Knitting Design - Measuring - 毛衣設計

Hung Chueng Garments

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Designing Your Own Knitwear: Measuring and Calculating - 設計你的毛衣

This is the second article in a series on basic knitwear design (毛衣設計) and looks at creating your pattern through measuring and calculating. The first article in this series can be found here.

Using an existing garment as a template.

The easiest way to work out the size of your new garment is to take an existing favourite piece of clothing, and measure it. This does not have to be a sweater; a favourite T-shirt can work as well.

Measurements to take:

  • A Chest/bust at the widest part (where the sleeves join the main body)
  • B Length at centre back
  • C Depth of neck opening.
  • D Width of neck opening.
  • E Sleeve length, from underarm to edge of cuff
  • F Width of sleeve at cuff
  • G Width of sleeve at top (i.e. the distance between the top of the garment, and the armpit x2).

Measuring the wearer of your garment.

If there is no suitable garment from which to take the above measurements, then you will need to measure the person who will be wearing your finished item.

Take the following measurements:

  • A Chest/bust - The type of fit you want the garment to have will determine how much you need to add to this measurement. At this stage we are looking at basic knitwear design (毛衣設計) in simple shapes, and so a loose fit is recommended. Add 10-15 cm (4-6”) to the chest size, and then divide your total by two, as you will be making the front and back as separate pieces.
  • B Length of garment - from the centre of the neck to where you want the bottom of the sweater to be.
  • C Depth of neck opening - This works best with a ruler and a second pair of hands. Get the recipient of the sweater to hold a ruler across their chest where they want the lowest point of the neck to be. A second person can then measure the distance between the centre of the shoulder down to the ruler.
  • D Width of neck opening - This is pretty much done by eye, holding a tape measure across the back of the wearer’s neck. If in doubt then the neck is usually between one third and two fifths of the total back width.
  • E Sleeve length - from the armpit to the wrist.
  • F Cuff - Measure around the wrist, and add at least 5cm (the garment will have to go over the wearer’s hand).
  • G Around the widest part of the arm - Again allowing for a loose fit (at least 10 cm)

You now have your measurements and your tension and can begin to calculate the number of stitches and rows needed for your basic garment. For example, a child’s V-necked drop sleeved sweater with a tension of 2.2 stitches and 1.9 rows per cm.

  • A Chest – 48cm - 48cm x 2.2sts gives a total number of stitches of 105.6. Rounding up this would be 106 stitches
  • B Length of garment – 53cm - 53cm x 1.9 rows gives a total number of rows of 100.7 rows. Rounding up to the nearest even number (to end on a wrong side row) would give 102 rows.
  • C Depth of neck opening – 18cm – 34 rows
  • D Width of neck opening – 20 cm – 44 stitches.
  • E Sleeve length – 46cm – 88 rows
  • F Width of sleeve at cuff – 19cm – 42 sts
  • G Width of sleeve at top – 42 cm – 92 sts

Please note that these are the total measurements and do not allow for any ribbing or edging at the cuff or waistband. The next article in this series looks at the types of edgings available.