Size Inclusivity in Knit Accessory Patterns

In garment design, we talk about size inclusivity a lot. There is a huge effort to encourage designers and yarn companies to offer more sizes for their garment patterns, and to update older patterns to be more size inclusive. When it comes to accessory patterns, this need for size inclusivity is just as great, but we are often still stuck in that middle of the range viewpoint, that ‘one size fits all’ mentality.


We are gloriously different in size and shape, and that is true even within one body. Does it make sense that if there are bodies that need garments outside the middle of the range, that there won’t be bodies who need socks, hats, shawls, gloves outside the middle of those ranges? Of course not.

Working with Motifs

Playing with motifs is super fun in accessory designing. Many accessories are perfect canvasses for some pretty incredible motifs. Be careful, though,that your motif can be graded successfully!

Socks that Fit

A sock pattern having plenty of varying sizes for length, but the same circumference for every size doesn’t really reflect real feet or legs. Sometimes even when there is a range of circumferences, it’s just that middle range again. Remember that just like there is a need for more sizes in garments, the same holds true for socks!

A Special Note About Shawls

A lot of shawl designs don’t lend themselves to being graded and are generally singular things. Often their construction and patterning make them inherently only one way. But when we get into making claims about how they fit and look and how they can be worn, and promising an end result, shawl patterns being only one size is a problem.

Gauge is Still Everything

Saying that gauge doesn’t matter in accessories, or that if the maker doesn’t get gauge to ‘just go up/down a size’ can be a recipe for disaster.  Sometimes this approach seems like it can work, but what we think of as working is actually the maker compromising their expectations and settling.

One Size Does Not Fit All

The same considerations must be made in accessory patterns as in garment patterns. ‘One size fits all’ has got to go. The more you think about it, the more you will realize how damaging and harmful that concept is in a world where we are beautifully different.

Curious to learn more about knitting or to dig deeper into this topic? Click on through for tutorials, free patterns, technique tips, and more.

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