Swing jacket – the difference a few measurements can make

The front box stitch panel

I made this to fit me which meant that the back is a Small and the front is an XL except for the shoulders.  I knitted it in one piece to the armholes and I knitted the sleeves in the round to minimise seaming as this wool is so bulky.  The tricky bit with doing different size front and back it getting the side seams and shoulders to match.  It is really important to read through the pattern and work how much shaping is in the side seam and whether to follow the shaping for the front or back (this depends on your shape).  I used the back shaping and then calculated the number to cast on at the hem based on the number I needed at the bust +the side seam shaping for the back. As this is an A shaped garment that was simple, where there is a waist you need to be very careful.

The next tricky bit is how many stitches do you need to reduce the size for the shoulder.  I initially thought that would just be the stitch count difference between the sizes but that doesn’t take into account the changes that need to be made for the arm hole.  The arm hole needed to be for the small size so there are less stitches cast off and decreased than there is in the large.  So the number of stitches that needed to be removed was the difference between the shoulder in the 2 sizes + the difference in the number of stitches decreased for the arm hole.

decreases on left front

Once I had that organised I had to work out where these decreases had to go.  After much thought I decided to put them so that they ended up finishing 1 stitch inside the armhole edge.  I did 9 decreases, 1 in every second row starting 15 stitches from the edge (3 stitches cast off and 2 decreased on the armhole) this meant the stitches at the side disappeared and the centre remained flat.

When I got onto the sleeves I decided to attempt 2 sleeves on 2 circulars for the first time, after a few false starts I got the hang of it and ended up with 2 sleeves knitted to the sleeve cap very quickly for me!  (Notice not even 6 months has passed since I started this garment?)  I only started knitting with the wrong thread once too.

When I got to the sleeve cap the real trouble began, I read the pattern I did what it said, I was running out of stitches fast, I ripped it out and started again, read the pattern, yes I did do what it said, checked the pattern for the back, yes that matched what I had done, changed it to do half the number of decreases suggested and it fits.  The pattern said ‘Bind off 2 stitches each side until work measures…’  .  What worked was ‘decrease 1 stitch each side on every second row until 10 stitches remain’.  Oh well at least I worked out what would work.


To  finish it off I found these rustic looking buttons that matched perfectly.

I love the fit, the sides don’t pull forward, the shoulders aren’t half way down my upper arms and the back doesn’t have a huge amount of extra fabric.  The last few days have been cold so I don’t want to take it off!




Hem – 4 rows of box stitch instead of 2 garter and 2 rib.

At 32cm started darts to reduce from XL to S.  9 stitches removed from each front piece (7.5cm, 3″)

Made sleeves 5cm shorter, reduced the straight section before the increases.

Tension: 12st/10cm

Knitted body in 1 piece

Collar 10cm instead of 12cm

Knitted sleeves in the round

So here is the end result:

(click on the photos for a larger image)


2 thoughts on “Swing jacket – the difference a few measurements can make

  1. Excellent work, Wen! Your jacket looks really great on you, a very good fit. Well done on all the fitting mods you’ve made on this to make it an extra-special item in your wardrobe!

  2. Pingback: Buttons « Blog Archive « Wen's photo album

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