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At some time or another, most of us have made sweaters that accorded perfectly with instructions, only to find that they either don’t fit or aren’t becoming.  Altering the pattern before you knit is the way to eliminate the in-the-drawer-forever problem, or that long evening of frogging the yarn. 

Rather than do my own “Tips & Tricks” this month, I’d like to refer you—now that it’s knitting season—to two excellent works on fitting that are available to you at the click of a mouse, and can, if you want, be printed out for reference.  Because hardly anyone teaches fitting, and a lot of knitters are foggy even on the basics, fitting seems to be a big issue at the moment, and these two authors are so much more knowledgeable than I that I’d be doing a disservice to somehow summarize or filter their approaches.  You need to look at the originals.

The first is from Jenna Wilson, and, like her previous work, is published on  One can hope that she will one day gather her fine work together as a book or booklet.
The newest in her series is Thinking Beyond the Pattern:  The Second Dimension:  More Width Adjustments.  It’s here:
If you make sweaters—or want to make sweaters--you can’t do without this.

The second is from Sion Elalouf, The Knitting Architect (Knitting Fever Inc., 1982), available free from the Knitting Fever website at

Simple, clear, and excellent.