God is in the details. Which of us has not heard that or the reverse ‘The Devil is in the details’. What each is trying to say is that we need to pay attention to the small things in every project for the result to turn out the way we want. This is never more true when it comes to knitting a garment such as a sweater. We need to start by taking the right measurements in the right way at the right spots.

It's best to ask a friend in your pod to help with measurements. But if you are practicing social distancing, you can do this by standing in front of a mirror. For circumference measurements, wrap the tape around your body with enough give so that two fingers fit comfortably between yourself and the tape measure.

You will need:

  • a flexible tape measure
  • a pad of paper or a computer
  • a straight knitting needle (optional)

Starting at the top, here are all the measurements you'll need, along with how-to tips. The headings indicate whether it's a width, length or circumference measurement.

Back Neck Width

Tip: This is one of the trickier measurements to take. Credit goes to Suzanne Bryan for this tip... hang a long piece of yarn around your neck so that it lays flat at the base of your neck. Measure from one side across to the other, in front, with a tape measure. That is your back neck width!

back neck width

Crossback Width

Tip: Make sure the tape is straight and measure across the back between the "bumps" on top of each shoulder.

crossback width

Arm Opening Length

Tip: Place a straight knitting needle under your arm. Then measure from the top of the shoulder (at the "bump") down the front just to the top of the knitting needle.

arm opening

Center-Back-Neck to Wrist Length

Tip: Place the tape measure at the base of the neck (where you found the bone for the Back to Waist measurement) and with your arm slightly bent, measure over the top of the shoulder and along the top of the arm to the wrist bone.

center-back-neck to writs

Arm Length

Tip: extend your arm and measure from the under-arm to the wrist.

arm length

Upper Arm Circumference

Tip: Wrap the tape loosely around the widest part of the upper arm or bicep above the elbow.

upper arm

Wrist Circumference

Tip: Wrap the tape measure loosely around your wrist.


Back-waist Length

Tip: Place the tape measure at the base of the neck (there is usually a prominent spinal bone there) and measure to the "natural" waist. Find your natural waist by bending slightly to the side at the waist. The point of indentation is your natural waist.


Chest Circumference

Tip: Measure around the body at the fullest part of the chest. A rule of thumb is to hold the tape loosely, so that two or three fingers can fit between your body and the tape measure.

full chest

Upper Chest Circumference

Tip: Wrap the tape measure around the body, above the bust, and just under the armpits.

upper chest

Waist Circumference

Tip: Before taking the waist measurement, bend to the side and note the indentation where your body bends. This is your natural waistline. Wrap the tape loosely around your natural waistline.


Hip Circumference

Tip: Use a mirror to view yourself from both the front and the side to note where your hips are widest. Measure around the body at the fullest part of your hips. Take a couple of measurements at different points to double-check if you're unsure where of the fullest point.

hip circumference

Waist-hip Length

Tip: Place the tape measure at the side of your natural waist. Measure along the side to the fullest part of your hips.


And... you are finished. With accurate measurements and KnitWiz you will be certain to make your next project a Knit that Fits.

Happy Knitting!



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