Another Vest pattern Question

Hi all,
So I am doing the armholes on my vest pattern (Harrison Vest by Rowan), and the pattern says to knit until holes are 26 cm (XL). This seems awfully small to me. When I measure my body I get about 34 cm. Although this seems awfully large to me. 34 is the same measurement I get measuring the tank top I am wearing. I think the vest pattern is written to fit snugly, but I plan on wearing it over t-shirts and dress shirts.
My question is this: Should I trust the pattern and only knit for 26 cm, or go with my measurement of 34 cm....or compromise and do 30 cm.?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks all!


Tom Hart's picture

If it were me, Paul, I would go with the 34. That said, I can hardly claim to know what I'm talking about, as I've only just started my first cardigan from the bottom up and I'm kind of doping it out as I go along. As far as the various measurements go, I'm following a jacket that fits me well. I'm taking the measurements for the arm hole size from the jacket. For what it's worth...

Have you thought of contacting Rowan to see if anyone else has queried this measurement. 26cm seems awfully small for size XL.

davidUK's picture

I would always measure something which you wear a lot and which fits you the way you like. I've got the same pattern book and it does look very snug on the rather handsome model. There are some rows to knit after the armhole measures 26cms so the finished armhole will be a bit bigger. It's also important to measure the armhole straight rather than measuring around the curve of the armhole, if that makes sense!

I'm pretty twig-like and Rowan small sizes are good for me...but I buy extra small in the shops in the UK.

Good luck...let me know if I can help. I've got the book to hand..

All the best


New York Built's picture

Paul, do you remember the first time you made a recipe for, let's say, lentil soup?

You may not cook at all, and wonder what the hell does this have to do with my question. It has everything to do with it.

I have never made the same meal or recipe twice. I tweak the ingredients. Add stuff. Uh oh...NO CANNED TOMATOES???!!
Ok, let's use these red peppers, instead.

A pattern is merely a guide. You must re-design it for you, with confidence. If the pattern does not have a schematic drawing with measurements...shame on them. If you slavishly follow the abattoir parade...shame on you. I agree...too narrow...I have 19" biceps and what you report is a choking dimensional for XL, in my extra-large opinion.

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

Tallguy's picture

NYB, I agree with you entirely! I cook the same way as I knit. The recipe and the pattern are guides only, and not meant to be slavishly followed. I MUST make substitutions all the time for a variety of reasons. I also just HAVE TO make some adjustments. After all, that pattern was made for someone else, not me, and it will fit them, not me. I am designed a little differently, and the "pattern" needs to be made to fit me. (I know -- selfish reasons, but there you go)

If you feel you need 34" or 30" or something else, then do it. You don't have to follow what the designer only "recommends". You make it fit you, and you will wear it. If it doesn't fit, you won't wear it, so what was the point of this whole exercise?

If you like the way the tank top fits, and it is of similar shape, then go with that. As you say, you will be wearing it over something else, so you need to take that into consideration. Remember also that some of us haven't finished growing yet, so allow for further "expansion" if you plan to wear it another season or two.

SAPBrown's picture

You might consider using the % formula

here is an example

CLABBERS's picture

I made a whole sweater for my son using the formula found on Knitting Fool. I had to fudge things by a stitch or two, but as a rule, the pattern was spot on.