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Knitting FAQ'S

Pattern Corrections

Please visit our pattern corrections page to check if there have been any updates to the pattern you are knitting.

Check for pattern updates.

Questions about Jo Sharp knitting patterns


Please email knitting question to

Your email should include a detailed description of the problem you have encountered. If your question relates to a pattern error, we will ask our pattern consultant to investigate and respond to you. 

How do I ensure my garment is the right size?

Before investing time and energy creating a garment, avoid disappointment by measuring twice then knitting once!

Note that the amount of ease allowed between the human body and the garment circumference varies from one design to the next. If a garment has been designed to be worn snuggly, the bodice 
(garment circumference) measurement will be only slightly more than the chest/bust (body circumference) measurement. 

However, if a garment is designed to fit loosely, the bodice (garment circumference) measurement will be generously larger than the chest/bust (body circumference) measurement. 
Therefore, its not always easy to pick which size will suit you best. We have found that instead of simply choosing a chest/bust (body circumference) size from your pattern, its best to find a bodice measurement on the pattern that is closest to the bodice measurement of a garment in your wardrobe which is approximately the size you require. The wardrobe garment that you use as a guide must be of similar fabric weight and size to the outcome you would like for your new knitted garment. The thickness of the garment fabric will influence the finished width since thicker fabrics take up more space.

The garment you use as a guide may be a shop-purchased item rather than something you knitted yourself. So long as the finished fabric is a similar weight to the fabric of the garment you are about to knit, your size choice will be most accurate. length of garment, however in many garments, the length may be adjusted during knitting, whereas the width may be a more difficult to make any changes to.This way of deciding upon the correct garment size for knitting is by no means scientific, however, in our experience, it works best and could save you a lot of knitting time.

Can I order a specific dye lot ?

We recommend that when you place your order you purchase an extra one or two balls of yarn to be sure you have the quantity you need as differences in tension mean that more or less yarn may be required to finish a project. When we pack orders we pack only one dye lot per shade ordered. If you find you are short of a ball or two of yarn and we are unable to assist you with a matching dye lot, we suggest you go to our stores listing and call the larger stores (listed in bold) to obtain the dye lot you require. Most of the larger stores will send your requirements by mail.


How can I convert the yarn quantity for a garment when I substitute one yarn for another.

Lets take the example of using Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran Cotton.


First check how many balls of yarn the pattern calls for. 


Note that Desert Garden has 55m per 50g.


If the pattern calls for 5 balls of Desert Garden yarn, multiply the number of balls by the meterage as follows;

55g x 5 = 275m (total metres required for this garment)


Now lets take the example of substituting the Desert Garden pattern with Silkroad Aran Tweed yarn.

Note that Silkroad Aran Tweed has 95m per 50g.

Therefore divide the total Desert Garden length of 

275m by 95m = 2.89 (round to 3 balls of Silkroad Aran Tweed yarn)


You would use fewer balls of yarn when using Silkroad Aran Tweed.

What if the number of balls stated on the pattern is too many or too few?

During the design phase we have garments knitted in most sizes and estimate the number of balls required based on this knitting. Because knitting is not an exact craft, and because human hands are involved in both the knitting and the yarn making, there are sometimes over or under estimates made in the pattern writing. Our experienced knitters all produce slightly different tensions when using the same products. Therefore, the volumes stated on our patterns may not be absolutely accurate. 
Over time, we receive comments back from our customers regarding ball quantities. If we receive a number of similar comments on a particular garment we will make a change to the pattern and publish the change on the website. We can change the volumes stated in the on-line patterns as well, but of course any printed material we cannot change. We do not accept liablity for any inconvenience or loss caused due to differences between the quantities stated in a pattern and the materials required for your particular project. Since knitting is not an exact craft we ask that our customers take this into account when they find they are a ball short, or a ball too many in their knitting.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please advise us if you feel we have made a serious error and we will consider your advice for inclusion in our next revision of the pattern concerned.


How do I care for my hand knitted garment?

Hand Washing
For best results, gently hand wash knitted items in lukewarm water, using a wool detergent. Rinse thoroughly in lukewarm water. Rinse again in cold water.
To remove excess moisture after washing, roll garment inside a large towel and gently squeeze. Alternatively, spin dry inside a pillow case. Never tumble dry. Place on a flat surface in the shade to dry, coaxing back into shape whilst damp. Drying flat is recommended. Do not dry directly in front of an open or artificial fire.
Dry Cleaning
Generally is not recommended as residual dry cleaning chemicals tend to harden hand knitted fabric.







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