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   The Craft Yarn Council of America, an industry group, has issued standards for body and knitted hat sizing. While not all yarn companies and designers use these yet, many publications, such as the Interweave, Vogue Knitting,  and Knitty.com  have adopted these standards, and you can generally rely on US and Canadian yarn companies and their patterns to conform with them.  They are invaluable for anyone who wants to design, alter an existing pattern, or chose which size pattern might be best for her or whoever she’s knitting for. 

   I have formatted the CYC numbers differently  from the original, in what I think  is a sequence that better permits the reader to see the progression of measurements for sizes, from the smallest to the largest.  Emphatically, these are body measurements, not garment measurements.

   From my own trip through industry standards, I have also included gloves and mittens, as well as sizing for felted hats.  I have also added a formula for socks based on my own patterns, Socks 101 (crew socks in two variations) and Socks 201 (fitted knee socks in several variations).

   The body measurements from CYCA do not account for ease, or the lack of it; they are simply body measurements, and we’re all built differently.   A big, casual sweater needs more ease, and a fitted one needs less.  A big, casual sweater worked in a larger size with lots of ease may need an alteration to the arms, so they match your back-of-neck-to-cuff measurement, unless you want your cuffs down to your knuckles or beyond, which has been one of the odder recent fads.  A garment worked in a thick yarn will require more ease than one worked in a fine yarn.

   Some garments are fitted exactly to match body measurements; some are designed for a body-skimming fit, with two inches or so of ease; some go for a easy fit requiring about 4 inches; a very easy fit would be about 6 inches.   I have seen as many as 12 inches or even more for outerwear such as coats and jackets.  To me such ease in a sweater that isn’t specifically designed as outerwear looks excessive.  You’ll need more ease with heavier yarns, less with finer ones.  The answer to fitting a large bust may be to experiment with short rows for more length through that area rather than to make the entire sweater larger.

   How the designer intends a garment to fit will be visible in pattern photographs, and the body type intended may well be suggested by the model chosen—generally tall, thin, and youthful, though that is changing.  No one perfectly matches these standard measurements.  Another guide will be something that most recent patterns provide, which is a schematic of the garment with actual measurements that correspond to the sizes given; subtract the body  measurement from the garment measurement to obtain the ease that the designer intends.

   A basic introduction to sweater design, with an excellent section on fitting, can be found on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sweater_design&oldid=71239884   And Jenna Wilson has done a clear, helpful series of articles on sizing and alternations for Knitty.com

   The most relevant for choosing a pattern and a size is at http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEspring05/FEATspr05TBP.html

 

Sweaters of conventional construction, with arm length measured for set-in sleeve:

All measurements in inches/cms

Chest

 

Length

Back of neck to waist

Distance between prominent shoulder bones

Length from cuff to underarm

Length from back of neck to cuff, measured over slightly bent elbow

Infants

In/cm

In/cm

In/cm

In/cm

In/cm

3 mo.

16/40.5

6/15.5

7.25/18.5

6/15.5

10.5/26.5

6 mo.

17/43

7/17.5

7.75/19.5

6.5/16.5

11.5/29

12 mo.

18/45.5

7.5/19

8.25/21

7.5/19

12.5/31.5

18 mo.

 

19/48

8/20.5

 

8/20.5

14/35.5

24 mo.

20/50.5

8.5/21.5

8.5/21.5

8.5/21.5

18/45.5

Children

 

 

 

 

 

2

21/53

8.5/21.5

9.5/23.5

8.5/21.5

18/45.5

4

23/58.5

9.5/24

9.75/25

10.5/26.5

19.5/49.9

6

25/63.5

10.5/26.5

10.25/26

11.5/29

20.5/52

8

26.5/67

12.5/31.5

10.75/27

12.5/31.5

22/56

10

28/71

14/35/5

11.24/28.5

13.5/34.5

24/61

12

30/76

15/38

12/30.5

15/38

26/66

14

31.5/80

15.5/39.5

12.25/31

16/40.5

27/68

16

32.5/82.5

16/40.5

13/33

16.5/42

28/71

Women

 

 

 

 

 

   X Small

Roughly under size 6

28-30/

71-76

16.5/

42

14-14.5/

35.5-37

16.5/

42

27-27.5/

68.5-70

 

   Small

Roughly 6-8

32-34/

81-86

17/43

14.5-15/

37-38

17/

43

28-28.5/

71-72.5

   Med

Roughly 10-12

36-38/

91.5/96.5

17.73/43.5

16-16.5/

40.5-42

17/

43

29-29.5/

73.5-75

   Large

Roughly 14-16

40-42/

101.5/106.5

17.5/44.5

17.5/

43.44.5

17.5/

44.5

30-30.5/

76-77.5

   1 X

44/46/

111.5-117

17.75/45

17.5/

44.5

17.5/

44.5

31-31.5/

111.5-117

   2 X

48-50/

122-127

18/45.5

18/45.5

18/

45.5

31.5-32/

80-81.5

   3 X

52-54/

132-137

18/45.5

18/45.5

18/

45.5

32.5-33/

82.5-84

   4X

56-58

142-147

18.5/47

18.5/47

18.5/

47

32.5-33/

82.5-84

   5X

60-62/

152-158

18.5/47

18.5/47

18.5/47

33-33.5/

84-85

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men

Chest

 

Length

Back of neck to waist

Distance between prominent shoulder bones

Length from cuff to underarm

Length from back of neck to cuff, measured over slightly bent elbow

  Small

32-34/

86-91.5

25-25.5/

63.5-64.5

15.5-16/

39.5-40.5

18/

45.5

32-32.5/

81-82.5

  Medium

38-40/

96.5-101.5

26.5-26.75/

67.5-68

16.5-17/

42-43

18.5/

47

33-33.5/

83.5-85

  Large

42-44/

106.5-111.5

27-27.25/

68.5-69

17.8-18/

44.5-45.5

19/

49.5

34-34.5/

86.5-87.5

  Extra Large

46-48/

116.5-122

27.5-27.75/

69.5-70.5

18-18.5/

45.5-47

19.5

35-35.5/

89-90

  XX Large

50-52/

127-132

28-28.5

71-72.5

18.5-19/

47-48

20/

52

36-36.5/

91.5-92.5

  Tall

Tall men need extra length neck to hip, and in the arms.  Measure to be sure.

 

Gloves and mittens, manufacturer standards:  Subtract an inch for knit gloves and mittens

Size

inches

cm

Larger child’s, women’s extra small

6

15

Women’s small

6 ½

17

Women’s medium

7

18

Women’s large, men’s small

7 ½

19

Women’s extra-large, men’s med.

8

20

Men’s large

8 ½ - 9

23

Men’s extra-large

9 ½ - 10

25

Men’s extra-extra large

10 ½ -11

30

 

 

 

 

Hats, knitted with some stretch, such as watch caps:

premie

baby

toddler

child

women

men

12

14

16

18

20

22

 

 Sizes for felted hats (such as the HCK cowboy hat)

US

6 1/2

6 5/6

6 3/4

6 7/8

7

7 1/8

7 1/4

7 3/8

7 1/2

7 5/6

7 3/4

7 7/8

8

Inches

20 3/4

21 1/4

21 1/2

21 3/4

22

22 3/8

22 3/4

23 1/4

23 1/2

24 1/4

24 3/8

24 3/4

25 1/8

Metric

52

53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

other

XS

S

M

ML

L

XL

XXL

 

Socks, universal sock recipe for two types of simple socks (Socks 101 and Socks 201)

Crew socks with Dutch heel and round toe:

Cast-on:  (Ankle measurement + 1 ) x (personal gauge in chosen yarn), and work 2 x 2 ribbing to desired length

Leg length:  same as length of foot

Heel flap:  An odd number slightly less than half the total stitches, to a number of rows equivalent to (heel flap stitches –2)

Gussets:  decrease every second row until you are back to your original number of stitches

Length of foot before toe decreases:  (length of foot) – (length of big toe)

 

Fitted knee socks with Dutch heel and round toe:

Cast on:  (measurement of calf just below the knee + 1) x personal gauge in chosen yarn, and work in ribbing for 4 inches, more if you want to turn the cuff down or secure it under knickers

Decreases: beginning with 4th round after ribbing, every six rows until the number of stitches = (ankle measurement +1) x (personal gauge in chosen yarn).

Length of leg: measurement from middle of ankle bone to just below knee

Heel flap: an odd number slightly less than half the total stitches, to a number of rows equivalent to (heel flap stitches –2)

Gussets:  decrease every second round until you are back to your original number of ankle stitches.

Length of foot before toe decreases: (length of foot) – (length of big toe)

 

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