Altering The Pieces

  1. Bust alteration: Length and bust measurement are critical to the fit of every garment. These measurements are always stated in the preface to each Vogue Knitting instruction to aid you in choosing the right size. (The size that the model is wearing is also given in the caption to show you the way the style "hangs.")
  2. Waist alteration: Unless the sweater is tightly shaped, a waist measurement rarely calls for adjustment. If you do need to alter this measurement, check the ease used in the existing pattern and apply it to your own measurement. Be aware that altering waist shaping is complex.
  3. Hip alteration: Many sweater styles run in a straight line from bust to hip. If you are making a long sweater that falls at or below your hips, compare the finished bust measurement to your own hip measurement. It is best to keep these measurements roughly the same on your garment. If your hips are much wider than your bust—say, 38" and 34", respectively—you should make the bust measurement larger (to fit a 36" or even 38" size) to correspond to the width of your hips. This will maintain the silhouette of your sweater.
  4. Armhole alteration: When changing the depth of an armhole, also consider the shape of the sleeve top, since the sleeve shaping corresponds directly to the armhole shaping and depth.
  5. Sleeve alterations: The areas that can be adjusted on a sleeve comprise the overall length and the width at the cuff and the upper arm. Keep in mind that these adjustments are easiest for simple patterns and that it is best to avoid drastic changes to the shaped sleeve caps.
  6. Width at the lower edge: Since the cuff width has very small variation from size to size, keep any changes close to the existing numbers.
  7. Width at the upper arm: This measurement will correspond to the top-of-the-sleeve measurement after all the increases are completed.
  8. Cap-sleeve style: To figure the sleeve width at the upper arm, use your body measurement and add approximately the same ease as for the bust. This will differ from style to style, but this ease formula will give you an approximate number to work with.
  9. Straight-sleeve style: Since this measurement reflects the top-of-the-sleeve measurement, it is best calculated as twice the armhole depth. First decide what you wish the armhole depth to be, and then multiply by two to get the topof-the-sleeve measurement. For a 10" armhole, for example, the top of a straight sleeve would measure 20".
  10. Length to underarm: Your own measurement to the underarm will correspond exactly to that of sleeves with shaped caps. Always remember that when making any

Use a good dressmaker's tape measure to take measurements and ask a friend for help: It's difficult to measure yourself accurately.

length alterations, you must take into account the number of rows necessary to work the increases. Calculate this number carefully with your row gauge to determine the increase frequency, and be sure to get a smooth slant up to the underarm. It you have to increase 40 stitches to the underarm (20 increase rows) and the increases are made every 6th row or in 120 rows by shortening your sleeve, you will have fewer than 120 rows in which to make your increases. If you decrease your sweater to 90 rows in depth, then it is best to work your increases every 4th row or a total of 80 rows. It necessary, you can also work out a combination of every 4th and 6th row.

  1. Length of a straight sleeve: The width of the sweater will determine the length of a straight sleeve. Generally, the wider the body ot the sweater, the shorter the sleeve, since more of the body falls off the shoulder.
  2. Cross-back alteration: This measurement is a combination of that ot both shoulders and the neck. On your sweater, it will correlate to the measurement across the sweater after shaping the armhole. When making adjustments to this measurement, you must change the number of stitches for the shoulder and neck.

8a & b) Neck and shoulder alteration: Take a look at the schematic pattern pieces for any of the styles in this issue, and you will see fractional differences among sizes—it any—in the neck shaping. The largest ditference between one side and another is usually worked into the shoulder area; keep this in mind when resizing a sweater at this point of fit. Although a variety of neck styles is available for hand-knit garments with varying neck widths, you should stay fairly close to the given numbers it you want to get the same look as the photo of your chosen style.

9) Total length alteration: The total length of a garment—the measurement taken from the inside neck edge (top-of-the-shouldcr slope) to the lower edge—is one of the easiest measurements to adjust. It is accomplished readily because most patterns are worked vertically by inches and only occasionally by rows (as in the case of horizontal bands or stripes). You should lengthen or shorten the garment before the underarm. Avoid any alteration in the armhole area, which will require more complicated work in the sleeve-cap shaping.


  • You may want to use graph paper to redraw your schematic pieces and make notes on the planned changes.
  • If alterations to your sweater involve edges, as in a cardigan, you will have to recalculate the number of stitches to be picked up.
  • When changing the length of a cardigan, you may have to respace your buttonholes and, in some cases, add or subtract buttons. Remember that too few buttons will cause your band to gap.
  • When making neckline alterations, you must also refigure the number of stitches to be picked up for a neckband or collar.
  • If you are making changes to the main gauge of the body of your sweater, make a swatch of your ribbing to make sure that it will correspond to your new gauge.

Knitting for kids' sizes 4-14

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