Published: 01 January 1970

Jumper boards, part 2

Jumper board Jumper board After my recent blog about jumper boards, I was asked what size the pieces are. All my jumper boards vary slightly so I will give the dimensions for just the one in this photo.

The long piece for shoulders and tops of arms is 170cm long, hinged in the middle. A metal hook and eye keep the piece steady while it is in use. On the underside there are 6 holes at both sides of the hinge which gives a choice of garment widths. The base (63 x 5 x 2 cm) has holes corresponding to those on the underside of the top piece so that the jumper width does not vary.

The upright pieces at the sides are 74 cm long. At the top end there are 5 holes which are angled a little - the pieces for the under arm (60 cm long) slot into these holes. At the lower end there are 3 holes to hold the piece of round dowel (60 cm long, approx 0.8 cm diameter) which is used to stretch/block to an appropriate length - the holes on this one board allow stretching to 48, 58 or 68 cm long, from shoulder to hem.

For this board, the smallest size is just 43 cm chest. It is highly unlikely it was ever used for anything this small and the underarm piece could not be used for such a tiny garment as it is too wide. The biggest size is chest/bust 118 cm, and sleeve holes are fine for bigger sizes.

To hold all the pieces securely together short pieces of dowel. of varying lengths and diameters, have been glued into the ends of the uprights and under arm pieces.

I recently measured a new Fair Isle cardigan before, during and after blocking. The chest measured 58.5 cm before blocking and 63.5 cm on the board. Once it was taken off the board I gave it time to relax before measuring to find it is 61 cm, the size needed. It got slightly longer too, going from 41 cm before to 47 cm on the board and 46 cm as finished length. In this case I wanted it to be a little longer but not much wider than the finished piece of knitting. If I had needed width it would not have got as long. I also needed sleeves a little longer so they went from 27.5 cm to 30.5 cm. This cardigan was knitted in the round so had no seams to constrain the stretching. 

Chapters 22 to 25 of my DVD/download show in detail how to prepare a garment before it is washed, how it's put on the board, and what to do after it's taken off the board.

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About Shetland


Shetland is the most northerly group of Scottish islands. Apart from mainland Scotland, the other near neighbours are Norway to the east and the Faroe Islands to the north west.