What’s the best way to judge how much ribbing is needed for a cuff or neckline opening?
Most patterns that call for ribbed cuffs or neckbands include a pattern for those pieces, or at least a suggestion of a ratio for good fit. Ribbings differ in stretchability based on their fiber content and knit pattern, so there’s no absolute answer to this question. You want a ribbing that will lie flat without rippling, and that will hug the neckline or wrist. The general rule of thumb is to cut the ribbing 2/3 to 3/4 of the distance of the piece it’s being applied to. For example, if a neckline circumference is 16″, ribbing can be around 12″. It’s best to pin a circle of ribbing in the size you think will work and then try it over your hand, wrist or head to see how it looks. Be sure to fold it as it will be when finished, and do be careful as the cut edge of some ribbings run when stretched. Be sure to apply the ribbing with a stretchable stitch or serger to avoid having broken stitches when it stretches.