All knitting and crochet patterns have a paragraph with information regarding the measurements for the item(s) featured.

This measurement consists of the suggested range of sizes or age for the pattern featured and the actual finished measurement of the design(s). Deciding which size to make can often create a dilemma.

For example, you might see information similar to that given below on the pattern for a ladies’ cardigan.

  • To fit bust sizes 81 (86) (91) (97) (102) cm/32 (34) (36) (38) (40) in
  • Actual measurements 91 (97.5) (103) (109) (114) cm/36 (38 1⁄4) (40 1⁄2) (43) (45) in
  • Side seam 37 (38) (39) (40) (41) cm/14 1⁄2 (15) (15 1⁄4) (15 3⁄4) (16) in
  • Length 58 (60) (62) (64) (66) cm/ 22 3⁄4 (23 1⁄2) (24 1⁄4) (25 1⁄4) (26) in
  • Sleeve seam 45 (46) (47) (48) (49) cm/17 3⁄4 (18) (18 1⁄2) (19) (19 1⁄4) in

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to sizing an item or clothes, cushion cover or latest knitting pattern then we’re here to help. Our experts offer six invaluable tips to keep in mind when you need to alter the size of a pattern you’re making.

Choosing the right knitting size: 6 top tips

1. As a starting and for comparison, take all the measurements from your favourite sweater.

2. On the basis of these measurements, decide whether the actual measurements for the size that you require is suitable for you.

3. Feel confident to choose the size on the actual measurements given rather than the recommended sizes.

4. You could mix and match measurements ie different sleeve or body length of the garment but keep in mind that this may alter the yarn requirements.

5. If both metric and imperial measurements are given in the pattern. Always work to one or the other, do not mix.

6. It might be helpful to highlight all the measurements you need to work throughout the instructions.

If you’re planning a holiday this summer, or simply a day trip to the beach, why not knit yourself a bag to carry all your essentials.