Stash Dive Sweater Sizing

In between my other knitting jobs I’ve been planning my Stash Dive sweater. I’ve just put up the next video talking about shape and size here:

In this video I talk though how I’m putting my sweater together and will give you some formulae to calcuate your own sizing. As this is all free I won’t be in a position to do lots of individual calculations! (Although if you’d like a scheduled zoom one-to-one class it could be arranged).

Sweater Size

Above is the shop bought sweater outline I’m using. The only change I’m planning on making is to add an inch or two to the body length but I’ll decide that as I’m working by trying it on. The neck is very wide as I’ve measured it without ribbing. This gives me extra room to add ribbing or leave it wide, I can decide at the last minute!

Now you should do a basic sketch like the one above for the size you want to knit. Pick a sweater you like the size of that’s in this boxy style. Or if you want to use the one above as a basis – it’s going to give a finished size of 44″ (22 x 2) which will give me about 9″ of positive ease.

Gauge: Body Width

I measured the gauge of my swatch after blocking in a few places and I got a gauge of 26 stitches and 30 rows per 4″ / 10 cm.

For 1″: 26/4 = 6.5 sts per 1″

This is the number I’ll use to calculate my size. Do your own calculation for your swatch.

Now I am going figure out how many stitches I need for my size:

Body Width = 22″; Number of stitches: 22 x 6.5 = 143 sts  but I’ll round up to 144 sts

Neck Width = 1o”; Number of stitches: 10 x 6.5 = 65 sts  but I’ll round down to 64 sts

Each Shoulder: (144-64)/2 = 40 sts each shoulder

My short row shoulder shaping is going to be around every inch, so I’ll space them every 6 sts.

So now I going to get started on the back. I’ll work this with short rows for the shoulder slope and then work it straight down to the bottom of the armhole. See below for details on colours etc. Next week I’ll talk through the front of neck shaping and all that fun stuff! This week I’m just planning on doing the upper back to the armhole. I’ll use the same striping method that I used for the swatch here.

Basic Plan

I’m going to cast on 144 stitches with a Long Tail Cast On. I’ll put a marker 40 sts from each end (to divide my neck).

Now I’ll work to the second marker, then work 6 more stitches and work a short row (I’m doing German Short Rows). Next row on the WS I’ll work to the second marker (all the way across the neck opening) and I’ll work 6 more stitches and work a short row again. Now I’m just going to keep working 6 extra stitches every side until I’ve no more stitches to work.

(When you’ve worked a few rows you should put a marker or safety pin on each side of the neck at the cast-on row – this will make it easier when you come back to work the front.)

Once my short rows are finished I’m going to work straight down, changing colour according to my plan below. I’m going to work straight until I reach 7 3/4″ for the size of my armhole opening. The yarn can now be broken and the stitches put on a spare needle or holder. Next week we’ll come back to the front.

Body Length

I’m going to lengthen my body a bit from the diagram above, below is my approximate stripe configuration. However if it works out that I’m not liking how something is knitting up I’m going to change it!

I’m going to have 5.5″ (measured on the armhole to avoid the short rows shoulders) in TOTAL for each colour. However 1/2″ before this I”ll start my striping and do it for 1″ so the diagram below will show how I’m planning my colour changes.

How I'm spacing my colour changes
How I’m spacing my colour changes

Now in addition to this I will start introducing my texture stripes…this ‘might’ be how the will work…lets see!

Where my 'Texture Stripes' will go
Where my ‘Texture Stripes’ will go

Remember to keep an eye on your armhole length, when I reach 7 3/4″ on the back I’ll break the yarn (I’ll be on the second colour) and will set the stitches aside to start on the front.

Area and Yarn

I’ve had a few questions about yarn amounts. Personally I’m not planning on calculating as I just want to wing it! I’m going with my basic plan for the body and I’ll leave the sleeve design to decide when I see how much yarn is left.

If you want to plan out this is the basics of how you’ll do it:

1. Weigh your swatch and measure it.

My swatch weighed 12g and measured 4 x 10.5 inches = 42 square inches. So 1 square inch =12/42 = 0.2857 g.

2. Now we need to figure out roughly the area of the sweater.

As it’s a very simple shape it’ll be fast! I’m going to leave out the neck shaping and short rows, just assuming it’s a rectangle.

Body: 22 x 2 x 17= 748 square inches

Yarn Needed: 748 x 0.2857 = 213.7 g


Top of Sleeve: 7.75 x 2 = 15.5 inches

Cuff: 4.5 x 2 = 9 inches

Length: 17 inches

Area: [(Upper arm + Cuff)/ 2 ] x Length = [(15.5+9) / 2] x 17 = 208.25 square inches

Yarn Needed: 208.25 x 0.2857 = 69.4 g for EACH sleeve

Total yarn for project: 213.7+69.4+69.4 = 352.5 g

Someone was asking what % of yarn was for sleeves – with my size it would be 40% because the body is so short!


Make sure you follow the playlist on Youtube to keep up with the next KAL video here.

Come chat on my Facebook Group here to see what others are knitting.


13 thoughts on “Stash Dive Sweater Sizing

  1. I listened to your live you tube video this morning (I live in Florida) and thank you for for keeping it concise and to the point. It was simple enough for someone like me, who is not good in math. Loved it. Look forward to the next installment.

  2. I’m a little confused. In your notes in section Basic Plan you cast on 144 stitches, when do you start your first short row? Can you do a tutorial on how German short rows work on the shoulder?

  3. Hi, again. I listened to your video on short rows and I worked a sample and I figured it out. No need to reply to my comment above. 😊

  4. Glad you got it figured out!
    I’ve been meaning to do another German short row tutorial in st st so hopefully I’ll get to that this week!

  5. Can’t wait to get started. However, After stash diving, I found 2 skeins of fingering weight Artisan Yarns, BooBerry color, 1 skein of Silk Marino Lace, kelp color (from one of your knit clubs I never made) and 1 skein of brushed suri in cream color. I just realized that the BooBerry yarn is super wash. Is this too much mixing of weights and fiber types?

  6. The superwash should be fine, half of mine are superwash. If you use the lace as the texture to work with the other yarn it should be perfect.

  7. I just started yesterday and am SO excited to do this. Way out of my comfort zone to go off pattern, but I love your instructions. Now I want to play hooky from working at home to knit at home. Thank you for sharing your knitting knowledge and inspiration! I’m doing mine out of one color fingering yarn knit at a big gauge.

  8. So many virtual WIPs, so much inspiration, so much to learn. Thank you for taking us on this journey, this joyride, into knitting design. I, too, am challenged to go off pattern. I have a cotton fabric box top that fits me well—is it possible to use that for taking measurements for this knitted top? Looking forward to following your progress on this project and also on MDK.

  9. You are right: this is fun! No rules :). However I am totally unfamiliar with this type of sweater construction. And though you do explain, I am still not sure I understand. I have cast on and knit the short rows on the back. Should I now bind off and pick up the stitches where I have cast on? Then knit to armhole depth, put the stitches on hold and pick up the bound off stitches at the shoulders?

  10. I probably have it upside down haven’t I? The cast on edge is the shoulder’seam’ and I can knit straight on to armhole depth after doing the short rows. Bit of brain fog probably.

  11. So just to add another calculation into the mix how could I potentially calculate the meterage or yardage to know if I do have enough with my yarns?

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