    Hope it’s all helping your knee feel better. 🙂

  8. Opal says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sizing woes. I hope things go better the 2nd time around. I’ll be cheering you on.

  9. Rebekah says:

    Sorry no ideas, but I think it’s funny that you consistently make things too big, and I consistently make them too small. I have to frog another stupid sweater because of this. Oh well.

    Hope it works out. i’m avoiding all sweaters (with the exception of my Dale since I’m sure it’s the right size – watchi t won’t be)

  10. hakucho says:

    So disapointing. 😦 I love sweaters and have knit them to gauge, but they never fit right. I wish I knew the secret. Good luck on your second try.

    happy knitting 🙂

  11. Terri says:

    That’s a shame. I had the same problem when I was knitting with cotton over summer. I ended up ripping and re-doing the back of my lacy panel sweater 3 times in all. And with cotton’s tendency to stretch with wear….much better to make smaller to begin with! Goodluck with it next time around.

  12. Sherry says:

    That is a bummer, and so far along, too. (I wish I was down a size :D) I am sure it will go faster though since you are familiar with the pattern!!

  13. confiance says:

    I kinda like the rolling at the bottom, but I agree that a repeat of the lace pattern would look nice as well.

    I’ve only made one sweater and I got lucky as I barely checked gauge. (don’t tell the knitting gods that.) But I agree that it is so hard to figure out what size to knit. At least in a store, you can try stuff on til you find something that fits.

  14. stitch-dom says:

    See it as a good thing and not a ripping back all your hard work thing! You got some new information about yourself. Perhaps its time to get Larry to take some good measurements (if you haven’t already) to work with? I hope the re-knit goes well (am sending sizing mojo your way!!).

  15. Arleta says:

    Aww! That’s too bad. At least you like the pattern, and doing a smaller size is way better than having to do a bigger size!

  16. You could do a folded hem to preserve the stockinette edge and prevent the rolling.

    As for the sizing issue, I believe there is a warp in the space time continuum between actual body sizes and those measured on clothing. I swear I have my chest measurements right (34″), knit the half a sweater to the right dimensions (17″), even lose a stitcth on each side during seaming….. and the sweater STILL TURNS OUT TOO BIG!!!!

    It’s not our fault. Physics just doesn’t apply to knitting.

  17. lobstah says:

    Is the rolled hem supposed to be part of the look? Otherwise it just seems strange not to have an edge of some sort. Anyway, I liked the idea of a lace hem that someone else had–

  18. knitxcore says:

    yeah, i say go for the garter.

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