We’ve all seen the ‘One size fits all’-labels and had absolutely no idea what it means. One size doesn’t fit all, at most it may fit a majority of average sized people, but that is far from everyone. I will never forget how passionately Kate Atherley explained why Medium is the stupidest size ever. If I go shopping for clothes I find myself trying on clothes from S all the way up to XL depending on brand, fit and style. If I’m not a standard size myself, how will I be able to pick the right size on a knitting/crochet pattern?
So how can designers help the customers pick the right size to knit? First we need to figure out what measurements are relevant for the garment type. For a hat we’re interested in knowing the brim circumference to know if it will fit on our heads, but the length is also useful to know. We often look at bust circumference to determine a good fit for sweaters, but we also need to know length, sleeve length. If the sweater is shaped and/or long we might also need to know the hip circumference.
All the key measurements that you use when you design a garment, they will also be important for the customer in order to determine which size they need to knit. There are so many different standards in displaying sizes, some logical, some less so. S, M, L are fairly universal, but they have no definition so it require key measurements as guidance. Size 10's are completely different sizes in UK and US, so again, it needs added information to be understandable (and there are many more sizing standards). Some parts of the world use metric units, and some use imperial, so it’s always a good idea to give the measurement in both centimetres and inches.
If you look at your patterns from a customer’s perspective, can you figure out what size to knit from the sizing information on the pattern page? Adding finished size(s) and/or measurements is important for the customers to build up an expectation for the pattern. You can find an example how to display multiple measurements here.
For customers who like buying yarn and patterns at the same time it makes it easier for them if you link to the yarn. Patterns with linked yarns also show up on the yarn page, increasing your pattern’s visibility. When suggesting yarn, each colour should be added on a separate line, but suggesting 2 or more different alternatives has proven to be more confusing than helping, one yarn has been proven to work best.
For tips on how to display sizes and measurements in your patterns, read Kate Atherley's blog post here!