Behind the Scenes On Sweater Gallery Day

The final count for the Spring Gallery garments is in—and the results are very telling: Everyone wanted to see those little cardigans, the ones that caused so many comments last week, both positive and negative. Here's the lineup you chose for our Gallery Gals to model for you:

Me, fussing over the Holly on Sarah

Pam Allen's Flutter Sleeve Cardigan

Connie Chang Chinchio's Printed Silk Cardigan

Jennifer Tallapaneni's Mirabella Cardigan

Theresa Schabes' Holly Jacket

Robin Melanson's Sylph Cardigan

Chrissy Gardiner's Auburn Camp Shirt

View the Knits Spring 2008 Preview

Why are there six sweaters when the instructions said to vote for your "top five"? Because the Sylph and the Auburn Camp Shirt came within THREE votes of one another (out of thousands!). So I called it a tie. 🙂

Peek Behind The Scenes: The Gallery Photoshoots

We started shooting the photos on Thursday with the first group of Gallery Gals—originally, I wanted to do the shoot outside, so the light would be better…but it was 25 degrees yesterday here in Colorado. Short-sleeved tops plus thin silky fabrics plus below freezing weather equals blue-skinned models, generally a fashion no-no (at least on this planet). So we gathered in the lunchroom, raised the blinds, turned on all the lights, and had a blast.

Annie is a supermodel!

The days when we shoot these gallery photos have become something to look forward to, for many of us who work here in the Loveland office. Even the folks who aren't modelling find an excuse to wander past the bright corner where we are shooting and add their two cents' worth to the banter. We ooh and ahh over each garment, we admire the drape, the feel, the stitches. We praise, we covet, and each model adds her own creative commentary along the way: "If I were to make this, I'd have to make the waist a bit lower, and do less bust shaping." Thus, it becomes a learning experience for all of us about fit and flatter.

Each time I do a new Gallery, I try to coax some new models into the mix. This time, I was very mindful of the commenters who complained that the garments would look silly on older women—and so this time, we have a couple of gals with silver in their hair. Granted, we could not put these particular sample sweaters on a wide range of models—the biggest sample, the Mirabella, was 37", and there wasn't time to make a larger garment. We'll talk about the issues of sizing and shaping next week, when all the Galleries are ready for you.

Trish, ready to model the Flutter

It's always fun to watch the new models gain confidence in front of the camera. Like most folks, our Gallery Galz are initially a bit camera-shy. But those of us taking the photos, as well as our little "studio audience," encourage, make jokes, talk like stereotypical photographers ("Work it for me, baby, c'mon, give me all you've got!") and laugh our heads off. I've never had a Gallery Gal say she never wanted to do it again. In fact, I've got a waiting list!

Part of the growth in confidence comes from trying on garments they might otherwise never have been talked into wearing. (I can be very persuasive, in a charming sort of way.) Trying on unfamiliar styles leads to some pleasant discoveries for these women: "Wow, I never would have thought I could wear something like this!" We all learn so much about ourselves and what looks good on each of us by doing the Galleries…and then comes the best part: Sharing what we have learned with you!

We have a few more photos to take, and then some webpages to build, so check back next week when we proudly present The 2008 Spring Knits Gallery!

Past Sweater Galleries

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Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Secret Project Sleeves…well, the first one, anyway.

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65 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes On Sweater Gallery Day

  1. My IK arrived yesterday. Thank you, thank you, thank you for including information on ease in some of the sweater patterns! That’s really helpful information. Now I want it on all of them! (pushy, aren’t I?)

    Love ya!

  2. I just logged in to write exactly the same thing as Michele did! Thank you Sandi for the information on ease – it is SO helpful. Please do add this info to all patterns in the next issue.

  3. Wow! What a lineup. I can’t wait for this issue to be released… this is one of the first time I see many items I want to make – I can’t stand bulky long baggy things, they make me feel shapeless, and this bunch are perfect for me. Thank you! i wish you could incorporate one more thing into the notes though – and that would be not just the bust measurements of the sweater but those of the model. I think it would give a clearer picture. If you don’t want to put that kind of info out on the net, perhaps you could just put “sweater shown has x inches of ease”, without a specific size. That way we would know that if we picked a sweater with x inches, it would fir in a certain way. how about it?

  4. I just got my IK in the mail, and I’m really looking forward to the gallery. I thought this issue had a great mix of classic and fashion-forward pieces. I loved the ease notes that you added to some patterns; I hope that you can include those on all patterns in the future. I also like that you throw in patterns for accessories, socks, children and men as well as women’s sweaters – I’m not always knitting for myself.

  5. Sandi, make sure Trish knows she looks awesome! Can’t wait to see her and Annie (and hopefully you) showing off the lovely garments. Thanks for listening to all of us, even when we get whiny. I can’t wait to learn more about fit! I can’t wait til next week!

  6. I have to disagree with the busty commentators, I think the majority of the sweaters in your galleries look better on the well endowed. Maybe I’m just jealous, but I think most of the sweaters look a little droopy and sad on my fellow small-chested knitters. There’s a reason busty girls in the 50’s were called “sweater girls” form-fitting sweaters looked great on them.

  7. My copy of IK just came today too. I echo the thanks for the information on amount of ease and suggestions on how closefitting the design is that is given in this issue. Would it be possible to use the Yarn Council ratings for the yarn? The ones that rate a yarn by number (1-5). I have a conversion table for wpi to Yarn Council 1-5 but its never where my magazine is and I really find it helpful. Also, I am also requesting Simple Knit patterns (I made the cable hat in the fall issue, great!) as well as men’s patterns. I appreciated the article on finishing techniques, too.

    Thanks! I read carefully through the directions for the first two cardigans. There is so much fitting involved in these tailored patterns (facings, darts, placement of waists, shortrows), and so many times I don’t know how to make it fit me since I’m so tall, that I wished for a simple pattern.

    I bought a copy of KNITSCENE this winter because it has a beautiful first-time sweater that I plan to make (The Papillion Top). No, I have made lots of sweaters, but I just don’t have the energy to put months into another fitted, complicated project.

    How about some of these simple projects for the next issue of IK?

    BTW–there’s a beautiful “top down raglan for big girls” in there, a subject a lot of readers have been mentioning.

    Thanks, Sandi for the pictures. The Pam Allen Flutter sleeve sweater looks great on the model!

  8. Hi, this issue of sweaters is really nice. I didn’t get to vote on the choices but noticed that the six are exactly the ones that I would have voted to see on more gals. I think I may even try some of these in some fine gauge wools as I am always cold.

  9. I love the previews and the patterns. The trumpet skirt is fabulous–but so is the cost. Why would you publish a design that calls for a yarn costing $24/50 grams and requiring 10 balls for the smallest size? At least suggest an alternative yarn. I applaud your sensitivity to plus-sized knitters; please be sensitive to those of us without plus-sized yarn budgets.

  10. I am so glad that you are having some older gals model the sweaters. In the future, I would like to see some different shapes try them on too. It helps me know what will look good on me. I can’t wait for the new issue to come out! Keep up the good work. I enjoy every post and all of my magazines are well worn. 🙂

  11. Just got the new issue and love it! Sandi, your sense of humor is worth every post. Please consider moving your whole operation to NJ so I can work in that office (I can dream can’t I?) Looking forward to this latest multi-gallery offering.

    thanks again

  12. I just wanted to say how really helpful these galleries are. It is invaluable to be able to see a garment that is a known size worn by different body types and sizes. Thanks so much for making the effort to gather these photos.

  13. A friend in my knitting club asked if I had a pattern for a child’s cardigan, with a hood, that buttons down the front, that is knitted with circular needles, in one piece. She hates sewing pieces together. We have a pattern for a child’s hoodie that is knitted from the bottom up, in one piece, but it is a pullover. Does anyone have a pattern like I described?? Thanks. Luanne

  14. Just got my copy of IK and — as is almost always the case with Spring and Summer issues — was really bummed at the egregious dearth of plus-size patterns. I almost wrote this issue off as a bad deal… until I got to Julia Farwell-Clay’s editorial about knits in the movies. BEST. ARTICLE. IN THE MAGAZINE. I’m a huge fan of knit-watching in movies, and am delighted to know I’m not alone! Julia, thank you — you made this volume of IK worth reading!

  15. Sandi,

    Thank you for the beautiful IK Spring Edition. The ease info is so helpful. Can’t wait to see the Gallery Photos so I can decide what will really work for me.

    Oh, and thank Eunny for telling everyone about Philly’s Boathouse Row. It is an awesome place to visit and I’ve been to many a party there in the past. Hope she got to see the houses at night when their outlines are illuminated for everyone to see. It made me proud to be originally from Philly!

    Keep up the good work!

  16. I love the new issue, but the pattern for the one item I’d really love to make wasn’t in the magazine–is there a pattern for the green dress worn by the woman modeling the Chameleon scarf? I’d love to have it!

  17. I have to say I love a lot of the new patterns and I’m really excited to hear there are going to be so many galleries!! I did want to let you know though that the link for the mesh gloves is not working. Thank you so much for all your hard work for us knitters! 🙂

  18. I have been a knitter for 65 yrs…..yes you heard right. When I was seventeen and pregnant with our first baby, I knitted a baby’s layette….. something you don’t hear much about these days. For my son’s 40th birthday I had this mounted in a beautiful frame (it cost a fortune). Some years later this ended up back with me. Four years ago we had a very bad fire. The room where the fire stated is where the framed layette hung on a wall above the fireplace. Everything in the room was complete destroyed, with one exception….as hot as the frame was, my husband was able to reach over the fireplace and remove the frame from the wall. The bottom of the frame sustained some fire damage and the glass smashed….but, the layette was perfectly safe. If I had to save one item in that room it would have been this one. I thought your readers would enjoy this special story. Jeanette. Kansas City. Feb. 11th 2008

  19. I’m pathetically waiting for the ease and photo galleries, so I can plan my bank robbery to get yarn to knit the printed silk cardi. 😀 I am so glad you are doing this, it really helps! Hurry, hurry… oh okay, I know you have lives. And knitting.

  20. My favorite item in the newest issue does not have a pattern: Eunny’s To Catch a Thief gloves. They are gorgeous. Will this be an upcoming free pattern in Knitting Daily? I hope so!

  21. Jeanette, how wonderful that such a meaningful family heirloom would survive when little else did. My mom has her christening dress in a frame in her and my dad’s bedroom–very pretty.

  22. Thank you again for the sweater galleries! This is my favorite part of knitting daily, and right now it’s holding me over until my magazine arrives in the mail! It’s incredibly helpful to see the garments on different people and I love your comments on how to make everything fit better. I thought I might knit one sweater after looking at the preview pics, but now that I’ve seen the gallery, there are four that I want to make and I’m having a hard time deciding what to cast on first!

  23. I don’t have my issue, yet, but echo the sentiment of others – not all of us are so financially independent that we can go out and get the exact (expensive) yarn specified in the pattern, and hesitate to use substitutions due to disappointment factor

  24. I applaud the idea and the execution of the sweater gallery, and my hat is off to the Gallery Gals for being so brave – they are all beautiful. However, being of the plus size persuasion, I am still feeling a little left out. Even if the patterns shown have plus size instructions, it would help me to see how they really work (knitted in the right size) on someone who is a size 20 or 22. Particularly for these sweaters, which seem to fasten or hang open in interesting ways or have ruffles in places that I doubt would be flattering.

  25. Love Love the sweater galleries! You picked all the top sweaters from this issue….they were all on my list to plan for. But then I saw the galleries. How the actual sweater fit on every different woman – it totaly helped in my planning list. I dropped one, added one, and my new favorite looked good on every model you had try it on. Thank you to all of you! Keep the galleries coming 🙂

  26. Hi Sandi,

    Thanks to you and all of your lovely models so much for your recent gallery postings of the flutter sleeve, printed silk, and mirabella cardigans. I can’t believe how beautiful the flutter sleeve cardigan looked on EVERYONE even though it didn’t fit as nicely on some as it did on others…it looked lovely on each of them anyway! That cardigan is NOT one of the items I voted for, but I may now have to take a closer look at it after seeing how appealing it looked on so many different figures and ages. I realize the benefit of seeing fit
    discrepancies from one body to another so as to know how to customize the fit for each individual, but I was totally unprepared for being swayed to possibly make a style I had already discounted as “not for me”.

    Thanks again to you and all the models!

  27. I look forward to knitting daily every day!
    Very informative and helpful even if you have been knitting for longer than you can remember!
    Keep up the good work.

  28. Thank you for showing all these sweaters on all thpse terrific-in-their-own-way body shapes! I want to also put in my two cents about having the ‘ease’ factor somehow reflected in the sizing on the patterns in IK.

  29. I received my new IK this week and now having a problem deciding which sweater to make, my grand daughter and I have different opinions….so looks like I will be knitting more than one or two. Keep up the good work Sandi. Love your tid bits.

  30. I agree with everyone who’s said how inspiring, useful, and beautiful the galleries are. I am a crocheter (of many sweaters) and I read them avidly, since it is all too easy to make a really bad-looking, ill-fitting crocheted sweater! Hope you are planning similar style/fit galleries for crocheters. Thanks!

  31. Would it be possible to identify in which issue each pattern of the 10 sweaters we are voting on appears? I have a nice collection of Interweave Knits and it would help if I knew which issue to pull for the individual patterns. Especially the Cable Down Raglan. Thanks……..

  32. I would like to echo earlier comments on yarn substitutions; I too have been drawn to a gorgeous pattern just to be disappointed that it required a huge outlay of cash to get the same “look”. How about working with designers to show the same pattern in a few price-ranging choices of yarn? Or, just to mention some different yarns that cost (way) less would be very helpful. That would just be wonderful!

  33. Hi – the only thing I would change about the gallery is to have your super models stand near the light switch for their poses. That way we can visualize how tall they are compared to it – and appreciate where we are next to the standard – there’s such a difference in model heights. Thanks – a new commentor.

  34. Ok, I’ve looked at both galleries and still feel that same way: this was an issue full of sweaters for young girls with no hips or bust. And that’s OK — after all, we need chocolate and vanilla in this world. Just quit trying to tell us that ‘these sweaters look good on everyone!’ Either that or start showing them on size 14 models — the average size woman in America today.

    Anne P

  35. They are all lovely sweaters, but I’m disappointed that they can’t be shown on someone with a bust size larger than a 34″ – I’m 40″, so have no clue how they would look on me. It’s hard to want to knit a sweater without knowing how it will look ahead of time.

  36. Hey, Sandi-quit losing weight! I’m not going to have anyone that’s my shape to see these sweaters on pretty soon. Oh – and congratulations. Not only are the pics informative, but the info about what you’d do differently for each shape is something no one else in the business is doing, and it’s really great.

  37. It is such a revelation to see how these garments fit on various models. Just this alone makes Gallery a wonderful educational process. But you do so much more and —we are so lucky and grateful.

  38. It would be great if the published patterns in the magazine indicated how much ease there is for the model. Much as you do for the galleries. Usually they tell what size the model is wearing but I have no idea how big she is. So if I want the sweater to have a similar fit, I still don’t know which size to pick.

  39. Sandi – your GALLERIES have improved sooo much since you started doing this! This set is much more helpful than the first. You are catching on to us, girl! What would help even more is having the photo from the mag in the gallery, along with the model’s height and measurements as another post mentioned.

    And YOU are looking great – congratulations!

    Just a thought for your bosses and designers re: sweaters for larger sizes: they need to be DESIGNED for larger women, rather than just giving us a translation from a smaller size. Different sized bodies look great in differently STYLED clothing.

    How about a demographic survey to find out what SIZE your readers are? I’d bet there are more of us OVER size 14 than you’d think! Maybe then your bosses could see their way to commissioning designs to match your demographics, rather than what they think LOOKS GOOD in the mag.

    I do not at all intend to be rude, but I will be blunt. I love your website, but I have not and will not buy your magazine until I see something in it that is designed to fit me.

    Thanks for listening!

  40. I should like to know how Sandi lost all that weight?! Congratulations, you look good. Am I your only reader in France? I used to think American designs rather peculiar, but now wish we had such fabulous knits over here, and especially all your help and good humour.

  41. Please direct me to pattern of boy’s vest. Thought I had it saved in my recieved emails from you! Thank you so much- Can’t tell you how much I enjoy and use your web-site! Nini

  42. Sandi,
    You look great! Keep up the good work. I know it takes work.
    ALso, thanks for the fit comments. Its fun. Some of the sweaters in this month’s IK have been greatly enhanced with your comments. I think Bertha wears alot of garments well.

  43. Thank you so much for the information about ease in the spring gallery. This is the kind of information I need before I go ahead and cast on (there have been way too many ill fitting sweaters). My small knitting group of 4 will be buying and making something from the spring mag. Thanks again for those galleries! Keep up the great work.

  44. In addition to a preview gallery, how about a “finished items” gallery where readers’ finished items could be shown, along with the fit details (model’s size, garment’s size, etc) – this might give readers a better idea of how garments will fit?

  45. Love the galleries, especially the individual tips for fitting each model. All of these sweaters are awesome! One thing I would like to see is tips for adjusting the fit around the belly; that’s more of a problem area for me than the bust.

  46. I agree with the 1-5 rating for the yarns should be included. My yarn budget is limited so have to substitute. I love your magazine — I’ve been a subsccriber for only 2 years but have learned much from them. The “Finishing” article was lost on me, I’me very sorry to say as I do not have some of the older issues to refer back to. Would appreaciate if you could bring us newer subscribers up to speed. I’ve been knitting since 1937 so you see you have been able to teach an old dog new tricks! Thanks for being there!!

  47. I looove the whole concept of the gallery pictures and comments on how to change the shaping to accomodate different body typs. It has made me look at some patterns that I might otherwise have just skipped over. Now it will be hard to tackle a new project without first doing some personal adjusting. You’ve made knitting even more fun and exciting. Keep up the good work!

  48. I have to comment about Sarah in the Sylph. Yes is looks lovely. However with her larger bust the front waist seam rises in the front, and with here pants waistband dipping in the front it looks very unflattering. Having a larger bust myself I have encountered this problem of the front hiking up. I would love some suggestions on how to address this problem. Thanks, Susann

  49. I really love the Auburn Camp Shirt gallery, but have one concern. All the pics with the shirt worn buttoned show gapping at the buttons. Having a large bust, that is a concern to me. I would think that maybe there isn’t enough ease in the front? Bertha is the only one who doesn’t show gaps with this sweater. Maybe the button holes could be moved over more? I’m not sure what the answer is, but gapping is not attractive or slimming!

  50. I too appreciate the galleries using “real” models. I echo someone elses request that we also have a few “middle-age” “bustier” women. I was already to make a sweater from a former issue until I say how it looked on someone close to my size and age. Sorry, but it did nothing for her and would likely do less for me. The galleries help me to make more efficient use of my time and money. Thanks again.

  51. Reading the comments here…you might want to mention in a future post that the magazine has ONE sample of the sweater, and generally, it is in one of the smaller (though not necessarily smallEST) sizes. So showing it on someone who is busty and wears a size large (40″) wouldn’t tell anyone anything, except that a person shouldn’t wear something that is three sizes smaller than what they would normally wear. The range of ease you’re showing with the size that you have is wonderful. Similar things happen with larger sizes – say if you tried a 40″ sweater on busts ranging from 36″ to 48″ instead. So just because they don’t see THEIR specific body shape with THEIR specific sizes doesn’t mean the patterns aren’t written for people who wear a size 14.

  52. Here’s a vote for middle-aged 38+ busts in your galleries. I don’t have any friends who are 34″ and I haven’t been in decades. The only way I’ll ever have a 34″ bust again is via reincarnation

  53. I really appreciate the comments you make on the galleries about changing the fit….but how on earth would you know how to do that without trying it on? Could you give us a little tutorial on that?

  54. I agree with the comment about sweaters hiking up in the front. It is very unflattering and looks terrible on all body types. Its the first thing that catches my eye as it looks cheap and poorly designed. I would like tips on how to compensate.

  55. Love, Love, Love the galleries – and thanks Sandi for adding your comments to the latest ones – very helpful. I’m now looking over my recently completed sweaters and asking myself, “What would Sandi say about the fit?” Thank you and keep up the good work!