Friday, July 26, 2013

Finished Object Friday - Custom Fit

Happy Friday!  This is our last week at the beach and it has been great - great weather and lots of time to knit.  I should have finished objects for awhile.

Today, I have this grey sweater - which is astonishingly hard to photograph.  I made it to go with the skirt I knit this spring and it matches perfectly - even though the skirt is hand painted linen and this is a pima cotton.  I designed it with this great plan to have asymmetrical button bands with cute big buttons and crochet button loops.  I even have the really cute buttons.  The button loops were not successful.  I ended up with clasps that work really well.

This is typical of me.  I explain to you first the things that don't work on the sweater.  Now let me tell you why I'm happy with it.  It is made in pieces bottom up.  There is an inch seed stitch border at the bottom and the sleeves.  The cardigan border is seed stitch too and knitted in.  The square neck is also in seed stitch.

To get the sweater to fit - it is basically zero ease through the bust - I used vertical darts above and below the waist detailing.  This is the back shown here but it is similar on the fronts.  Color is much more true here as well.  I don't recall ever using vertical darts before - I like waist shaping but typically put it by the side seams.  It does work better in the body like this - as long as you can make it fit with the stitch pattern and you aren't bothered by the appearance of the vertical darts.  Here they worked out well.  So how did I learn to do this?

If you haven't seen Amy Herzog's book Knit to Flatter, I can't recommend it enough.  She does a great job talking about shaping but also a way to figure out your body type and adjust sweaters to FIT YOU!  I used the principles in her book to design the sweater to fit me and it does!

I had taken a class on altering patterns to fit about two years ago and it was a revelation.  I found out that my shape is not even close to what the fashion industry thinks it should be.  I have a relatively small bust but very wide shoulders and small arms.  So while I have always thought of myself as bottom heavy, pear shaped, my shoulders are basically balanced to my hip size.  I learned in that class that shoulder measurement is so critical on sweaters - it is the point where sweaters are supported.  Since then, my sweaters fit much better, but I adjust and customize everything.

But back to Amy and her mission to have everyone's sweaters fit them.  Her blog  is great and every Friday she does a mini lesson on fit with lots of pictures.  Can't recommend it enough.  She is working on a website/software program where you put in your gauge, sweater design choices (cardigan/pullover, neck shape, sleeve length, etc…) and measurements and it spits out a pattern customized to you that you can then purchase and download.  She is hoping to launch it this fall.  Several weeks ago she put out a call for beta testers and I was lucky enough to see it and be selected.  I'm in group two which starts next week so you be hearing more about it here as it goes on.  That has been part of my mad swatching this week.  And I'm trying to finish a project before starting my beta sweater.

So lots more knitting over the weekend.  Hope you have a great one too and have time to check out Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder to see lots of great projects.


  1. Wow!...your sweater looks amazing. I've not seen this book so "thanks" for sharing it the positive feedback. Since I've lost a bunch of weight, I'm planning on knitting some sweaters for myself....will definitely be checking this book out.

  2. Excellent post, lovely sweater. I'll be checking out that book, too.

  3. I love it. I have taken a few classes on fit, should actually try to use the knowledge I gained! LOL. You should be very proud when you wear your sweater.

  4. I keep meaning to get that book. Your cardigan looks absolutely lovely

  5. Beautiful sweater! Thanks for the book link. It might be a long time before I finally knit a sweater (to completion) but it will be done and your porjects have helped inspire.