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What you need to know about knitting with ease (trendy pattern – free)

by Cynthia MacDougall

I’m having a very interesting time with Bella Chenille Big Glimmer yarn by Universal Yarn. So far, I’ve talked about the yarn itself, created different fabrics by changing needle sizes, and yesterday, I gave you some creative ways to lock down yarn ends.

A ball of baby pink yarn with a gray ball band supports a leaning ball of dark purple. All sit on a white background; Bella Chenille Big Glimmer

Bella Chenille Big Glimmer comes in some amazing pastel and jewel tones.

The project I chose for Bella Chenille Big Glimmer is Snug as a Bug. I fell in love with it when I first saw it in the product literature. It couldn’t have a more appropriate name!

A model with dark hair cut into a medium length bob, dressed all in medium gray, stands in front of an ivory draped backdrop. Over her outfit she has a fluffy, car coat-length jacket in a rich teal color that has super roomy sleeves. The jacket has been stylishly cinched with a wide wrap-around black belt, knotted at the front; Bella Chenille Big Glimmer

How cozy is this? Left open or stylishly belted, the Snug as a Bug jacket will keep you warm!

This project makes a great fashion statement, belted as it is in this photo. Unbelted, it turns into a cozy reading or tv-watching jacket. It is well-and-truly oversized – the bust measurement on this one-size garment measures 68¾” [175cm]! The kick pleat at the back of the neck brings that in a bit, (the pattern says the finished bust is 65½” [166cm]), but it’s still plenty big enough for most people!

The model, in front of the ivory backdrop, has her back to the camera to show a generous kick pleat at the back of the neck; Bella Chenille Big Glimmer

The kick pleat at the back of the jacket adds character, but doesn’t change the bust measurement much at all.

The difference between the wearer’s bust and the garment’s finished bust is called ease. Ease is necessary for garments to fit well while offering enough room for the wearer to move freely.

Generally speaking, 2-3” [5-7.5cm] of ease makes a standard-fitting garment, 3-4” [7.5- 10cm] of ease makes a loose-fitting garment, and 5” or more [12.5cm] makes an oversize garment. Some garments, such as socks, camisoles, and gloves even have negative ease where the garments are knit smaller than the wearer’s measurement, so they cling to the body more.

There are other factors to consider, including the type of garment and the thickness of the fabric. A vest or cardigan, for example, will be worn over other layers of clothing so more ease is desired.

When you knit with a fine yarn, you create a thin fabric. A garment knit with just a couple of inches of ease can fit well, in part because the fabric itself is quite thin.

When you knit with a super bulky yarn like Bella Chenille Big Glimmer, you have to allow for more ease – not only to account for the thickness of the fabric (my stocking stitch sample measures about 7/16” [1cm] thick), but also to have it fit over other layers of clothing. With Snug as a Bug, the drop-shoulder styling and oversized sleeves create bulk at the underarms too, resulting in the need for even more ease.

I loved this pattern on sight, as I said, but the knitter in me feels that those sleeves are impractical to wear as a knitting jacket. I also suspect that straight needles will get hung up in the excess fabric of the sleeves. In my next and final post of this series, I do a slight modification for the sleeves and the body to try and get those sleeves tamed down a bit – for my knitting pleasure, and perhaps yours – and reduce some of the bulk at the underarms.

Here’s the Snug as a Bug knitting pattern so you can get started. Come back tomorrow to see my modifications, made with Bella Chenille Big Glimmer. I’m doing mine in purple!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: 4 ways for weaving in ends when using chenille yarn, big or small

Go to part 5: Modifying a knitting pattern to remove bulk makes this jacket a nice fit


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