04/09/2019                        #808
One of the most common questions we get asked about our patterns is "How much ease is in the pattern?" 

And since we have a new knit-along coming up that features two free garment patterns, this is a great time to talk about ease! 

First up, we need to define the word ease as we're using it. Ease is the difference between the finished garment size and the wearer's own measurements. 

So if a garment has a finished bust measurement of 40" and it's worn on a person with a 35" bust, that garment is worn with 5" of ease. That same garment could be worn on a person with a 38" bust, and the garment would have 2" of ease. It's just taking the finished measurement of the garment and subtracting the same measurement of the intended wearer. 

Ease is not "built-in" to patterns. Some patterns may recommend a range of ease, some may say "this garment is modeled with so many inches of ease," some may not list anything at all. But different people are comfortable with different amounts of ease, and it's a highly personal thing that you have to decide. We've got a video to help show how this works using some of our finished garments on the two mannequins we have in the office. 
This video helps explain ease and offers some demonstrations using finished Berroco garments on mannequins
Now about the knit-along that's starting soon—I'm going to walk you through an example of how you can use this new (or refreshed) understanding of ease to help you pick a size to knit! 

First things first—we've got two patterns featured in the knit-along, and they're both free! Our Marsh and Mallow patterns have been so popular and we all love them so much that we wanted to knit them with you. (And I can't resist a play on words and a Marsh-Mallow knit-along was too good to pass up.) Both Marsh and Mallow have a stunning back lace piece and simple fronts. Mallow came first and was originally knit in Berroco Maya, which has been discontinued (though you may be able to find it at some stores, try Googling "Berroco Maya"). Marsh debuted last year and was originally knit with Berroco Modern Cotton™.

Marsh on the left here is shown with 6" of ease—it is a little bit oversized on the model and drapes really nicely with the blend of Pima cotton and Modal® rayon. Mallow was also designed to be worn with 6" of ease (and there aren't any notes to indicate how much ease it was modeled with, unfortunately). 
Read the Marsh + Mallow Knit-along Blog
We've got some beautiful new yarns this year that we think would work perfectly for these as well, so we are updating the patterns just a little bit! New photos and new yarn suggestions, along with extended sizes for Mallow are coming soon, but if you've grabbed either of these patterns before and want to join us, your pattern will still work (or you can re-download the patterns to make sure you have the most up-to-date version).

Our new version of Marsh is knit with Berroco Mantra™, and is shown here in the 46" size, modeled with about 4" of ease. The new Mallow is shown in the 40" size, modeled with about 2" of negative ease, and is knit with Berroco Linen Stonewash™—because of the open fronts, the sizes of Mallow fit a wide range of body types, so again, you'll want to take your personal preferences into account when choosing a size for this cardigan. 
So how do you choose what size to make? If you're not already familiar with your body measurements, you can do one of two things—have someone help you with measuring the fullest part of your bust (not your bra band size—that's a different thing entirely), or take a garment that you love to wear, lay it flat on a table, and measure the width of it just below the armholes. This number is likely larger than your actual full bust measurement, but it gives you an idea of the size of garments you like to wear.  

Now think about how you want to wear either of these projects. Do you want an oversized tank or cardi for summer or something a little more close fitting? If you want oversized and measured your body, I'd suggest adding at least 6" to your body measurement, then find the size that's closest to that number. If you measured your garment and know it fits a bit roomy, maybe add 3–6" (again, ease is a personal preference and it all depends on how you like to wear clothes).

Take a look at the available sizes: 
The finished measurements for Marsh are 38 (42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62)"
The finished measurements for Mallow are 36 (40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64)"

For a real life example: I'm planning to knit Marsh and my bust measures about 49". Because I want this to be a little bit roomy, I'm going to knit the 54" bust size, even though the 50" would fit me. This will just give me a little bit of extra breathing room. 

The knit-along starts on May 1, so you've got plenty of time to do a little measuring and choose your size! Head to the blog to get all the details. 
Download This Week's Free Pattern
Practice choosing a size with this week's free pattern, Katherina! This sweet top is knit with Berroco Mykonos® Stonewash and is modeled here with 0" of ease. The back and front bodices of this tee are knit side-to-side and sewn together, then stitches are picked up and worked down to form the body. 

Happy knitting,


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