A Classic Dilemma

It’s a classic “Which came first? The chicken…or the egg?” Especially with KnitFit™ Pattern Generator, because aside from your body measurements, your gauge is MOST important! How can you knit a gauge swatch if you haven’t bought the yarn; and, how can you know how much yarn to buy if you haven’t knit the gauge swatch?

Let me try to help you out here…

1. Choose your design

First, choose your design. StitchersStudio Shop has both KnitFit™ Custom Patterns and traditional (non-custom) patterns. You don’t need a guide to tell you what design you like, but make sure to select a KnitFit™ pattern, meaning it is compatible with the Pattern Generator.

2. Shop for a yarn that complements the design

How do I choose my yarn? Consider the following:

  • When and where do you want to wear the design? 
  • Do you live in a cold climate and want a snuggly, warm winter sweater? 
  • Do you live in a warm climate where even the coldest winter days you hardly need a jacket to stay warm? 

These questions are important as they will determine the yarn weight, and by association, the gauge of your knitted garment. 

3. Consider the yarn label’s suggested gauge

The manufacturer has valuable insights into what gauge will result in the nicest “fabric” for their yarn. This is not the last word, but given their experience with the product, it’s a good starting point. So if a yarn label states 22 sts to 4in/10cm using a size US 6/4mm needle, you can bet that it is a dk weight, and the resulting fabric will be light, yet still cozy. But NEVER rely entirely on the label’s gauge and needle combination. More on that and gauge below. 

4. “Guesstimate” how much yarn you will need using charts

While we would like to offer a simple yarn estimate in our custom patterns just like you see in traditional patterns, it’s not that simple. With traditional patterns, designers provide an estimate. With KnitFit™ patterns, any variation from the designer’s intent will affect how much yarn you will need. For example, with KnitFit™ Pattern Generator, you can choose to knit a cropped length or a tunic length. If the original design is a tunic but you choose to knit it shorter, you will use less yarn than the designer would suggest for your size. If there is an all-over pattern, as in a beautiful Shetland cabled sweater, this may affect the amount of yarn required. That’s why it is best to consult a few different sources before deciding. 

StitchersStudio offers a few different charts based on sweater style and length. These are for your reference only, but again, we have to start somewhere. 

Choose the corresponding chart for your garment type.

Yarn Estimation Charts

Pullover

Long sleeved, Standard length
Widest body measurement (Bust, hips, tummy) >
32″34″36″38″40″42″44″46″
82cm86cm92cm96cm102cm106cm112cm116cm
Gauge inches/cmYarn weightNeedle size US/mmYarn quantity estimate (yards)
6 sts/inch or 24st/10cmFingering, Sport, DKUS: 0-6/2-4mm13001450160017501875200021002300
5-5.5 sts/inch or 20-22st/10cmWorstedUS: 7-8/4.5-5mm11701305144015751688180018902070
4-4.5 sts/inch or 16-18st/10cmWorsted, AranUS: 7-9/4.5-5.5mm10401160128014001500160016801840
3-3.5 sts/inch or 12-14st/10cmChunkyUS: 10-11/6-8mm78087096010501125120012601380
2-2.5 sts/inch or 8-10st/10cmBulky, Super BulkyUS: 10-13/6-9mm650725800875938100010501150

 

continued:

 

Widest body measurement (Bust, hips, tummy) >
48″50″52″54″56″58″60″
122cm128cm132cm138cm142cm148cm152cm
Gauge inches/cmYarn weightNeedle size US/mmYarn quantity estimate (yards)
6 sts/inch or 24st/10cmFingering, Sport, DKUS: 0-6/2-4mm2375245025002650272527752800
5-5.5 sts/inch or 20-22st/10cmWorstedUS: 7-8/4.5-5mm2138220522502385245324982520
4-4.5 sts/inch or 16-18st/10cmWorsted, AranUS: 7-9/4.5-5.5mm1900196020002120218022202240
3-3.5 sts/inch or 12-14st/10cmChunkyUS: 10-11/6-8mm1425147015001590163516651680
2-2.5 sts/inch or 8-10st/10cmBulky, Super BulkyUS: 10-13/6-9mm1188122512501325136313881400
Download as pdf

Cardigan

Long sleeved, Standard length
Widest body measurement (Bust, hips, tummy) >
32″34″36″38″40″42″44″46″
82cm86cm92cm96cm102cm106cm112cm116cm
Gauge inches/cmYarn weightNeedle size US/mmYarn quantity estimate (yards)
6 sts/inch or 24st/10cmFingering, Sport, DKUS: 0-6/2-4mm16001675175018001875192519502000
5-5.5 sts/inch or 20-22st/10cmWorstedUS: 7-8/4.5-5mm14401508157516201688173317551800
4-4.5 sts/inch or 16-18st/10cmWorsted, AranUS: 7-9/4.5-5.5mm12801340140014401500154015601600
3-3.5 sts/inch or 12-14st/10cmChunkyUS: 10-11/6-8mm9601005105010801125115511701200
2-2.5 sts/inch or 8-10st/10cmBulky, Super BulkyUS: 10-13/6-9mm8008388759009389639751000

 

continued:

 

Widest body measurement (Bust, hips, tummy) >
48″50″52″54″56″58″60″
122cm128cm132cm138cm142cm148cm152cm
Gauge inches/cmYarn weightNeedle size US/mmYarn quantity estimate (yards)
6 sts/inch or 24st/10cmFingering, Sport, DKUS: 0-6/2-4mm2050210021502200227523002350
5-5.5 sts/inch or 20-22st/10cmWorstedUS: 7-8/4.5-5mm1845189019351980204820702115
4-4.5 sts/inch or 16-18st/10cmWorsted, AranUS: 7-9/4.5-5.5mm1640168017201760182018401880
3-3.5 sts/inch or 12-14st/10cmChunkyUS: 10-11/6-8mm1230126012901320136513801410
2-2.5 sts/inch or 8-10st/10cmBulky, Super BulkyUS: 10-13/6-9mm1025105010751100113811501175
Download as pdf

Cardigan Coat

Long sleeved, Long Length
Widest body measurement (Bust, hips, tummy) >
32″34″36″38″40″42″44″46″
82cm86cm92cm96cm102cm106cm112cm116cm
Gauge inches/cmYarn weightNeedlesYarn quantity estimate (yards)
6 sts/inch or 24st/10cmFingering, Sport, DKUS: 0-6/2-4mm21002400280030003200340035003600
5-5.5 sts/inch or 20-22st/10cmWorstedUS: 7-8/4.5-5mm18902160252027002880306031503240
4-4.5 sts/inch or 16-18st/10cmWorsted, AranUS: 7-9/4.5-5.5mm16801920224024002560272028002880
3-3.5 sts/inch or 12-14st/10cmChunkyUS: 10-11/6-8mm12601440168018001920204021002160
2-2.5 sts/inch or 8-10st/10cmBulky, Super BulkyUS: 10-13/6-9mm10501200140015001600170017501800

 

continued:

 

Widest body measurement (Bust, hips, tummy) >
48″50″52″54″56″58″60″
122cm128cm132cm138cm142cm148cm152cm
Gauge inches/cmYarn weightNeedlesYarn quantity estimate (yards)
6 sts/inch or 24st/10cmFingering, Sport, DKUS: 0-6/2-4mm3800390040504100425044004600
5-5.5 sts/inch or 20-22st/10cmWorstedUS: 7-8/4.5-5mm3420351036453690382539604140
4-4.5 sts/inch or 16-18st/10cmWorsted, AranUS: 7-9/4.5-5.5mm3040312032403280340035203680
3-3.5 sts/inch or 12-14st/10cmChunkyUS: 10-11/6-8mm2280234024302460255026402760
2-2.5 sts/inch or 8-10st/10cmBulky, Super BulkyUS: 10-13/6-9mm1900195020252050212522002300
Download as pdf

Top

Short sleeved, Standard length
Widest body measurement (Bust, hips, tummy) >
32″34″36″38″40″42″44″46″
82cm86cm92cm96cm102cm106cm112cm116cm
Gauge inches/cmYarn weightNeedle size US/mmYarn quantity estimate (yards)
6 sts/inch or 24st/10cmFingering, Sport, DKUS: 0-6/2-4mm10001075115012001250130013501400
5-5.5 sts/inch or 20-22st/10cmWorstedUS: 7-8/4.5-5mm900968103510801125117012151260
4-4.5 sts/inch or 16-18st/10cmWorsted, AranUS: 7-9/4.5-5.5mm8008609209601000104010801120
3-3.5 sts/inch or 12-14st/10cmChunkyUS: 10-11/6-8mm600645690720750780810840
2-2.5 sts/inch or 8-10st/10cmBulky, Super BulkyUS: 10-13/6-9mm500538575600625650675700

 

continued:

 

Widest body measurement (Bust, hips, tummy) >
48″50″52″54″56″58″60″
122cm128cm132cm138cm142cm148cm152cm
Gauge inches/cmYarn weightNeedle size US/mmYarn quantity estimate (yards)
6 sts/inch or 24st/10cmFingering, Sport, DKUS: 0-6/2-4mm1450150015501600167517501800
5-5.5 sts/inch or 20-22st/10cmWorstedUS: 7-8/4.5-5mm1305135013951440150815751620
4-4.5 sts/inch or 16-18st/10cmWorsted, AranUS: 7-9/4.5-5.5mm1160120012401280134014001440
3-3.5 sts/inch or 12-14st/10cmChunkyUS: 10-11/6-8mm870900930960100510501080
2-2.5 sts/inch or 8-10st/10cmBulky, Super BulkyUS: 10-13/6-9mm725750775800838875900
Download as pdf

Top

Sleeveless, Standard length
Widest body measurement (Bust, hips, tummy) >
32″34″36″38″40″42″44″46″
82cm86cm92cm96cm102cm106cm112cm116cm
Gauge inches/cmYarn weightNeedle size US/mmYarn quantity estimate (yards)
6 sts/inch or 24st/10cmFingering, Sport, DKUS: 0-6/2-4mm60065070085090095010001000
5-5.5 sts/inch or 20-22st/10cmWorstedUS: 7-8/4.5-5mm540585630765810855900900
4-4.5 sts/inch or 16-18st/10cmWorsted, AranUS: 7-9/4.5-5.5mm480520560680720760800800
3-3.5 sts/inch or 12-14st/10cmChunkyUS: 10-11/6-8mm360390420510540570600600
2-2.5 sts/inch or 8-10st/10cmBulky, Super BulkyUS: 10-13/6-9mm300325350425450475500500

 

continued:

 

Widest body measurement (Bust, hips, tummy) >
48″50″52″54″56″58″60″
122cm128cm132cm138cm142cm148cm152cm
Gauge inches/cmYarn weightNeedle size US/mmYarn quantity estimate (yards)
6 sts/inch or 24st/10cmFingering, Sport, DKUS: 0-6/2-4mm1050110011501200125013001350
5-5.5 sts/inch or 20-22st/10cmWorstedUS: 7-8/4.5-5mm94599010351080112511701215
4-4.5 sts/inch or 16-18st/10cmWorsted, AranUS: 7-9/4.5-5.5mm840880920960100010401080
3-3.5 sts/inch or 12-14st/10cmChunkyUS: 10-11/6-8mm630660690720750780810
2-2.5 sts/inch or 8-10st/10cmBulky, Super BulkyUS: 10-13/6-9mm525550575600625650675
Download as pdf

Using the charts

After choosing the appropriate chart, look across the top to find a measurement that is closest to the width of your widest body measurement.

Then, look at the left column. Find the yarn weight column. This might be the first piece of information you have when you choose a yarn you like. Look for the yarn weight you would like to purchase, and then look across to find the yarn quantity which will be listed in the same row, and in the column corresponding with  your widest body measurement.

This is your suggested yarn quantity, but keep in mind this is for a standard stockinette sweater. It’s impossible to give an accurate yarn quantity at this stage, but this can be a helpful reference. You now have a good ‘guesstimate.’ Next, make a few adjustments to get your guess closer to accurate:

Adjustments:
  • Does my design have cables, or an all-over pattern that cinches or bunches the material? Add an extra skein.
  • Does my design have lace? Estimate stays the same.
  • Am I knitting it longer or shorter? If it’s an inch or so longer, add a skein; but if it’s 3 or more inches, add multiple skeins. Stay the same if shorter (or get a little less, but this can be risky)

This should give you a good estimate for how much yarn to buy. Again, to be safe, you may want to add a skein so as not to risk running out of yarn.

5. Purchase the yarn 

Always err on the side of too much yarn. For example, if the chart says you will need 1300 yds, and your worsted weight yarn comes in 220 yd skeins, buy an extra skein just in case you knit your sweater longer or just slightly off gauge. Dye lots for yarn colorways often vary, so if you need to go back and buy another skein after your initial sweater-quantity purchase, you risk ending up having to buy yarn from a different dye lot. 

After purchasing your yarn, you’re now ready to knit your gauge swatch and generate your custom pattern!

Custom patterns; custom yarn estimates

Congratulations, you’ve just guesstimated your way through a classic dilemma with custom patterns! While it takes some thought, now you can knit a pattern that is truly custom size. 

Still having trouble with yarn estimates? Email support at info@knitfitco.com