Tuesday Tip: How to Measure Armhole Depth - Patty Lyons | Knitting Teacher


  • Wren

    Hi Patty,
    Awesome tip. I have a question. How does this technique work on a top-down raglan? I guess put the sweater flat, and measure from the top of the sleeve (folded). Is is a right assumption.

    May 24, 2016
    • Measuring the finished armhole of a top down raglan is a bit trickier, as the shoulder is harder to find, or see when not on the body. The best thing you can do is put the sweater on, and then put a safety pin on the sweater right on your shoulder bone, take it off and measure!!

      May 24, 2016
  • Andrea Miller

    Your photos regarding measuring are making the light dawn – thank you for the CLEAREST explanations I have seen about how and wear to measure to get the expected result!

    One question I have about the style of Corcoran 2.0 – the sleeves look quite tailored, narrow even, and I would like the outcome of the sleeves to be more generously sized to allow for my “mature” bicep dimensions (which are NOT from lifting weights – probably because of not lifting them!). So if I would like a bit less slender or form-fitting look, which measurement will I want to adjust? I imagine adjusting the armhole depth by a wee bit, like a quarter of an inch, may add in just that much more desired ease for the sleeve circumference and emerge as the right size of “cylinder” for the sleeve. Am I on the right track here?

    May 24, 2016
    • Take a look at the schematic (10 sizes) to see if there’s an upper arm and armhole depth that work for you (they go hand in hand). If you just knit a deeper armhole, the sleeve cap won’t fit. However, if you only knit it a tiny bit deeper, it would still be fine.

      The best thing to do is measure around your upper arm and add a bit of ease to that (1/2″ – 1″). Then look through the schematic measurements to find the size that best matches your upper arm/ armhole depth / cross back.

      However, with this pattern, I wouldn’t be too concerned, as the lace is quite stretchy and will work with many sizes. Remember if the model has tiny upper arms, the sweater sleeves will reduce (it being a stretchy lace) to fit over her arms.

      May 24, 2016
  • Patricia Paulson

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the clear and concise directions on how to take this measurement. I an looking forward to starting the KAL. I would like to be able to make my gauge swatch ahead of time but do not know how to knit the Rain Drop Lace pattern. Is there a video or written instructions for this? Thanks in advance for your help.

    May 25, 2016
    • You are so welcome! Swatching is not something we do BEFORE we start, it IS the start 🙂

      Swatching will be part of the June 20th release. Stitch pattern, video tutorial, blocking etc. So many knitters so their gauge swatch incorrectly, and are then unhappy with the end result. This is a VITAL step in sweater knitting and it will always be part of my KALs rather than something knitter’s do on their own.

      May 25, 2016
      • Patricia Paulson

        Thanks for letting me know so I can relax now and just wait patiently for June 20.

        May 25, 2016
  • Diana

    Will this measurement work for the top down sweaters as well? I see some cute ones, but they all have that dreaded bulge across the top of the breast that makes it look poorly fitted.

    June 12, 2016
    • Hi, read down a bit in comments about top down sweaters.

      Remember, a top down is very hard to adjust or alter, as the armhole depth is created by the number of rows worked for the yoke that also create the increases in stitches that get you to upper arm and chest measurement.

      June 12, 2016
  • Eva Lim

    Hi. Thanks for your wonderful tip. What about measuring a halter neck dress? Should I be measuring from the top collar to the point where I take the bust length, in terms for arm hole length?

    January 04, 2017
    • Are you talking about a body measurement? Armhole depth is your armhole depth, and that’s a body measurement. If you are trying to figure out if a knitting schematic will fit you well, it would depend on how the measurements are shown. Top of collar to the bust is not armhole depth. Do you have a link the knitting pattern you are asking about?

      January 05, 2017
  • Vicky

    I find it much more useful to measure from the back of neck (center) straight down to the horizontal line (where you’ve put the knitting needle). Just put one tape measure around body in the armpit (knitting needle) and have the patient hold it there, while I measure from center back of neck, straight down to the line. Also note if their shoulders are very sloping, or very square, and also if they are very narrow or broad.

    January 27, 2018
    • Armhole depth on knitwear is to the lowest part of the shoulder, so if measured from the center back you will be knitting an armhole depth that is actually the depth of the armhole, plus the rise of the shoulder, plus about another inch to the nape of the neck. The shoulders (and if they are sloping or square) will not effect this part of your knitting, but rather the shoulder shaping.

      January 27, 2018
  • Danny

    Please Patty, How can i get the standards for that of mens official shirt ?

    my exact problem is how to know the standard height to start the curve from top of shoulder in a pattern drafting to where i join my lines from the chest width to arrive at where i start my curve for the armhole…

    Please Patty, you could use some patience I am really new to all this.

    many thanks.

    June 16, 2018

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