Photo 1: Knitters, meet Bertha
we get started: Would everyone please chant "SHARon, SHARon, SHARon" a
few times? Sharon is the clever, funny gal who chanted "Bust! Darts!
Bust! Darts!" in the comments on Friday. I inadvertently changed her name to Susan when I quoted her yesterday,
and if she’s gonna be famous, she’s got a right to be famous under her
real name. A Bazillion Thanks to SHARon and all you other fabulously
funny commenters who made the last few days so much fun.
I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce our new Knitting Daily assistant, Bertha (in the green T-shirt, at right). Bertha has graciously agreed to help us out with Bust Darts 101: Where The Darts Go.
The original Tomato
is essentially a darling little knitted T-shirt. Wendy Bernard designed
this knitting pattern for women to be dartless, slighty huggy, and comfy, as all the best T-shirts
traditionally are. (Wendy rocks. In fact, go visit her site and
tell her how much you appreciate her designing the Tomato for all of
us. Go now. I’ll wait.) But if you need darts, where do you put them?
Short-row darts are out of the question here: we’re working in the
round, and from the top-down, and if you want to leave the colorwork
where it is in the original, the short-rows would end up being a
nightmare. We can do darts without short-rows, as we discussed Monday. So how do you know where the darts ought to be placed on your own particular curves?
for the Virtual Bust Dart Demo. Ready? Here we go. Yes, "we." This is
an audience-participation exercise. Bertha will demonstrate, and if you
want to find out more about where bust darts might work for you, grab a
loose-fitting T-shirt of your own, stand in front of a mirror, and
follow along. (Bertha promises it won't hurt a bit, especially if you
stop now and then and wave at yourself and say "Hi, Gorgeous!" Flattery
will get you anywhere, remember.)
Photo 2: Holy Bust Darts, Bertha!
In Photo 1 above,
Bertha is wearing a loose-fitting T-shirt over her most comfortable,
best-fitting underthings (or she would be, if she were a real woman
like you and me). Note how the loose-fitting T-shirt fits her. The
widest part of the shirt is at her widest parts, but the shirt falls
vertically down from there, creating bagginess under her bustline.
Although Bertha is a nicely curvy gal, she looks about twenty pounds
heavier than she really is, because of the baggy factor. (An
odd-but-true corollary: Bagginess right over a round little Buddha
Belly can also make you look twenty pounds heavier. Just hold onto this
thought for now.)
Bertha wants to be a member of Hot Tomato
Nation, so I got some of those "jaw-style" hairclips and added them to
the front of the T-shirt, pinching in the fabric so that the shirt is
more fitted to Bertha's womanly curves. (See
Photo 2.) The black clips are slightly off to one side of each
of Bertha's "bustiest points," and the pink clips are about one-third
of the distance between the black clip and the the midpoint of the
armhole. (Photo 3 is a closer view from the side.)
is the infamous Bust Dart photo of my own Tomato-in-progress, so you
can see that Bertha's black clips correspond to my innermost darts, and
her pink clips correspond to my outermost darts.
The steeper your curves, the closer together the two darts should
be—because the majority of the baggy fabric will be under the curviest
part of you. The flatter your curves, the further apart the darts
Photo 3: Black clip, pink clip
One-third of the distance between the first dart and the midpoint of
the armhole is a good place for us larger-cup gals (C, D, and DD) to
put the second dart of each pair. Truly gifted gals may want to
consider adding an extra (third) dart (towards the armhole), whereas
those with more subtle charms may want to consider having only one dart
on each side.
Photo 4: Hot Tomato Darts
As promised, I am working on a PDF with the actual numbers for adding bust darts to the original Tomato
pattern. (It's taking longer than I thought. It will be worth the wait,
right? Right.) However: You are not Bertha, and you are also not me.
You are your own Hot Tomato Gal, and if you do the above exercise for
yourself, in front of a mirror (or even with a trusted friend and a
digital camera), you’ll find out a lot about yourself and your curves,
and you'll have that much more confidence when you sit down to
customize your own handknits.
As for those Buddha Belly
Darts: Yes, folks, I have a Buddha Belly, and I am knitting darts into
the lower half of my Tomato to skim those curves oh-so-gracefully. (And
yes, I will put those instructions into the PDF as well.)
Friday: You have questions, Knitting Daily has a building full of experts whom we can pester, er, ask, in order to get you answers!
Annie Modesitt is someone who has given all of us knitters so
much joy over the years with her wit, her technical savvy, and her
patterns (one of which I am featuring on Knitting Daily this week, the Ballet Neck Twinset, in her honor). Annie and her family are facing a medical crisis right now, and our hearts and prayers go out to them. Find out how you can help in other ways, too.
Join the Knitting Daily KnitBlog Tour! Every day this week, I’ll be dropping by a different knitblog to answer questions and chat about all things knitting and Knitting Daily. Come on by and join the fun!
Monday, July 2: Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast, hosted by Kathy and Steve Elkins of WEBS Yarn Shop. Read about Kathy's life amongst the yarn and her podcast on Kathy's blog.
Tuesday, July 3: Crazy Aunt Purl, hosted by Aunt Purl herself, a.k.a. Laurie Perry.
Wednesday, July 4: Lolly Knitting Around, hosted by Lolly, a.k.a. Lauren Weinhold.
Thursday, July 5: Dogged, hosted by DoggedKnits, a.k.a Ashley Shannon.
Friday, July 6: CRAFT Blog, hosted by Natalie Zee Drieu.
See you in the blogosphere!