If you couldn’t tell from my two red sweater WIPS, I’m a big red lover, and I was especially enamored with this red version of Chuck made by Melissa, HelloMissy on Ravelry. I like how the semi-solid Madelinetosh adds an extra bit of interest to the sweater, and that shade of red looks perfect with the bright blue dress she’s wearing in her FO pictures. It’s such a cheerful looking sweater and outfit.
About her project Melissa says, “I was really nervous when I started this project, as it was only my second sweater, but this pattern was so easy to understand. The sweater fits like it was made for me – I didn’t have to make any mods (and thank goodness as I’m still a newbie sweater knitter at this point!). I have received so many compliments on it; I can’t wait until the weather cools off so I can start wearing it again.” You can find Melissa’s project notes for her Chuck on Ravelry, and she blogs at Melissa in Progress.
Finally a book specifically on fit! Knitting Plus by Lisa Shroyer is on custom fitting plus-sized sweaters, and it has a lot of really great, solid information. The first chapter goes over the various parts that make up a sweater and the different fit issues a plus-sized knitter might face. It also explains a lot of the logic behind the standards for plus-sized sweaters and why those standards might cause fit problems for knitters who carry their weight in different places than the hour glass shape that the standards are modeled on. The next chapter covers the basics of where and what to modify on the sweater body. There isn’t a lot of hand-holding or detail here, so you need to be pretty comfortable with doing calculations based on gauge and figuring out how to incorporate them into your sweater pattern. I think the book could have gone into more detail here, but all of the necessary information can easily be found in other sources. Little Red in the City covers everything that I feel like is missing from this chapter.
The rest of the books covers five different basic sweater construction methods: drop-shoulder sweaters, set-in sleeve sweaters, raglan sweaters, seamless circular yokes, and dolman sweaters. The book gives an overview of these different methods and suggestions on which type of plus-sized bodies they’ll fit best and the limitations of the particular styles when it comes to plus-sized modifications. It includes some really good advice on how to alter this section, like how to recalculate set-in sleeves to get a custom fit and where to hide additional shaping in a raglan yoke if you need more stitches through the upper arm. A lot of the fit books I’ve read have simply suggested that you choose a sweater size that fits through the shoulders and upper arms and then focus on modifying the body because altering this part of the sweater can be challenging, but that doesn’t leave a lot of options if your shoulders and upper arms don’t match the body shape the standards are based on. This book does a nice job of giving you the tools to make those changes if you’re a plus-sized knitter.
Speaking of neglected projects… My burgundy cardigan wasn’t the old project I dug out recently. After wrapping up a few projects, I gave my Christmas sweater some much needed attention. According to the schedule I set up for myself, I should have all of the parts knit and just the finishing left to do, but that’s obviously not what happened. I just didn’t have as much for-fun knitting time this summer and fall. Between July and early November, all I knit was the ribbing on my front. Everything else you see, all that colorwork, I did in the last two week.
I’m hoping to finish the front next week and get my three completed pieces blocked and seamed so I can see if the sleeve is long enough. I discovered that I wouldn’t have enough yarn for the second sleeve, so I ended up ordering more, which means that I will definitely have enough yarn if I end up needing to lengthen the sleeves. I’d like to have the whole sweater finished in time for my knitting group’s holiday party mid-December, but I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be able to make that happen. I will definitely have it done in time for Christmas, though! I’m determined to get it done.
Knit to Flatter by Amy Herzog got recommended to me quite a bit when I was looking for books on custom fitting sweaters, so I was really surprised when I got my hands on it and discovered that it’s not really a book about fit modifications. Instead, it’s kind of like those books on how to dress yourself but for knitters. The bulk of the content is on identifying your body type and picking the most flattering patterns for your body type. The book walks you through choosing the right neckline, sleeve length, sweater length, and sweater details in order to create a visually balanced ideal look. A lot of the advice is about picking the right pattern from the get-go and adding minor modifications, so it’s most useful for knitters who are having trouble deciding what to knit for themselves and who are aiming for the contemporary ideal shape for a feminine figure.
The book does contain some custom fitting information in the short, final chapter. The chapter gives suggestions on where you should do your modifications and what other parts of the sweater will be affected by them. It then explains in detail how to alter the length and calculate a different shaping rate, how to roughly calculate a new neckline shape, and how to calculate vertical and horizontal bust darts. It also gives suggestions for adding short rows for rounded shoulders, bellies, and butts but doesn’t go into much detail on these mods. Not too bad for a book that’s not specifically about custom fitting.
This poor sweater! Do you remember when I started it? I cast it on in November last year, and judging by the old blog posts I found on it, I never gave it the attention it deserved. Between Christmas knits and my contributions to The Knit Generation, this sad thing just kept getting shoved aside, and after a month or so of being shuffled around, it eventually ended up in a drawer where it sat until today. From the looks of this blog post, I haven’t worked on my cardigan since mid December! I think it’s time for it to get a little attention, don’t you?