Size Matters

Ok, I'm sure someone's used that one before...but here's my question. Quite frankly I rarely use patterns, but I am knitting the Best Beloved a vest made from handspun wool plied with Tibetan Mastiff fur, and he found found a vest on Ravelry that he likes, so I am going to do my best to follow this pattern, but am stumped from the very beginning.

When directions say "To fit chest 92(97:102:107:112)cm; Actual measurements: Chest 98(105:112:120:127)cm" and his chest measures 104 cm, which measurement am I looking at? Are the actual measurements the final measurements of the vest?

Baffled in DC,


QueerJoe's picture

Yes...the designer is showing you the final measurements of the vest whilst also trying to show you about how much ease should be included for various chest sizes. Is this sweater being knit in bulky or at least worsted weight yarn? seems like a lot of ease to me.

Thomasknits's picture

I agree with Joe. It does seem like a lot of ease. As his chest is between 102 and 107, I'd round down and knit the 3rd size (the 102 chest, 112 actual measurement size). That gives you eight inches of ease, which I think will be plenty.

Edit: Just realized measurements are in centimetres. Oops... I would go with the 120 cm size...better to be a little too big than to be a little too small.


His chest measurement from the third actual size measurement is 8cm, which is 3-1/4 inches, which will be quite snug. His chest measurement from the 120cm size gives a difference of 6-1/2 inches of ease. How snug does he like his sweaters?

potterdc's picture

Thanks, guys. Joe, I should have included that info in my post: the gauge is 4st./inch.


Think less, enjoy it more.

QueerJoe's picture

Which is approximately "worsted weight" gauge...ease at that gauge would make this a relaxed-fit sweater vest.

albert's picture

Wish I could help, but all I know about metric is that three liters equal one hexagram, and if it's 70 degrees celcius in Boston, it's five o'clock in Barcelona.

TheKnittingMill's picture

Like Joe and Thomas already mentioned, this is quite a bit of ease, but that may be OK to some guys depending on how "oversized" they like their sweaters. My father likes a lot of ease in his sweaters while I like only a couple of inches. This may have a bit more ease built into the pattern because it's a vest and will be regularly worn as an intermediate garment over an undershirt combined with a regular shirt at the least. Take one of your partner's favorite fitting sweaters or vests and measure across the chest in cm. Multiply by two and that would give you more info to go on for picking the right size to make (whether you want to go with the 102 or 107 cm size). If you happen not to have a metric tape, just take the measurement in inches and multiply by 2.54. (Example: Favorite Garment = 44" X 2.54 =111.76 cm or 112 cm) Hope that helps?

“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.”
-- E. Zimmermann, Knitting Without Tears

davidUK's picture

Hi there.

I always find it useful to measure a garment which you or your best beloved really likes and fits well. I have an old moth-eaten item which I keep as a measure for garments for me and I check that against the knitted dimensions. Rowan patterns always have a diagram which is helpful. There are some good classic patterns in Rowan's Classic Knits for Men (I'm not sure what a vest is - lost in translation I'm afraid - I wouldn't want a knitted vest - too scratchy)

Good luck and best wishes


PaulJMC's picture

had to chuckle... nice to see the challenge you guys face when confronted with cm :)

In cielo non c'e vino...beviamolo sulla terra!