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Galleries, Part 2: Knits Summer 2009

May 20, 2009

A few weeks back, we published a survey where we asked you various questions about the Galleries, and there were over 500 individual comments--and I read each and every single one. 

One question was asked over and over again: "Sandi, you're writing these fit commentaries for the models after they've tried on the sweaters--how do we pick out a size to knit when we don't have the sample sweater to try on?"

The usual answer--find a favorite garment similar to the sweater you'd like to knit, and compare its measurements to those given in the pattern schematics--may not work with an unusual garment such as Linda's Wrap Vest, the cover sweater from Interweave Knits Summer 2009. Unless you have a very cool closet, it's doubtful that you own anything like this elegant wrap. So how to choose the size that's right for you?

Here's one strategy: Read through the pattern to see how the garment is constructed, study the schematic to see how the pieces fit together, and look carefully at the magazine photo. What are you looking for? You're looking for key areas of fit. In the case of Linda's Wrap Vest, the two key areas of fit are the shoulders and the bust area, because the entire garment drapes from these two places. Have a friend measure across the back of your shoulders; compare this to the schematic. If you pick a size where this measurement is too wide, the wrap will not sit securely on your frame; too narrow a measurement and the wrap will be too tight to flow and swing! Next: Compare your bust measurement to the finished bust measurements and add at least two inches of positive ease. Find the size in the pattern that most closely matches both the shoulder width and your bust measurement.

Another trick: Do you sew? If you do, then you can make a "muslin," or fabric mock-up of the garment. This is particularly effective for unusual pieces like Linda's Wrap Vest, where the garment sections have straight edges. Use t-shirt material from the fabric store (it's knitted, right?--so it will have the right sort of drape and stretch), and make pattern pieces out of paper bags, following the measurements given on the schematic. Add a quarter inch seam all around for sewing; stitch the pieces together as they would be connected in the actual knitted garment. Try on your "muslin" and see how it fits!

These approaches may take a bit of extra time--and delay that delicious moment of casting on a bit longer--but the time will be well-spent in creating a garment that you know will fit you the way you want it to!


We have three more Galleries for you today: Linda's Wrap Vest, the Stanwyck Pullover, and the Filet Patch Blouse. Enjoy!

If you haven't gotten your copy of Knits Summer 2009 yet, ask for it at your local yarn shop; or purchase it online from us.

-- Sandi



Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? I'm swatching for baby gifts for my new nieces-to-be! Meanwhile, I'm working on a pair of socks (as usual), and I just finished spinning some lovely hand dyed wool on my handspindle. (I'm getting into all kinds of fiber trouble, apparently.)

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Stashaholic wrote
on May 23, 2009 7:20 AM
I love the new feature but lately most of the women have been around a 34" bust. How about larger sizes? Most women I know are rather larger than that - I'd say the average is between 42-48". It's easy to make a sweater look good on a small body, harder on larger ones. Thanks!
TammyT wrote
on May 21, 2009 12:51 PM
Embgrades- if you look closely again you'll find all of that information on the gallery pictures. They are all wearing the sample garment described at the top and the measurements for all the models are given.
Embgrades wrote
on May 21, 2009 4:48 AM
What I think would help the most (a bit of a crusade on my part but it seems so obvious) Is that you should tell us the Models measurements and the sweater size she/he is wearing-"Ethel has a bust measurement of 36" and is wearing a medium". At least the bust perhaps the hip if it's a long sweater and that way you could judge the fit as some sweaters have negative ease and many have more than 2" ease (style ease) PS don't tell us her size ie 4-6-8 as ladies wear sizing is not standardized and sizing is different between the states and Canada (US sizing is larger than Canadian- I'm a Pattern Grader for the garment trade I know what I speak of)
on May 20, 2009 5:00 PM
have to admit that I really don't like the Wrap Vest. It just isn't my style.
JoyH wrote
on May 20, 2009 4:48 PM
I really like the style and color of the Stanwyck pullover,but why is the model wearing it inside-out? Joy Heiens
DebL wrote
on May 20, 2009 4:24 PM
Dear Sandy, It would be nice to see someone in the galleries closer to my size - 40" bust and an "apple" shape. I have trouble visualizing these garments on me. Deb
127679547 wrote
on May 20, 2009 11:42 AM
Sandi, this info on fit is most timely, thank you. Possibly you've suggested making a mock-up before, but now that I'm knitting for my DIL who is a different size than me, this is very helpful. and on the Linda's Wrap Vest, how would this look on someone who measures 44"?
Loshakova wrote
on May 20, 2009 11:40 AM
Thanks for the new galleries! There are always some designs to which I "relate" better after seeing them pictured on your models. I do miss your model shots, though -- you are closest in body type to me, so if something looked good on you, it generally would look good on me. Any chance that Interweave could send you that box of sample sweaters for a post-shoot shoot? :)