In the Fall issue, we talked about choosing which size to make for sweaters. But for every sweater we knit, most of us will make several smaller projects. Many knitters refuse to be caught without a pair of socks on the needles for knitting on the go. Hats and mittens are just as portable, and are a wintertime necessity. This month, we’ll talk about how to choose an appropriate size for these essentials.

Most knitters don’t give much thought to size when planning these smaller projects. They pick up some yarn, cast on some stitches and make a hat with the knowledge that it’s sure to fit someone. But haven’t we all experienced the disappointment of investing hours carefully crafting a pair of socks or mittens only to find that they don’t fit well? It’s worth spending a little time up front to avoid that sinking feeling. And if you’re knitting a gift, making sure it fits well is a lovely way of saying “I made this just for you.”