My Photo

Become a Fan

« Poste Yarn Contest | Main | Halloween Party at SSYC! »

October 22, 2018



I’m working on a Flax sweater by Tin Can Knits. There is also a Flax Light, so you could see where your yarn choice fits best. I really like the pattern for being easy to understand and available in a wide range of sizes. There are also a large number of projects to look at in Ravelry for color ideas, modification possibilities and fit.


To me, the classification the manufacturer tags the yarn with is less important than the gauge it knits up to, in a fabric YOU like. If there's something that appeals to you, grab a skein of it, knit up a good-sized swatch (or four, or more), and wash and dry the swatch as you would wash the sweater. Play with the swatches, especially if the yarn is one you've never used before: rub them, tug at them, poke your fingers into them, otherwise mistreat them and see how they hold up. Then measure the gauge (both stitches and rows) of the swatch that you think would make a sweater you'd enjoy wearing, remembering that if the yarn is dyed to be striping or otherwise self-patterning, the length of your rows or rounds will dramatically affect the look of the patterning in the finished product.

Once you have a gauge, you can use the pattern browser and advanced search to find sweaters in your gauge (or a range of gauges close to what you're getting). You can further set the search options to narrow down the results to things already in your library, or available for purchase on line. When you look at the results of your search, if there's a pattern that grabs you, look at the projects made with that pattern, specifically looking for sweaters shown on people who look like they're your size or shape, to see how it might work on you.

You can also use the search capabilities to look at the yarn you choose, and see what projects people have used it for.

You specifically say that you're not petite. Have you looked at a copy of the book Big Girl Knits, for fitting information specifically aimed at those who are not petite? I've also found Amy Herzog's books to be particularly valuable for information on fit and construction. (Another option for a sweater pattern would be to use Amy Herzog's CustomFit pattern generator, which combines a gauge from YOUR swatch with YOUR exact measurements to give you a pattern that will fit YOU perfectly. I haven't done this myself, but friends have come up with beautiful results using it.)

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

Cindy Carpenter

Check out EZ’s recipe for seamless sweaters. Go ahead, buy her books, you know you want to. She walks you through getting the swatch that your yarn wants to be. Buy the yarn you want then knit the sweater it wants to be.

Wendy Chase

Quince and Co. makes a nice sport weight yarn called Chickadee so if you're set on that weight check it out. I just blocked my first ever sweater (newborn size, worsted weight) and I'm so excited I want to knit sweaters for ALL the grandkids lol!


No specific recommendations but some thoughts to help you pick a pattern. Look for sweater styles that have characteristics you know look good on you. For example I'm short and busty and know that V-neck or shawl collar look best on me. Determining appropriate amount of ease is important - too tight or too sloppy both can ruin how you look. Measure a sweater that fits well and use those measurements to help find the proper size. And you will have to swatch to make sure you're really knitting that size!

Good luck!


I am actually plotting my first adult-sized sweater myself! I was deciding between sport and DK but I ended up falling in love with a hand-dyed DK so that decided me. It is a heavily speckled yarn so I am going very simple with the pattern— Joji Locatelli’s Basic Raglan Pullover.

I am a US size 16-18 and well endowed so I took some time to look at the sweaters I own and love best to figure out what construction/styles would make me happy. For me that meant realizing that while I love the look of a colorwork yoke sweater, I don’t like the look on me, and while drop sleeves look great on some, I prefer how I look in set-in or raglan sleeves.

I also second the recommendation above for Big Girl Knits. I got it from my library at first but soon purchased a copy as I can tell I’ll be referring to it a lot in the future.

If you do go sportweight, I know 4 people who’ve knit Shaken or Stirred -

One of them is actually working on her second version because her daughter kept wearing the original! It is a seamless cardigan with some simple stripes/colorwork. Looking at the projects tab there are so many beautiful modifications! This one is definitely next on my sweater projects.

I also love the subtle textures of Coldfield -
For me personally I’d need to modify the pattern for a larger bust size, so it’s also a backburner project for now.

Good luck!

The comments to this entry are closed.