Why has my knitting turned out larger than the photo on the pattern?

miniature knitting
© F H Powell 2009

Comparison of two socks knitted from the same pattern and using the same size knitting needles, but with different 1-ply yarns, wool on left and acrylic on right.

This could be for one of two reasons, the first being that some people knit looser than others and if you are a very loose knitter then the item you are knitting may turn out slightly larger than the one shown in the pattern photo. This can be easily remedied by using a smaller size knitting needle.

The second reason is the type of yarn you use. If our pattern states WOOL then all the articles in the patterns are knitted using the DMC or Appleton’s pure new wool yarns that we stock, if the same yarn is used the tension will be correct and finished garment will be as illustrated. If you use a different type of ‘wool’ then expect a different result. Acrylic yarn tends to make the garments a little larger over all as there is no natural ‘springiness’ that there is with wool. In the photo above the same pattern and knitting needles were used to knit a sock in pure new wool (shown on left) and one in acrylic wool (shown on right), as you can see the difference is noticeable. The difference between pure new wool and acrylic wool is really noticeable in garments knitted using two or more colours and Aran work. Some people do not like the fact that pure new wool has a hairy texture and the edges of the garments (cuffs, collars and waist) may look unsightly, this can be remedied with a steady hand and a pair of sharp scissors, just trim off the ‘hairy’ parts.

If you are knitting a pattern that uses cotton and your work comes out larger then you may need to change your knitting needles to a smaller size to get the tension correct.

Remember the tools and wools are as important as the time and care you will devote to the garment. Also remember that all the manufacturers mothproof our pure new wool and if you are going to display the item in a dolls house the last thing you want are moth holes. Other wools may be cheaper, but may not be mothproofed and all those hours of work you put in could be ruined if moths get in your dolls house.

NOTE: We do not give a tension square on our patterns, as if the recommended yarn is used items will generally work out at approximately the right size. Remember clothes and dolls come in all sizes and not a ‘standard’ size and some real size clothes are not always a perfect fit!

Don’t forget if you have a query about miniature knitting we may be able to help, so do e-mail your queries to us. (Please put ‘miniature knitting query’ as the subject of the e-mail)