FAQ

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about my work, my patterns and my design style.

I know you are anxious to get your questions answered – and (if you’re anything like me) you probably don’t want to wait. I understand completely. You’ve come to the right place!

You can find answers to the most frequently asked questions below – quick and easy.

If you don’t see the answer you’re looking for, fill out the contact form below.  Please allow 24-48 hours for a response.

QUICK TIP: I know it takes a little time, but please read the pattern closely before submitting a question. Check to be sure you’ve printed all the pages, and that you’ve taken the time to read the material provided. Nearly every question I receive is already answered in the pattern and/or on the pattern tutorial here on my website. If you read through the pattern and see something toward the end that doesn’t quite make sense, I encourage you to work the pattern and wait until you get there before you submit a question. Generally, by the time you get to that point in the pattern it will make a lot more sense to you. I also ask you to use your best judgment and common sense. If you think you understand what the pattern is asking you to do, follow your instinct and try it. You can do it! My patterns are very detailed, clearly written and include a lot of additional advice and support, including pattern support materials here on my website (with video tutorials, photo tutorials, and more). They are designed to make your job as easy as possible. When in doubt, go with your gut. There are no tragic consequences in knitting, so give it your best shot. Use Google or Youtube for basic techniques when you need to, and go forth and knit!

Gauge

  1. My gauge is off, what should I do? When checking gauge, please be sure to measure it over 4″ – you will find that measuring gauge over 1″ is not adequate for a proper estimate. In addition, be sure to check both stitch gauge AND row gauge. Top-down sweaters, especially, require proper row gauge for correct fit. If you have achieved stitch gauge, but not row gauge, try going up (or down) a needle size and swatching again. I have often found that the stitch gauge can stay about the same but the row gauge will change with the change in needle. It can also be helpful to try switching the type of needle you’re using (i.e. switch from bamboo to metal, or vice versa).
  2. I want to knit the sweater in a different gauge than intended, can you help me figure out the math? I wish I could answer yes to this question, but unfortunately I am not able to provide pattern customization, simply due to the amount of time it takes and the number of people asking for this assistance. I highly recommend a class on pattern modifications if this is an approach you enjoy taking and would like to have a deeper understanding of how to change-up the gauge in a pattern with predictable results.
  3. I’m using a different yarn, but I got gauge. Why doesn’t my sweater fit/drape like the one in the picture? Remember that when you are making yarn substitutions, the results can vary. For the most consistent results choose a yarn with a very similar fiber structure and weight as the one listed in the pattern. From knitter to knitter, yarn to yarn, and needle to needle, there are countless variations. The more you knit, the more you’ll understand what works for you and how to get the results you want.

Size

  1. What size should I make? To get a fit similar to the one shown on the pattern, choose the size according to your bust size. The recommended ease will already be factored into the size.
  2. What if I’m between sizes? Depending on the fit you’re looking for, it often makes sense to go up to the next size, rather than the size smaller.
  3. Check out my article about the most common mistakes knitters make when knitting sweaters, which includes advice about sizing, fit, ease and gauge.

Ease

Questions about ease? Check out my blog post here.

Other common questions

Q: This sweater says it’s knit in the round, but the first few rows are flat? What gives? 

A: Often with top-down seamless sweaters, the neckline is worked with a bit of contour shaping (which must be done flat) before it’s joined in the round. If you look ahead in the pattern, you will see where the pattern directs you to join and begin working in the round.

Q: Why is your business called “Olive Knits”?

A: Do you remember as a child asking your friend to cover their ears and then mouthing the words “olive juice”? It looks like you’re saying “I love you.” We always got a good chuckle out of that. The name Olive KNits is partly a play on “I love knits,” partly because I’m a foodie and I think olives go with everything, partly because my mom called me Olive Oil (from Popeye) as a teenager because I was tall and lanky, and partly because I just love everything about olives and it fit my minimalist style.

Q: Do you need sample knitters or test knitters?

A: I am so grateful for the support of the knitters who work behind the scenes to help test my patterns and knit samples. I work with a fairly consistent team of knitters and am generally not in need of additional help, but sometimes I will post a call for additional testers on Instagram. Keep an eye out there.

Q: Help! I don’t know how to work this stitch!?

A: If there is not a stitch tutorial on the pattern page here on my website, please utilize the internet to answer questions about how to work a particular stitch or cast-on.

Q: The first row feels weird to me. I think something is missing. 

A: Did you use the recommended cast-on? If not, this is likely the reason why.

Q: I got to the sleeve divide and my stitch count is off. I think there’s a mistake in the pattern. 

A: My patterns are professionally tech edited and tested by a large number of testers, which helps ensure that stitch counts (and other pattern data) is correct by the time it reaches your hands. Most often when I am asked this question, it’s because the additional increases prior to the sleeve divide were overlooked in the pattern. They are clearly marked, but they can still be easy to miss if you’re in a rhythm and cruising along without looking closely. Be sure you go back and verify that you’ve caught all of the additional increases to ensure that your numbers are correct. If you’ve double checked the pattern and your work and you still believe you’ve found an issue, please let me know.

Q: My arms are larger and I want more room. Can I cast-on more stitches under the arm?

A: Yes. Just remember that this will also add to the finished bust size. Depending on the gauge of the pattern, this might not be an issue – just keep it in mind.

Q: My row gauge is off by quite a bit. Can I just knit more rows to reach the length it should be?

A: Yes. This does interfere a bit with the shaping of the arm and sleeve, so be strategic and divide up the extra rows so they are not all worked together at the very end before the sleeve divide. AND if you are adding extra rows, don’t work the increases on those rows. They are just for depth and not for width. How many rows you need will depend on the pattern and your gauge, but generally an additional 1-2 inches is all you need to make up for the difference. Determine how many rows you need based on how many rows you’re getting per inch and then add that number accordingly.

Q: I’m almost to the sleeve divide and I don’t think this is going to fit. What do I do?

A: First, trust the pattern. If your stitch and row gauge are correct and you are knitting the correct size for your body, the fit has been tested and should work nicely. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell until you’re a bit further along into the lower body. Remember, too, that blocking changes the structure of the fiber – which often means growth in length and sometimes width. These changes are all factored into the pattern. However, every knitter’s shape is different, and you may need more or less room. If you need to work a few extra rows or cast-on more stitches under the arms, this is usually an easy fix.

Do you have a question that isn’t answered in the pattern, on the pattern tutorial/support page or in the above content?

Fill out the contact form below. Please allow 24-48 hours for a response (holidays and weekends may take longer).