Day 5 of the blogging from A to Z challenge. E is for Ease.

In many knitting patterns, especially for garments, there is a word that a lot of people don’t seem to understand, and that word is ease. So today I thought I’d take the time to do a quick guide about what it means.

Garments either have positive, negative, or no ease. Positive ease means the garment is a little (or sometimes more in the case of a slouchy jumper) bigger than your measurements, negative means it’s smaller than your measurements so will stretch to fit you, and no ease means it’s exactly the same so should fit like a glove.

Here’s a handy diagram to try and describe this a bit better. It shows your measurements (black) compared to the garment’s measurements (green).


The problem a lot of people have is that various terminology for ease is used in patterns. For example the pattern could say that the garment has built in ease. This means you don’t have to worry about it, just pick the size that most closely matches your measurements because the designer has taken ease into account and done all the calculating. If you pick the size closest to yours, the finished garment will come out with the ease that the designer intended, so either a little bigger or a little smaller than you. Sometimes however, the pattern mentions how the garment should fit, ie. knit with positive ease. In this case you will have to knit the size or two bigger than your measurements to end up with a finished garment with the intended ease.

I hope this clears up some confusion on the subject. Please do comment if you have any questions.

3 thoughts on “Ease

  1. Pempi

    I don’t think I’ve come across ease before in knitting patterns – would it be because I tend to use vintage ones rather than up to the minute? I’m also from England so it can’t be one of these country differences!! Nice to meet another crafter via the A to Z Challenge 🙂 Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

  2. Eli@coachdaddy

    Interesting! I wonder if there’s a setting beyond No Ease, for blokes like me who wear things a bit looser!

    Glad I found you through the A to Z Challenge.

    Eli @ Coach Daddy (#1148)


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