BrandoKAL: Customize It!

Want to join in on the fun? Join the BrandoKAL by purchasing the pattern here! We will begin on November 18th!

I know you all are anxious to get going on the BrandoKAL! However, to make the knitting a bit simpler we need to do a little back end work! I know, I know…it is never fun to do these things and we all want to cast on right now, but trust me, it will make life a lot easier. This sweater needs to be YOUR sweater, there is nothing more disappointing than seaming up a sweater and finding out it doesn’t fit…ask me how I know.

To make life a little better…lets take a Brando Break (aka – lets look at pictures of Marlon Brando):

1. Measure!

Before you can cast on you have to measure. And folks, you have to measure honestly. So I am going to do something I rarely do,  I will measure along with you. So lets look at the measurements of this sweater:

Brando (worn with 2″ of ease)

38 (42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62)”

24 (24½, 25, 25½, 26, 26½, 27)”

Width of Sleeves at Underarm:
15 (15½, 16, 16½, 17, 17½, 18)”

Now, these are your final measurements. This means that when you finish seaming your sweater this is what, if laid flat, your sweater will measure. So here are some steps to figure our your size:

1. Measure your bust. I always say to measure at the largest part of the torso. If your tummy sticks out a little bit further than your bust, measure that. Here is another tip, if you wear under-garments (such as a girdle, spanx, or bra) measure yourself while being in those garments.

Me: My chest and belly measure the same (I am basically a knitting linebacker) which is 58″ on the dot.

2. Decide on the length you desire. Personally I wear my sweaters a bit shorter than normal, why? Because I am tall and long shirts always make me look like a 4th grader getting into his daddies clothes. I like my clothing to be fitted and look nice while wearing them. When looking at the length listed you will notice they range by 1/2 in. which doesn’t really seem like a lot, but trust me it is. Measure yourself from shoulder to where you want the sweater to fall.

Me: I am 6’5″ tall, which is tall…like really tall. So for this sweater to fit and look nice I am going to stay right around 27″ long.

3. Decide on the size. For me, I fit right into the 58″ bust size. However, Brando is meant to be worn with 2-4″ of ease, so I am going to head on up to the last size. I want the sweater to be fitted but at the same time comfortable, because I imagine this over a button down shirt.

2. Making Changes

Sweater knitting often means making changes here and there. Lengthen the torso here, the sleeve there, shorten the neckline…it needs to be done. However, this can seem a bit daunting. Brando, however, is designed to allow your to make changes. There is a lot of Stockinette Stitch to allow you to make modifications here and there.

Shortening (or lengthening) the sleeves…

To shorten the sleeves simply figure out where you would like the sleeves to end on your arm and simply begin knitting there. The sleeve length (although unlisted in the pattern) measures the same as the body length plus ribbing. Another option is to simply shorten or lengthen the ribbing to get the desired measurement. If choosing to lengthen the sleeves I also recommend making these alterations at the ribbing.

Accommodating a large bust and small waist…

This sweater is meant to just lay there. Honestly, it is just meant to hang out, cover you up, and wrap you up. It is still stylish, dont get me wrong, but there are sweaters that are made to flatter and there are sweaters that are made for comfort. This sweater fits right into the latter.

Adding (or subtracting) length…

The length is very simple to modify. The torso measurement on each size is the same, so simply take out a few inches in the miles of stockinette and you will be set, just be sure to make the changes before the armhole shaping so that the sleeve cap is not mussed with.


Alright, I think that is enough information for now. Next week, I will post info on gauge, getting started, and a little advanced giveaway! In the meantime go ahead and write down where you need to make modifications on your pattern! You can also head over to Amy Herzog’s blog and read this post on choosing the right size. If you have any more questions please head over to Ravelry and join the BrandoKAL thread in the Fans of Rohn Strong Ravelry Group.

Want to join in on the fun? Join the BrandoKAL by purchasing the pattern here! We will begin on November 18th!

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