How to Resize Your Iced Tee

If you are interested in knitting the Iced Tee, but want to change the sizing, this guide will walk you through the process step by step. After learning how to resize the Iced Tee, you’ll have the basic skills you need to resize many different patterns!

Before getting into resizing, let’s talk about garment fit. How do you know what size is best for you? When I make a fitted pattern, I usually start by taking a look at the pattern’s finished bust measurement. Keeping that number in mind, I compare the pattern’s finished bust measurement to my actual bust measurement.

A lot of the time, garment patterns will contain information on how much ease is desired, especially on a modeled version. Ease is the difference between the garment’s measurement and your bust measurement. If the pattern’s measurement is larger than your bust, then that is called positive ease. If the pattern’s measurement is smaller than your bust, that is called negative ease. If the two measurements are the same, then you have no ease.

As the Iced Tee doesn’t contain any ease information, it’s up to you to decide how much ease you want, if any. When I’m not sure how much ease to include in a garment, I often look in my closet for inspiration. Measure your favorite top, and use this measurement as a reference for how you want your Iced Tee to fit.

There are two basic ways to change the size of a pattern. One way is to change the gauge, and another way is to change the stitch count. Since changing the gauge is the easiest way to change the size, we’ll begin with that method.

How does changing the gauge of a pattern change the size? Essentially, a tighter gauge will make the garment smaller, and a looser gauge will make the garment larger. Even minor differences in gauge will affect the finished size, so it’s a good reason to make a gauge swatch before you start the project.

Let’s take a look at the pattern’s gauge. The gauge is 26 stitches over 4 inches, or 6.5 stitches to the inch. It’s important that you have the correct gauge if you want to make the pattern in the size as written. For example, let’s say your gauge is 28 stitches over 4 inches, or 7 stitches to the inch. While a half stitch difference may not seem like a big deal, that half stitch gauge difference adds up to a lot when making a garment.

At the written gauge, 6.5 stitches to the inch will create a garment that has a bust measurement of 39.5”. At 7 stitches per inch, the garment will have a bust measurement of 36.5”. As you can see, that half stitch makes a big difference in the finished size! (Another good reason to make gauge swatches, right?)

If you’d like to use gauge to change the size of the pattern, first decide what you’d like the finished bust measurement to be. Then divide the number of stitches to cast on by the bust measurement. The resulting number will give you the stitch gauge you need to aim for.

For example, my bust measurement is 35”, and I want zero ease in my top. So I’d divide the cast on number (256 stitches) by my bust measurement, 35”. 256/35 = 7.31. So I’d want my gauge to be about 7.3 stitches per inch to get a top that measures 35”.

To change pattern size based on gauge, use this formula:
Cast-On Number ÷ Bust Measurement = Gauge

If you are on gauge, and don’t want to change the gauge of the fabric, you can make the pattern larger by casting on more stitches. (If you’d like to make the pattern smaller, I’d recommend changing the gauge instead of the stitch count, so that you won’t have to modify the Ice Cube lace pattern.)

The Iced Tee stitch count is based on a multiple of four, so to make a larger size, you will want to cast on an additional multiple of four stitches. Half of the new stitches will be added to the back section, and half of the new stitches will be added to the front, one quarter on each side the front lace panel.

Let’s say we want to increase the size from a 39.5” to a 42”. Remember, the new stitch count has to be a multiple of four. At the recommended gauge, 16 more stitches will add about 2.5 inches around, which will make the top 42”.

After casting on the 16 additional stitches, you can follow the pattern as written until round nine.  Starting with round nine, we will change the directions slightly to incorporate the extra stitches.

Here is round 9 as written: K12, ICL 9 times, k8, pm, k to end.

  • On round 9, you’ll start by knitting one quarter of the new stitches, or 4 stitches, since ¼ of 16 is 4. It’s helpful to mark this section of the fabric with a stitch marker. That way you’ll have a visual cue that this section is a plain stockinette section with no patterning.
  • Then you’ll begin to follow the round 9 directions. Knit the 12 stitches as written, knit the Ice Cube Lace repeat nine times, knit 8, and place marker as indicated in pattern.
  • Knit another quarter of your new stitches, or 4 stitches, and place a side marker.
  • Finally, knit across the back stitches, which is the “knit to end” direction at the end of round 9. You’ll have eight extra stitches in the back section.

You can follow the pattern as written by this point until you get to the division of the front and back.

So that means for every patterned row, you’d do something like this: Knit new number of stitches (the first ¼ of stitches added), follow the pattern as written until you get to the first marker, slip marker, knit new number of stitches (the second ¼ of stitches added), slip marker, knit to end of round.

When you get to the division of the front and back, you’ll want to make sure to divide the top in half evenly, since you’ll have extra stitches in the fabric. Splitting the middle of each side panel will ensure the top is properly divided. You can use the beginning of round marker and side marker as a visual cue on where to split the top.

That’s really all there is to it! If you have any more questions about sizing the Iced Tee top, please email us at, or give us a call at (866) 656-5648. Happy knitting!

July 29, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall
Tags: Kits Patterns
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