There are many types of knitted garments. Sweaters, jackets, coats, shawls, and capes are just a few. As a knitwear designer, I see many beautiful garments that do not fit well. There are several things that need to be taken into consideration to achieve a finished knitted item that is properly fitting the person who will wear the item.
1. Before you begin, you need a plan.
2. Select the yarn you will use and the size needles or the machine settings that match the yarn.
3. Knit a swatch to get the feel of the yarn. For machine knitters, I suggest a scarf, so you feel like your work has not been wasted, as re-knitting when machine knits are unraveled changes the look and feel of the yarn, so you do not want to include it in the finished item.
*NOTE: It is important that you put the swatch through all of the processes you will use to care for the final item. Wash and put through the dryer on the temperatures you will use, or wash and lay flat to dry.
You may catch a major problem at this part of the preparation, so be on the watch to see if your swatch size changes dramatically or stays close to the same. It may require something as simple as changing the wash water or dryer temperatures.
4. From the swatch, see how much the yarn stretches.
5. Measure the pattern template you will be matching and cross reference the data to be sure you will be close to the finished size you want before you go through all of the work of knitting the pieces.
6. Armed with this information you can have more confidence that your finished item will be worth your effort. I will offer a series of video tutorials for those who would like help