Gallery: The Bonbon Pullover

Here's the next in our popular series of sweater galleries from the Winter 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. This time, Katie Himmelberg, assistant editor of Interweave Knits, gives suggestions for color choices and customizations for the Bonbon Pullover.

View the Bonbon Pullover Gallery

The Bonbon Pullover on Katie…

The mix of color work techniques on this sweater by Mari Lynn Patrick shakes up our notion of what color work "should" look like—it's a refreshing whimsical look that would be fantastic in a variety of color combinations. A good way to think about changing the palette is to keep in mind the contrast in the original choices. You'll want to select colors in the same values; here, we have the body color, three colors on the lighter side, and three on the darker. Keep in mind that you might want the "Little Dots" pattern at the hips, sleeves, and neck to contrast with the body color so that they'll show up well. Start with a color that inspires you, and work from there-don't forget to swatch to find the best combination! You'll need the same amount of yarn for all the contrast colors, so you don't have to decide right away which is which in accordance with the pattern.

The longer body and color work band at the hips can pose a challenge for some women, but with a minor adjustment, this classic color work yoke sweater can be great on a pear shaped body. You could skip the color work on the hips; the color work yoke would then stand alone, adding emphasis to the shoulders and balancing out larger hips. If necessary, you can also add some hip shaping in this now plain area (making the sweater greater in circumference at the hem than the bust) by casting on more stitches and decreasing them out towards the waist (calculate the number of stitches based on your measurement and gauge).

My styling default is always jeans, because what sweater doesn't look good with denim? It can really make your handiwork the focus of your outfit. So I'll mix it up and say I think this one would look really cute with a long straight skirt, or maybe a below-the knee a-line or flared skirt (again good for the more pear-like among us) with some colorful tights and wacky boots. This sweater's playful look would also be cute on a *** or teenage girl; let her pick out her own colors and it could be a fun project for the two of you!

…and on Sandi!

You Have Questions, Katie and Sandi Have Answers!

Here are our responses to some of the great questions that came in about the galleries for the Henley Perfected and the Citrus Yoke Pullover.

View the Henley Perfected Gallery

View the Citrus Yoke Gallery

Trudy wrote: I noticed that the Citrus doesn't wrinkle on the girl with no ease but does wrinkle under the chin on the women with more ease. Wonder if it is because of the no ease or because of broader or narrower shoulders?

From Katie: Trudy, I think it's a little of both. I would recommend choosing the size closest to your actual bust measurement, and remember that you can try the sweater on as you knit since it is a top-down construction. Also, keep in mind that the women shown here are all varying heights, which is why I mentioned shortening the neck in the last post. Lastly, you can add short-rows to raise the back neck and eliminate the fold at the front neck. I decided not to alter my pattern in that way since it was a Simple Knits feature and I wanted to keep it easy! Thanks to reader Jamie who pointed out this technique.

Margaret H asks: Are the women wearing the Henley Perfected all wearing it over regular clothing? Are the bust measurements taken with the clothing or without?

Katie answers: The bust measurements were taken over undergarments and clothing; when measuring yourself, wear the undergarments and any clothing you would be wearing underneath the sweater you plan to make. I'm usually most comfortable with a tee or camisole under my winter sweaters, so I always include that.

Anonymous asks: What is negative ease?

Sandi says: Ease is a measure of how much extra "room" there is between you and your sweater. Positive ease means there is extra room; negative ease means that the sweater measurement is equal to or less than your actual measurements—and is thus more form-fitting, body-skimming, and curve-hugging than a loose-fitting, positive-ease garment would be.

Several of you wrote in asking about the gallery photos and models themselves: How do you choose the models and the clothes they wear for the galleries?

Sandi replies: Katie and I choose the models by wandering around our Colorado offices and asking folks, “Hey, can we put your photo and your bust measurement up on Knitting Daily?” Literally. (You can imagine the responses the first few times we did this.) Once we have several willing victims, er, I mean, volunteers, we set up times where folks are able to slip away from their desks for a bit for the photoshoot. Everyone knows when Photo Day is, and they all know to wear basic clothing that will work with a variety of sweaters. We have a list of the measurements of the sample sweaters on hand, and we try to get each woman to try on everything that will reasonably fit them. We know the sweaters don’t look perfect on every model who wears them; the point is to show what the garment looks like with varying amounts of ease on women of various shapes, so you can make more informed decisions in your own knitting adventures.

CFBandit and others ask: I'd like to see Sandi in more of the sweaters… I’m shaped more like her than the other gals, so I'd like to see how the garments look on her.

Sandi says: My curves are a bit too bodacious to fit into some of the sample sweaters, unfortunately. I try on all the sweaters I can comfortably fit into, even those that are tighter than I would normally choose to wear, in order to demonstrate how a sweater might fit a larger gal, and where adjustments for “dangerous curves” might need to be made.

More galleries to come in the weeks ahead! Check back as the women of Interweave try on the Ivy League Vest, the Rosemary Swing Jacket, the Collette Pullover, and more!


Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. She is now the author of the popular Knitting Daily blog: What's on Sandi's Needles.


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33 thoughts on “Gallery: The Bonbon Pullover

  1. Hi all — thank you for these latest galleries! You know it would be great to have a short article about customization (like the 2nd paragraph in the comments by Katie today) for every pattern in Interweave Knits or any pattern books, period. It would make life a lot easier for knitters.

  2. To Sandie and all the Knitting Daily team – I know this is rather late, but I wanted to thank all of you for the Thanksgiving video. I’m a New Zealander, so Thanksgiving isn’t one of our “official” holidays – but I love reading Knitting Daily and I thought your idea of making the video was a very thoughtful one (not to mention rather brave!) This week I have become the grandmother of a wee boy in Boston – so our family has a great deal to be thankful for, with an American connection. And not least of it is that a newborn provides lots of escuses for knitting! Thanks and best wishes, Kay.

  3. I don’t remember even noticing this sweater in my IK Winter 2007 issue—and it looks absolutely amazing on Erin! I like the way the colorful ring wraps around the top of her shoulders.

    Also, I just finished the smallest size Retrograde Pullover from the Winter 2006 issue and I have a thought… Since we’re not going to get what we want (model’s measurements along with info about the sample garment), I’d like to suggest that the designed ease and photographed ease are more important pieces of information. With usually only one photo of the pattern (and only on one model), I believe we could make our decisions best if we knew those two numbers.

    ::digs out Winter 2007 issue and re-looks at Bonbon pattern::

    Well….Sandi, I really think your Galleries contain better images than the modeled images in the magazine! This sweater is totally forgettable as modeled by the Jennifer Garner look-a-like model (however cute she may be…).

    Get real people and real numbers. That might get me to keep my subscription…. (I’ve already told the family “no IK renewals for Christmas”…).

  4. I think Sandi’s comments about sweater fit and “dangerous curves” are a hoot. I find these sections about how the sweaters from the magazine actaully fit when knit extremely helpful.

  5. Are we reaching consensus here that bulky sweaters look better with negative ease? The BonBon looks so much better on Sandi and Erin (40.5″ and 38″ busts) versus the smaller-chested gals.

  6. Another successful gallery and post, Sandie! You are SOOOOOO much help to us all in deciding what size to knit! I live in Australia and our yarns aren’t as thick as yours due to our warmer climate. Is there a chance that some of your great designs could be styled for our more commonly-used DK yarn which knits to 22sts. on 4mm (US6) needles, please? Your choice in patterns is just so fabulous!
    but we are limited with our yarns.

  7. Love it! This is a great idea, and it is so helpful to see the sweaters on different bodies. It is clear that the sweaters hit the each of them differently because of width, but knit fabric stretches both ways. It would be great if you could also list how tall they are.

  8. I like the fit of the Bonbon pullover on Sandi better. The bottom line of contrast design on this sweater does not emphasize the hips because of the larger curve of the design across the shoulders. I was very interested to note this because I am rather pear shaped, or maybe more apple shaped and I really like the design on both the top as well as the hem of sleeves & sweater.

  9. I really love these series. The sweaters always look great in the magazines, but it is so nice to see them on a few different persons. This way I can judge whether it will look good on me, or if I want to do some modifications. I really appreciate this!

  10. Sandi, just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the sweater gallery. There are so many sweaters that I would love to make for myself and others, but I often hesitate because I am reluctant to start a project, and then have it come out “all jacked up”, for lack of a better phrase. The comments and suggestions on tailoring to fit are awesome. Thanks for a great column.
    Lisa in Rochester, NY

  11. Frankly, before this feature started, I hadn’t even considered making a sweater for myself because I “knew” it would look and fit badly. But now I think I will! (after the holidays, of course!) Thank you so much.

  12. Love the gallery!!!! It gives me a greater appreciation for this sweater & the pattern. The designer’s comments on the Henley were wonderful! Thanks for sharing them with us.

  13. I understand that samples are made for the “little” girls – and don’t get me wrong… Katie is ADORABLE and with lots of starvation I would NEVER be her size. Sandie, I volunteer to make a second “sample” sweater in your size so we can see what REAL sizes look like. 34″ 24″ 34″ looks good in ANYTHING. 44″ 38″ 48″ (my size) has to be VERY CAREFUL what it wears out of the house. I am THRILLED that Sandi wore the bonbon – it looks GREAT and if I had not seen it on HER I would never have tried it – I will now.

  14. These galleries are very helpful. It is especially helpful when the range of models is between 31 and 40″ busts. The Citrus Yoke Gallery wasn’t very helpful. The largest bust of the models was 35″.

    The Gansey and the Bonbon Pullover had a greater range of bust sizes. I find that more helpful.

  15. If we can’t see all the sweaters in the magazine this way I would like more information on at lease what the designer had in mind. How much positive/negative ease or is the sweater designed for close fit, boxy fit…any clues would help.

  16. I have just purchased the Harmony Guide of Eyelets and Lace patterns. I’m a bit confused with the abbreviations–yon,yan,yfrn etc. The abbreviation for “yarn forward” has me stumped as in the stitch pattern, it appears to be an increase of some sort. However, it comes before purl stitches where you would put the yarn forward anyway. I’m totally confused by the differences in these abbreviations. (Yarn over needle, yarn around needle, yarn in front). Can someone explain? Thanks!

  17. I at first didn’t understand what ease was but, of course, duh, take 37, subtract, say, 33 and you get 4″. That would be positive ease. This is me as an ex. Course you ladies with the “dangerous curves” (still giggling!) get to have the negative ease. I am narrow and tight just don’t look good on me. I’ll leave that to the “bodacious” babes! This is why I love knitting daily. Way to much fun! Sounds like a job you could love. Never leave us! Pam

  18. I’m with Ruth S — designers’ notes about recommended ease or possible modifications for body shape would be EXTREMELY helpful. Sandi, I really think IK would be the best knitting magazine available if information about intended fit (and the occasional model with dangerous curves) were included for clothing patterns. As it is, I’ve avoided subscribing because the way the patterns are photographed makes me doubt the finished garment would look good on me. Knitty includes lots of designers’ notes on their patterns; why can’t IK do the same?

  19. Hi Sandi! Just wanted to add my thanks to the pile. The sweater galleries and tips from Katie have been extremely helpfull to my sweater newbie self, when it comes to picking the right size and figuring out what adjustments to make. THANK YOU.

  20. Hi, this is Joy, just wanted to let you know that I think the contest to win $300 at my favorite yarn store is sooo great. My favorite yarn store, Nonnas, has some of the most beautiful yarns and I guess if I won the contest I would not have to think twice about what type of yarn I would use – I wouldn’t have to ask the price, I would just have carte blanche and pick whatever I loved and that would be awesome! I’d probably knit a beautiful shawl for my daughter-in-law, a sweater for my daughter, a sweater for my husband and oh I could go on and on! Thank you for letting me dream!

  21. I really like the system you have of grading how difficult technically things are. But I find not only do I need to consider how difficult something is, but also how much concentration it will take to do it – e.g. something may not be technically very challenging but you may need to sit down for long-ish periods of time (30 mins +) to work on it or follow a pattern very closely. I consider myself to be an intermediate-ish knitter, but with an active 5 year old, a demanding (if part-time)job and a whole bunch of domestic non-knitting activities to get through, even simple cables are beyond me – at the moment! Does anyone else feel the same or am I just a bit sleep-deprived?? Kate

  22. I wish the IK pattern would give more yarn info as to weight. I want to know if the suggested yarn was worsted, DK, etc. I always substitute and this info would be very helpful. Thanks and I love Knitting Daily.
    Beth, Long Island, NY

  23. About the LYS contest: I’d round out my collection of books first, then start yarn shopping. My stash is considerable, but some of the high end yarns would be really fun to have more than just one ball…like Qiviut for example, or Buffalo Gold.

  24. Thoughts on the LYS contest – if I were being sensible I would get a ball winder and a swift. I’d love a Mamabear swift, so I might have to buy that elsewhere, but then there would be more YARN/NEEDLES/BOOK money!! I love to try new needles, I can always find books to buy and what knitter can’t buy YARN??

  25. Your sweaters, etc. are lovely. However, for those of us who are larger (48-50+) feel left out. It seems sometimes like we larger girls are destined to be in shapeless, colorless garments the rest of our lives.

  26. I have to say it is this post that made me subscribe to the magazine. It was ‘okay’ but all the extra information and the pictures on real people and finally telling me what neg and positive ease have really sold me on it. The Gallery is priceless! Put it in the mag! From Skinny to Hefty, Bold and Bouncy we all wanna know how to make an item work for us. What kind of yarn size do we need roughly? How long do you think it would take – very ball park figure I know, How much concentration? How do we make it for a big girl or size it down for a slim one? But seriouly. Thanks So much for telling me what neg and pos ease is. I can sleep easier now. 🙂