One Question For You, and Two More Questions For Eunny

Kim Werker getting a hip fit!

Your comments on Monday's post–particularly your questions for Eunny about pattern sizing in Knits–have sparked some lively debates amongst all of us editorial types here at Interweave. In email and in the hallways, Eunny Jang, Kim Werker, Lisa Shroyer, Katie Himmelberg, Laura Rintala, and myself have been going around and around on the issues you brought up–and I gotta say: Folks, we're all downright puzzled.

We're puzzled because we thought that we WERE providing "plus sizing" for many of our knitting and crochet designs. So when we started reading all the comments asking for plus sizes, it made us do a bit of a double-take. (It also caused Kim and I to have a little impromptu Measuring Tape Party in the Interweave lobby. Kim wanted me to tell you that it's press day for the Fall issue of Interweave Crochet, as if that explained everything. Maybe it does!)

Obviously, something's missing here. Either our definition of "plus sizes" is not meeting your needs, or else maybe we're not communicating our size information clearly.

Look, Ma! It's a waist!

After talking back and forth all day, we came to the conclusion that we editors need to know more about you, our readers. Here's the deal: It's our job to write patterns for you, but perhaps we don't know what sizes you really are! Seems like kind of a basic question to ask readers of a knitting magazine, doesn't it? But I don't think we've ever really asked it before. Soooo….

What size are you?

That link will take you to a short survey that asks you for your bust/chest circumference, which is the measurement most sweater patterns are based upon. (I've provided both inch and centimeter ranges, because one-quarter of you are international folk!)

As for what sizes we have in the magazines…given your feedback and our puzzlement, I decided to do a little reality check investigation. I looked at three issues of Interweave Knits: the new Fall 2007, Fall 2006 from a year ago, and Fall 2005 from two years ago, just to see what the size range really was. Here's how we measure up:

How to measure your bust, demonstrated by Yours Truly

Fall Knits 2007:

  • 16 sweaters total.
  • 14 are sized up to a 48" bust or above.
  • 6 are sized above 50".
  • 11 are sized at 34" or below.

Fall Knits 2006:

  • 13 sweaters total.
  • 9 are sized up to a 48" bust or above.
  • 3 are sized above 50".
  • 6 are sized at 34" or below.

Fall Knits 2005:

  • 14 sweaters total.
  • 10 are sized up to a 48" bust or above.
  • 5 are sized above 50".
  • 5 are sized at 34" or below.

So…the question is: Do those size ranges meet your needs? I'll keep the link to the Size Survey up for a week, to give everyone a chance to see it, and then we'll have a better idea of what size range you are all asking for!

The Eunny Interview: Part 2 (as promised!)

And now…more from Eunny:

Eunny Jang

Has there been anything that really surprised you about putting together a major knitting magazine–you know, something that made you say, Wow, I had no idea that that was how they did that!

I had no idea how hard everyone works! Okay, maybe that's a cop-out, but really, we all do wear a lot of different hats and we all have a hand in every single piece of the magazine. Otherwise, a lot of what I was (pleasantly) surprised by had to do with how honest the magazine is about knitwear, which I found out at the shoots.

Tell us about the photoshoot for the magazine–where did you go? What was it like?

Well, we just shot the Gifts issue last week. We worked in Denver, on location in an amazing historic house and also in the photographer's studio. We tend to work with "real" people as models, and we like for the magazine to have a sense of time and place – a real person wearing a real handknit sweater in real life. In that spirit, we try to give the reader an honest picture, so there are no unpleasant surprises – as a rule, we don't pin or tape to create shape or fit where it doesn't exist; we ask the models to move around and get comfortable in the sweaters; we really rely on the garments being strong all by themselves. In the very, very rare cases where we do need to alter something for a photo, we rewrite the pattern instructions so that the image is an accurate representation of what the knitter can produce from the pattern. Of course we want to show the sweater to its best advantage, but never in a way that isn't doable in real life. The shoots are a lot of fun – they're a lot of work, too, but we have a really good time.

Friday: Part Three, where I ask Eunny what her favorite pattern in the Fall issue is….

Do you have a question for Eunny? Leave a comment with your question, and Eunny and I will choose a few for her to answer in upcoming issues of Knitting Daily!

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles today? The front of the Bonsai Tunic by Norah Gaughan. The front is done and on the blocking board! Hooray!

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Knitting Daily Blog

335 thoughts on “One Question For You, and Two More Questions For Eunny

  1. Regarding sizing:

    As hard as anyone tries, you’re never really going to satisfy everyone’s needs in terms of sizing. One of the things I like about knitting is that I can customize a garmet to fit my very non-standard sized body and have clothes that actually fit (unlike anything I can ever buy at a store.)

    I think it might be more worthwhile to do some articles on how to do that rather than just throwing more sizes at us.

  2. I have a problem with my height Iam only 4’11 so a lot of sweaters fit for my bust, but the sweaters are too long for me, And I can’t figure out how to shorten them. just my two cents worth. thankyou.

  3. Is not just size — but also fit — I tend to prefer my clothes looser that is perhaps the norm. Thank you very much for looking at the size issue! Although I will say that having to size up everything has taught me a lot about sweater design and how to alter patterns 🙂

  4. It’s great you are doing this, but hip/belly measurements in Goddess-sized women also need to be addressed, particularly in tunics and longer cardis.
    The ratio between bust and hip measurements is not standard.
    My lower measurement is 10 inches larger than my top measurement, for example, but I bet that’s not the case for all Goddess-sized women.

  5. i am on the other end of the spectrum on the sizing issue. i have NO chest and often find it hard to adjust patterns to fit me. can you do some tips or an article on how to adjust for NO chest 🙂

  6. My problem with sizing is that my upper hams – er, arms – are disproportionate to my body size, regardless of my weight changes. (Thanks, Mom!) I’d really like to know how to adjust armscye size to fit if I adjust the sleeve size. Help!

  7. Since the rest of my comment was cut off– I think intended ease should be included as well as the actual ease (ex: the garment measures 29″, but will fit up to a size 34″ bust)

  8. You only asked for bust measurements. What about hips? If you knit a long sweater and you are a bit hippy (is that a word?), then knitting by bust won’t do. That is why on sweaters it is better to leave seams open for 2 inches at the bottom.

  9. Size survey is a great idea. It isn’t as if a quite a few of us can’t manage to size up (or down) or shift gauges for different yarns if we get desperate. It’s just that sometimes we biggies or Munchkins start feeling Left
    Some designers kindly do include a range of sizes, but they actually design for themselves – Lily Chin is a great example. She can include a size Enormous, but it is really meant for a teeny weeny Lily – and it looks like it.

    Cabin Fever does a great job of plus sizing. Their things would look good on almost anyone.

    Will look forward to your results.

  10. It’s not my bust I need to fit, it’s my hips and backside. I am much bigger there then in my chest and I need something that will fit 49″ chest with a 56″ or greater hip. I do not like and will not wear sweaters or shirts or tops that don’t come below my behind. They are not flattering at all and make me look bigger in the backside.

  11. I know it’s a lot of work to do a large range of sizes. I’m glad the sizing in patterns include larger sizing but don’t forget those of us who are smaller. So many times I have bought a book or pattern and the sweaters start at size 48″ or above.

  12. It’s also important to remember that a larger bust size doesn’t mean that the person is larger all over. With that, many of the sweater patterns are simply impractical for someone with a large chest…sleeveless, backless or thin straps will not work for someone who needs heavy duty undergarments.

    My difficulty is finding a pattern that is flattering to an hourglass shape. Intended ease would be a great thing to include in every pattern. It doesn’t help to know what size the model is wearing if we don’t know the size of the model.

  13. For those of us with larger hips than busts, it is often difficult to choose what size to knit: especially for patterns (frequently unlabeled) that are intended to have a specific amount of ease (both positive and negative). Ribbing at the bottom doesn’t really solve the problem if you can’t interpret which size you need to make to get the best ALL AROUND fit, rather than just the fit at the bustline.

  14. I appreciate your conscientious sizing questions. The sizes you provide are fine with me but with a “small chest and larger belly” I never really know which size to use or how to adjust the pattern to my size. I just cast on Eunny’s Tangled Yoke Cardigan this morning. With a 38ish chest and a 44ish waist and fear that the way it looks and the yarn I’m using (exact same weight as listed-Jaeger Aran tweed) will cause it to run small or short, I’ve decided to go with the 46. I know you can’t write patterns for every body type- maybe you could do it just for me- kidding!

    Anyway I am enjoying Knitting Daily!

    Becky Terry

  15. ****Sandi here. Great comments so far! Thanks. This is an enormous help to us here.

    A more extensive survey of things like height, hips, waist, and so forth would be a great thing to do in the days ahead. Our thinking here was, well, we have to start somewhere, and since bust size is the most common measure of fit for knitting patterns, we figured we’d start with that, just to get a rough idea of size range and pattern adjustment info needs.

    As for “how to adapt/adjust patterns to fit” instructions…I’d love to do a series on that on KD. Here again, though: What kind of fit instructions would be helpful? For example, if there are only two of you who need instructions for how to fit a 60″+ bust, then I would approach the fit instructions differently than if it turns out that there is an entire town’s worth of busty Goddess Gals here.

    What I am hearing is that many of you really desperately want to know how to knit things that actually fit your real self, whatever that real self may be. Soooo, think of these surveys and posts as my way of interviewing you about yourself and your pattern needs–and part of interviewing someone successfully is learning how to ask the right questions. If you feel I’m not asking the right ones, then as Diana did, let me know what you think I ought to be asking. (Thank you, Diana!)

    Knitting to fit is part art, part science, and part craft; there are no quickie answers (sorreee!). But given how creative this group is proving to be, I bet we all are going to have a lot of fun figuring it all out together!

  16. I have difficulty in deciding the size because often the bust is only part of the garmet. My waist and hips are very similar and I have very broad shoulders. Although I have made a sloper using the duct tape method in sewing and can adjust those patterns, I haven’t figured out how patterns are sized when knitting. I have only been knitting for 2 and 1/2 years and am often disappointed. I always check the gauge and adjust if I need to. But the shoulders will be tight or the actual sleeve is too tight (I have massive arms). But to look at me you would not see any of these things. I don’t like things tight and understand the ease issue because of sewing. I do like wehn there is a drawing of the figure and the ease is shown. I wonder if there is a standard for the knitting and crocheting industry that would provide for all of the measurements similar to the sewing industry. You are experienced enough to fit as you go, but I am not sure exactly how and where to adjust. I don’t know if this is my personal problem due to the newness to knitting. Could be. I do love this newsletter and look forward to it whenever it is here. I check everyday. Thanks

  17. Re sizing…it is often difficult to know if the sizes given are for an actual bust measurement or for the finished measurement which includes ease. If ease is included, it would be helpful to know how much ease was designed into the pattern. For me, with a bust of 43 1/2 inches, it’s frequently difficult to know what size to knit per the specifications given.

  18. Several people above seem to have similar problems–my hips & tummy are significantly larger than my bust. How do we adjust patterns for this, since all patterns seem to go by bust size, and they are often not large enough for larger ladies? Also, more patterns for a hip size of 50-52 would be much appreciated (and bust size of 40 to 42). Thank you! 🙂

  19. I really really wish Interweave Knits would include the amount of ease intended! I prefer a tighter top and looser bottom to a sweater. Of course I know how to jigger a pattern, but guessing the ease is so hard.

    I’m also worried about the Dickinson pullover…. is it meant to be oversized? By how much? I dither on a size because of that.

  20. I also feel that there isn’t a nice variety of sweaters sized for larger women. It needs to be something that will not only go over my ample bosom but also my abdomen and rear. But I still would like to wear something fashionable!

  21. Unlike a lot of the commenters here, I generally fit in the size ranges in your patterns, and I have a fairly conventionally-shaped body. However, I would really, really, really like to know how much ease you’ve built in to a particular pattern.

  22. This survey is great! Thank you. However, what about hips and waists? So many of us (small and large) have issues of fitting in this department as well.

  23. I second the call for more things with larger hips written in, although I tend to (for a bottom up sweater) cast on for one size, do extra decreases for the waist until I get to the size that I want for my bust and work a different size from there.

    Here are a few things I think would be interesting to look at:

    1) How do you tell if a pattern is suitable for resizing for yourself? Not every pattern can be reworked for every size (e.g. Motifs might be too large for a very small size)

    2) Different methods of changing the size (knitting at a smaller gauge, working 3×3 ribbing instead of 2×2)

    3) How to resize for broad or narrow shoulders. I’ve read a lot on resizing, but I’ve never seen this covered. Despite my math background, I’ve never really been able to figure that out. I think it requires you to change the sleeve cap shape, but I’m not really sure…

    I guess those are the things that come up most often for me.

  24. Here is my question for Eunny! I have saved a copy of her steeking chronicles on my computer, but as yet, do not have the nerve to knit anything with the conclusion of taking scissors to it. Eunny, will you be covering the steeking aspect of knitting in the magazine?

  25. About the sizing issue. Yes, many patterns are sized up to 48″ and there are even a fair number over 50″ but what you are failing to take into account is what amount ease is called for in those patterns that go up to 50″ or even the 48″? I’m not a terribly busty plus sized person, but rather well proportioned (22W on average) and yet my bust measure is 47.5″ which means in most cases even those 50″ sweaters are not likely going to be a good fit because as I recall on lot of those patterns (and I do confess to not going and digging the issues out to verify) that go up to 50″ are for oversized cardigans.

    This brings me to a point. It would be great to give us the designer intended ease so we can better judge whether the 50″ measure is going to work or not for us. As it is now, I look at the other patterns the given model is wear and which size those are and try to make an educated guess. Ultimately that still just comes down to a guessing game!

  26. When I measure sweaters in my wardrobe, I usually go by the same size as they are and not necessarily by my bust size. Can you talk a little bit about the appropriate ease a garment should have?

  27. As a member of the Ample Knitters list I have to say your survey is a good start, however you can’t just take the bust measurement and think that is enough. You also need to understand that there are so many of us with a bust of over 50″ that the amount of sweaters or items you may think are plus size really aren’t. Please take into consideration that although many are busty we have smaller waistlines or larger hips or are pear shaped, apple shaped, etc etc. We would LOVE to see plus size models in your magazines modeling the item knitted or crocheted in a true plus size (2X-6X) to give us a better idea of whether or not your gorgeous items will still look great on us. Thanks for letting us input!

  28. Pleeeease, Don’t forget us small chested/petite gals! I see many lovely patterns that I just can’t make because there is no truely small sizing included.

  29. Question for Eunny — First, a comment — I’ve loved your blog and your garments because they are classy and elegant and a fresh twist on the traditional. Question: Are you able to put an end to publishing frou-frou garments that nobody’d wear except for Halloween? I’ve been so disgusted with knitting magazines the last few years because they seem to have been aiming for their audience as garish clown-like stick figures. The new IK has been a vast improvement, by-the-way!

  30. Plus sizing: The issue of plus sizing (and petite sizing, for that matter) aren’t just relegated to bust size. Shoulder width, upper arm circumfrence, and nape of neck to waist length are crucial to the proper fit.

  31. Yes!!! Tell us about EASE in your patterns.

    I like fairly close fitting patterns. If I see a sweater that drapes on the model and the top bust size is near mine, will I like the sweater??? I DON’T KNOW!!

    I don’t know because I don’t know if all that was available was a huge sweater and a tiny model, or if the sweater is meant to be big and baggy, or if it’s just an artifact of photography.

    I would love to see more technical FITTING information on Knitting Daily. _Threads_ had some awesome info on fitting outsize persons, including doing mock-ups in knit fabric, and how to shape your knitting to follow the toile. (Not every goddess woman puts on flesh in the same proportions.)

    Your bust darts tutorial is saved on my computer. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about splitting the waist dart into several series of decreases. I’m a short-waisted hourglass; by the time I finish making waist darts to bring the fabric in, I’m almost at my underwires!

  32. I’m going to have to agree with the comments requesting to know how much ease a pattern is designed to have. Often, I find myself having to pick between a size that is exactly the same size as my bust or one at least four inches larger, and not knowing how much ease the sweater is supposed to have makes me hesitate.

  33. I think it’s great when you include plus size patterns, but it doesn’t help us much when the sweaters are almost always modelled on slender or average models. Maybe you could encourage designers to submit the photo sample in one of the 2x-3x sizes, and find a model who is really that size to wear it? Unfortunately knitting a sample in the larger sizes takes more time and yarn, I realize.

  34. I have submitted my measurements for your survey but I wanted to add that a lot of my knitting (most of my knitting) is for others. Even though I would use one sized measurements for myself I am always interested in having the teenier sizes for when I make things for my teenaged daughter as well as some of the other sizes for other gift knitting! Thanks and I love your publications and “knitting daily” on line. Thanks so much.

  35. OK, I took the survey, but the thing is, it’s not just about the bust – my bust size doesn’t match my waist size. If I buy any clothing based on my bust size, it will be too big and shapeless around the waist.

  36. I was reading the topic about sizing and the problem I always run into is in trying to figure out exactly where to take a hip measurement. I’ve read that it’s supposed to be taken about 8

  37. A question: Why are patterns knit in sections (back, front, sleeves) and seamed? I much prefer to knit the body as a single unit, such as the Cobbleston pullover or Mirepoix bodice. Is it possible or a clever knitter to merge parts of the sections, say from the hem to the armhole, to avoid seaming?

  38. I’d just like to tell Eunny ” AWESOME job with the photos!”
    This time I can SEE the garments. really, how they hang, what the neckline looks like, what the shoulders look like, etc.!
    I’m so pleased — especially w/ the detail shots too.
    Keep it up!

  39. I’ve been disappointed by the patterns in IW over the past year. Many of them are frumpy, overly fussy (and by this I don’t mean complicated — I love a challenging pattern), and very out of step with fashion. When I saw the spring 07 issue I was really discouraged. There’s a bedjacket on the cover. It would be great if you guys would consider doing a survey of people’s hopes regarding patterns now that a sensational designer has herself taken over the editorship.

  40. Many of the earlier comments ask for information about the ease that should be in the finished garment. That is really important, no matter what size we are. An article – or series of articles, since there are a number of issues involved – about how to properly adjust a pattern for real women’s bodies would be invaluable.

    I have a very short (15in) waist length, and also have a larger hip measurement than is proportional to my bust size. I’m sure the information you’ve provided about bust darts will be very helpful. But good information about how to adjust garment waist length, especially in the more fitted garments, would make a lot more designs possible for me.

  41. First off, kudos for asking about sizing and listening to all of the comments!

    I want to repeat that knowing the intended ease is very important. I recently made a sweater a size too small because I just went for my usual finished bust measurement and didn’t think.

    Things to do articles on for alterations: lengthen/shorten locations on garments (I had to give away a sweater because I lengthened at the wrong place and therefore moved the very visible waist darts to my upper hips). How and where to add gentle waist shaping to reduce fabric bulk. How to pick flattering shapes for different body types — with nice photography like IK’s, one does get carried away sometimes.

  42. I want to see designs modeled in the larger sizes. The look of a design is completely different when a design is modeled by a size 2 woman (no offense!). I’m less likely to invest the time in knitting it, since I *know* it’s not going to look anything like that on me!

    I would love a series of articles which give us the basics of each part of the common patterns: The Sleeves How-To, the Neckline How-To, and so on.

    Showing “ease” would help. I like Sally Melville’s ease diagrams in “The Knit Stitch”.

    And finally, I’d love to see a pattern which doesn’t go large enough (maybe from the archives?) and have one of your people do an article on how to size it up.

  43. Question for Eunny:

    Why are so many patterns for tops (jackets, cardis, pullovers, etc) still being written as if the pieces were woven fabric to be cut and sewn? Even baby jackets and sweaters, with their few stitches, are written with front(s) and back and sleeves all knitted separately and then sewn together.

    I have modified many different patterns to knit tops in the round as much as possible, to allow for picking up stitches around the armscye or neckline and hem. It just seems to me to be so much easier to do as much as possible of the knitting all in one piece.

  44. I am a tall (5’10) fuller figured woman with a small bust & very generous hips & find selecting a pattern size based on chest measurement disastrous, Having a rating to recommend ‘shape’is a great help ie you could use objects – Pear for someone like me, apple for those with with big busts & hips, hourglass for those who have waists – you get the idea. lets face it as Dame Judy Dench once famously said the reason she doesn’t watch her films is that she is a willowy 5’10 blonde…

  45. Thank you for seeking more information about sizing for plus sizes. If you want the whole story though, please realize that it isn’t just about the size, it’s about the style. You can include plus sizing for every pattern, but many of your styles simply won’t look good on Goddesses, no matter how many stitches you cast on. I’ve learned to take a pattern stitch I like and incorporate it into styles that look good on me.

  46. Could the sizes correlate to small medium and large like Vogue does? Vogue also tells you whether the garment is tight-fitting, average, or loose-fitting so you know how much ease to allow. It’s very clear in the description so there is no mystery. I love IK’s patterns, but I hate trying to decide which size to make.

  47. Something to consider is that, though many patterns have the right BUST size, they fail to take into consideration that often plus-sized women are not proportionally the same as average-sized women. Meaning, my bust-to-waist ratio does not correspond with that of a woman whose chest is 10 or 20 inches smaller than mine. Also, things may be big enough to go around my bust, but are never long enough to take all that extra bust HEIGHT/DEPTH into account, and so fall too short of my waist or simply ride up in the front and down in the back. Thanks for asking us about this!

  48. The problem with your sizing is the same as with Interweave Knits. 50″ is not adequate for plus sized women.

    I am thankfully not in that category anymore, but remember clearly not being able to make a single sweater out of my Knits Magazine because at size 28 or 30, they fell 4 to six inches short in size and I did not feel competent to change them up, even with a superior skill set.

    Think 54″ minimum for today’s plus sized women. And pass this comment on to Knits too. I bet you can up your circulation if you put in one sweater per quarter that meets that demographic need.

  49. The problem with your sizing is the same as with Interweave Knits. 50″ is not adequate for plus sized women.

    I am thankfully not in that category anymore, but remember clearly not being able to make a single sweater out of my Knits Magazine because at size 28 or 30, they fell 4 to six inches short in size and I did not feel competent to change them up, even with a superior skill set.

    Think 54″ minimum for today’s plus sized women. And pass this comment on to Knits too. I bet you can up your circulation if you put in one sweater per quarter that meets that demographic need.

  50. I just had one comment on sizing for us fuller figure knitters. Consider designing vests, sweaters, and shells a little longer, so many designs are way too short for those of us with a lot of junk in the trunk.

  51. I knit for my 5 daughters, who range in bust size from 34″ to 63″! I know how to upsize and fit clothing from sewing garments for years, but not everyone does. You might want to consider a series on fitting.

  52. About your sizing question. I make sweaters for my sister and she is a very large size. Her bust measurement may be about 50 inches but her hips measurement is 60″ without ease and I don’t think her measurements are that unusual For todays women I don’t think 48 inches is large enough.

  53. I do not want to knit ultra-fitted, bust-centric garments! I like a loose fit that still flatters, and I like to do cables and lace. “Trendy” is good, fugly is not–I knit for people aged 1 to 70 and so a nice range is good. And please, please, don’t put the cute cable sweaters on fat old grannies–that’s a stereotype that needs to go away forever! (Size 10 granny here.)

  54. Hi there–

    I am what I call an “extreme hourglass” shape (or 24-hour-glass, as someone once memorably called it) with measurements of 37-24-37 on a 5’2″ frame (that’s a 30F bra!) and I always have to resize my knits. I think Interweave provides a very impressive size range. I appreciate your efforts! Adjusting patterns to fit is a part of knitting–knitters, read elizabeth zimmermann and free yourselves!

  55. I actually thought about this a little more, and I’d like to make another request/suggestion. When you photograph the sample garments, could you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE show larger people modeling them?? This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I can’t visualize a pattern on myself if the only image I can go by is a delicate waif whose waist curves in the opposite direction of mine!

    I’d love it if I saw some 20s and 24s with real bodies–I certainly don’t wear a waist-cincher undergarment or corset like Lane Bryant seems to think I should–and I want to see how some of the garments in my knitting to-do list actually look on someone of a similar build.

    Obviously you can’t do this for every pattern and every size, but if you are going to offer larger sizes, why must every pattern be shown in a 34″ bust?? There are some gorgeous girls (and guys) out there with larger bodies.

    Sandi, Eunny, anyone who listens–I would buy a lifetime subscription to IK if I saw that kind of diversity in your patterns and models. Take a page from Amy Singer’s Big Girl Knits book (pun intended) and show us what those gorgeous patterns of yours look like on a wider (pun also intended) variety of people.

    (PS: keep the current models, of course–they’re still beautiful, too!)

  56. I think folks would be happier if they could see the finished garments on real size and plus size women occasionally. Some things just aren’t going to look good on ample women, but when it will, show us one!

  57. Since I’m in the minority, I want to add my voice to the petite, short, thin women’s list. Because of recent sizing changes in the fashion industry, I’ve been bumped out of even petite departments (a size 2 petite is more like a 4-6 now) and have to wear a size 12-14 teen/girls item. I mention this because I think sizing trends for handknitted items tend to follow the trends in retail clothing sizing that try to make larger women feel good about their sizes. This bumps us small folks into oblivion. I’m NOT shaped like a teenager. I’m about 31 bust, 24.5 waist, 34 hips. I’m also VERY long-waisted despite being 5’2″. Petite clothing is always designed to be short in the rise rather than in the legs (a disastrous assumption leading to the inability to sit down in pants that fit perfectly otherwise). I agree strongly with the person who recommended that an “shape symbol” be placed next to patterns to indicate what figures might be flattered by that pattern (and pattern variations can be included to accommodate changes…there could be an “apple shape” pattern, a “pear shape” pattern and an hourglass shape and maybe a rectangle shape, which is used by some bathing suit companies, like Lands End, to indicate a person who isn’t curvy. I weigh 90 pounds, so when I look through patterns the chances are good that I can only make a scarf or hat. People on the other end of the spectrum struggle just as much. I also have the long-arm syndrome that another person mentioned, and this may go along with my long-waisted-ness, but designers assume that a petite woman with my girth measurments would be short-waisted and short-armed, and they are wrong! It is impossible to accommodate everyone, but it would be great if you could teach us to help ourselves. One solution can be learning how to substitute a thinner yarn with a tighter gauge if a pattern looks like it might suit my figure but is too large all over. I lack the confidence to know how to do this.

  58. Ok, I measured my chest which is 48 inches but how about my waist which is also 48 inches and my hips which are also 48 inches, with about 1/2 inch breathing room. I am 5′ 6″ tall.

  59. I echo the comments about hips and bust not always being proportioned. I wear a 34 bra size (37 when measured for the survey), but in most clothing I’m size 8-10 in the shoulders and size 12-14 in the rear, plus I’m extremely short-waisted. I haven’t made a lot of sweaters for myself, but so far I’ve been sticking to my usual clothes shopping strategy–go with the top size if it’s short, and with the bottom size if it’s long.

    There is only so much you can do when publishing a pattern to allow for all the differences. Indicating how much ease would help, and having articles on how to make adjustments in general would also help.

  60. Along with size of a garment, the style is equally important to someone who is plus sized. I have liked several patterns in past issues but would never make them for me because ruffles or a plunging neckline brings too much attention to my already noticable assests.

  61. What I do is knit a gage, cause I want my stitch to look like the pattern. Then I then I know I need so many stitches at the waist, plus stitches to equal pattern, plus 2 for seaming. Then I increase or decrease as pattern call for. Same for arms.

  62. Maybe there could be a whole issue devoted to patterns designed to flatter different shapes? Perhaps with explanations of why a particular pattern will be great for a pear (or hourglass, or whatever)? I enjoy Knitting Daily so much! It makes me feel much more connected to and excited about IK. Many thanks.

  63. Oh, I see the 15″ back length above and raise you a 13″! I’m 5’2 and am short-waisted enough to have my ribs meeting my hip bones.

    I’d love to see a knitting version of “Fit for Real People” by Pati Palmer. Bust darts and short rows? Bring ’em on!

  64. I haven’t read all of the comments, so forgive me if I’m being redundant. I think what the demand is for is not simply patterns sized up to plus sizes, but something, anything, designed with a plus size woman in mind. Simply enlarging the patterns designed for the size 4 model does nothing to accommodate the more dramatic curves found in ample ladies (say 38 dd bra with a 34 in waist). I would love to see just one pattern an issue made for and modeled by a size 14 or up woman.

  65. Larger sized people need different styles, not just larger versions of sweaters that look good on smaller people. While the Tangled Yoke Cardigan includes instructions to 50″ bust, the delicate cable will be out of proportion at the larger sizes.
    A magazine can’t offer everyone all the custom sizes in every sweater. It would be nice to have a bell curve/range of sweaters that are DESIGNED for different body types; a few for the petite many in the middle that could be tweaked up or down and a few very larger. Don’t forget to show them on appropriate sized models.

  66. Others have made this point, I guess: it isn’t just the fit, but the style. 20 years and two sons ago, I was flat and skinny. Now I’m a bit eggplanty. I can’t just size up the same styles; they don’t look good on me. If a sweater is meant for a curvy lady, show it on a curvy model!

  67. I didn’t leave comments about wanting plus sizes given in the patterns but I’ll chime in on the follow-up. I’m a size 18-20 girl with a 42″ bust and as much as I love almost everything in IK magazine, the photos are not modeled by busty overweight girls. A true average of the readership is probably not waif thin and breastless like your usual models. They’re beautiful. And they wear the garments well. But they don’t look like me. Not even a firmer younger version of me. So maybe that’s where the “more plus size” chants came from? The need to really see something that in reality looks like it would be flattering on a plus size knitter? Maybe one pattern each issue could be designed for or modeled by a plus size person or sometimes modeled by slim and plus size? An entire plus size issue of the magazine seems excessive because honestly I don’t WANT to be plus size. In my mind it’s really only temporary. 🙂

  68. Being that I am in my 50s, I have a large collection of patterns which I have accumulated over the years, plus previous collections from mother and in-law. I noticed a long time ago that the measurement:size ratio is changing over time. People get bigger, but sizes get smaller.
    Caryn K

  69. It’s not how many sizes a pattern includes. It’s whether you’re including and sizing patterns to become various body types–slat or hourglass, pear or apple, tiny or tall, rather than holding out a pattern designed for a smaller size and blowing it up to a larger one that won’t work on a larger figure.

    Can you commission some patterns especially to complement the varieties of figure type, and to include a series of workshops in measuring oneself against the standard dimensions and altering patterns for best fit?

    I’m not just thinking about size, but also height. And showing garments with the ease the designers intended with models that fit the samples appropriately.

  70. One of the other comments suggested the making of some of the garments in larger sizes and showing them on larger, even plus-sized models. Perhaps part of the reason some of us plus-sized gals find few things to knit in Knit and other magazines is that just mathematically increasing the number of sts to make a larger finished item doesn’t mean it is going to ‘fit’ someone who wears size 18-22 the same way it does someone who wears 8-12. I LOVE cables, but finally learned, after making several sweaters like the one on page 39 in the Fall 2007 issue, that cables flowing across a 42C just makes me look like a cow. Garments that look pretty, hip, or sophisticated on a size 6-8 tend not to look that way on us. So, how about some pieces designed for plus-size women, as well as some designed for petites, two groups who have scale and design issues not addressed by simply increasing or decreasing length and width.

    All that said, I love the Fall issue, especially more detailed photos. I don’t mind so much having the patterns in back. For those who use the patterns to decide whether or not they want to look further into making an item, what about giving some of the basic info in a block on the photo page – size range, yarn weight, etc.

    And thank you, Sandi, for another great KD!

  71. I too am bigger in the hips and belly than I am in my bust. Anything that fits snug is something I steer clear of knitting for myself because I am worried that if I stick to the pattern, I’ll have a lovely sweater that doesn’t fit me. I would like to see more information on how to either adjust patterns to hip/waist, or more patterns that are based off of hip/waist measurements. Keep up the great work!

  72. I personally am a 40 bust/30 waist/40hips, but I need to knit a 34 bust with a 30/31 waist and 34 hips just so that the garment looks good on me. If I knit anything larger I tend to look like a frump.

  73. {{We’re puzzled because we thought that we WERE providing “plus sizing” for many of our knitting and crochet designs}}

    Hehe, thanks, I needed a good bellylaugh!! When the Fall issue of IK came a few days ago the first words out of my mouth were “…these models have no BOOBS, darnit!” Designs that look good on a flat-chested waif rarely scale up well to the Gazongadzillas amongst us, either. (Twin cables down bust = no, no, NO.) And I’M FAR from being the most-endowed lady in my group of knitting friends, either, sad to say…

  74. Ok…to add to the collection: I am 5 feet tall, with a true 34 bust but a DD cup. I also have a small waist–about a 10 inch difference–in comparison to my hips–which are 45 to 47 inches. I sew so I know how to alter there but I really, really like knitted and crocheted skirts and tunics so all of the above present a problem. Help!

  75. My waist and hips are bigger than my bust, so bust size isn’t sufficient to tell me whether a garment will fit. I resigned myself when I began knitting to do the math because almost no garments were sized for me. And I’m getting better at it. But I would love for re-sizing instructions to be included in patterns, because different patterns need different approaches to re-sizing. I also would love to see some garments on plus-size models.

  76. Part of the plus-size issue is size and another aspect is style. As a 55-year old plus-sized person, I just can’t wear a lot of the cropped, closely fitted garments in the magazine–given my shape and age, I’d look ridiculous, even if they “fit” me. Of course, I can and do make them for my 30-yr-old daughter or my son’s 22-yr-old girlfriend–but they aren’t “me”. I know that you and other knitting publications want to capture the new, young, hip, knitters–but its the knitters my age who have the time and the disposable income to support you and the yarn shops–please do more that big, mature women can live with and wear! Rev. Sherry Schacht, Romeo, MI

  77. The message about ease is coming throught loud and clear — tell us what it should be. Also, give us some hints for successful modification (i.e. short row bust shaping was NOT the way to go for Tomato, where to legnthen or shorten and what increases/decreases will work best in the stitch pattern, etc.).

    Also, there needs to be some recognition that scaling up or down isn’t always as easy as multiplying all measurements by a percentage. A specific example: the neck opening on the Lotus tank pattern was more than 15 inches across the chest in larger sizes. 15″ from bra strap to bra strap is is unusual even on someone with a big bust. So, all sizes of the pattern need a little reality checking. Otherwise, the large sizes end up looking like sacks and the smaller sizes end up tight and twisty in all the wrong places.

    Maybe you could take one pattern per issue and show two models of two different shapes and sizes and use it as an example to teach techinque for sizing a type or style of garmet, in addition to the pattern.

    Love the mag. Usually love the patterns, though I always check a lot before I knit.

  78. I don’t mean to disrespect the many plus sizers out there, but as a woman who is distinctly NOT plus sized, PLEASE! DON’T! TAKE! AWAY! THE! SMALL! SIZES! Already in stores I have difficulty finding blouses that are not saggy, and I’m a 34″ bust. The U.S. may be becoming more and more obese, but please don’t take away my ability to make clothes for myself that fit right.

  79. One of the main reasons Interweave Knits is my favorite knitting magazine is because most of the patterns include sizing which will fit my 48″ bust. I also love how you use “real” people for models, and it’s great to hear Eunny describe how the photo shoots are structured to show the garments as they truly are. Keep up the great work!

  80. There’s already been a lot of comments about this, but I figure numbers indicate demand, so I’m going to throw in my voice too: it’s going to be nearly impossible to accommodate every quirk of the human body (that you’re so interested in trying, though, is commendable… I wish more stores would do that!) It would be much more interesting to me to see a kind of shape guide, like the swimsuit model mentioned by someone else, and regular articles on how to modify patterns– especially complicated ones (lace and colorwork sweaters, for instance). It’s often hard to see how something worn by a tall, thin model will translate to a bustier -or, heck, even just average- knitter. I once unraveled a nearly complete sweater because I started knitting for my chest size and then realized, 2/3s of the way through the torso, that the model was thin and small enough to wear something without waist shaping… but I absolutely had to go back and put some in unless I wanted to look like I had a sack hanging off my breasts. I’ve since gotten better about judging that beforehand… and accommodating being short to boot… but it’s something that takes some experience and a developed eye, and it would help a lot of knitters along if there was more out there about resizing. These are skills that will benefit everyone regardless of girth, length, or shape.

  81. Hi – thanks for asking for input about plus sizing in knitwear. I agree that the ‘stats’ or counts of plus-sized items are impressive. What I find disatisfying is that there are few ‘plus-sized’ knitwear patterns which look – to me – as if they will flatter a plus-sized, 55 year old woman (5’2″ at that!). So, convince me — show some of your designs on older, plus-sized models! And…if IK is really wanting to have their designs evaluated for flattering-ness to plus-sized gals, ask Jillian Moreno and Amy Singer to look at/critique them – they are of course the brilliant co-creatrixes of Big Girl Knits – the absolutely best thing to come along for plus-sized knitwear forever!

  82. I need a smaller size (I usually knit a 32″) and I agree that smaller people have trouble as well! Look at your sizing – there are often more sized over 48″ than under 34″, and often there isn’t even a 34. I did size down the Josephine top in the latest issue, but it was frustrating to see several others that would be more difficult to adjust.

  83. The way the sizes are presented is the most confusing thing to me. I read somewhere that you knit up the size closest to your actual bust measurement. What about ease? It would be handy to know how the garment is supposed to fit. It would be especially helpful to know based on actual bust size, which knitted size to make depending on the ease in the pattern. It’s always a terrifying thing to start a garment not really knowing if I’m choosing the size meant for me based on the included ease in the knitted garment. I could pull my hair out! Thanks for addressing this. It’s the most frustrating part of knitting for me.

  84. I like the ideas people have mentioned about indicating which shapes of figure different garments will work for – using symbols like Land’s end. Also I like the ideas of showing garments on more differently shaped people so we can see how things fit on people of different sizes.

    And it would be really great to have more information about how to alter patterns for different body proportions. It would also be great to have more information about adapting patterns in all sorts of ways, in terms of measurements of course but also in terms of changing yarns- maybe using a yarn that needs a different gauge, etc. I just feel pretty pattern bound sometimes.

    Thanks for asking!

  85. Hi Sandi
    here’s a sizing thought: we come in all shapes, not just bust sizes. maybe showing the pattern on plus size models or disclosing the the size of the garment & the model’s stats would help us imagine how the sweater would fit on our own bods. maybe we need more tips on how to customize to fit – look at all the interest in the tomato dart!!
    finally, after spending countless hours on an item only to find we look like, say, a fuzzy caterpillar is something we all want to avoid. sure, there is experience in understanding what actually looks good on us, but it helps that models really do look like us. that is a tall order – i’m 5’6″, 38″ bust and i yoyo btwn 140-160 pounds!!! i know this means oodles more work for your team but do consider working up a plus size (and petite for my mum!) for the shoots.
    great mag btw.

  86. First…thanks for asking! In reading all the comments, I think my issues are covered (plus size tree trunk with Michelin Man tendencies) but I had to say thanks for asking! Enjoying Knitting Daily and I can’t put down the new Fall IK. Beautiful. I could wear most of the sweaters in there and am dying to knit the cover sweater (Tilted Duster).

  87. Ack, it just ate a good post I had ont his (the beginning of a multi-comment post, where I bring together some separately mentioned issues and my thoughts on how they could be considered, other thoughts, concrete suggestions, constructive criticism, emphasis on points mentioned in comments above that I feel need a Ditto/emphasized again, etc. I guess I’ll go write it in OpenOffice, and bring it over in pieces.) I apologize for length, but I’m going to hit each point that I think needs addressed. Even if by the time I post it, my ideas might be or have been mentioned as others, I feel like I have something to add, with my perspective and way of thinking.

  88. Woah , woah, wait a minute! I really like the sizes you offer. I have never had a problem finding the size for me. Frankly, I was starting to get concerned that my best friend, (whom I just taught to knit) wouldn’t be able to find a pattern for her size nothing frame. Of course, then Wenlan Chia’s book came out and I didn’t worry so much. Anyway, I would be extremely sad if the patterns started at a larger base size. I’m about a size 10 –real – not tiny, and I’m very happy with your magazine, but I ususally make the smallest size availible. Please keep those sizes around whatever you choose to do. Thanks!

  89. “Knitting to fit is part art, part science, and part craft; there are no quickie answers (sorreee!). But given how creative this group is proving to be, I bet we all are going to have a lot of fun figuring it all out together!”

    It looks to me like the only way to satisfy everyone is to teach ‘Knitting to fit’ because you have such a diverse audience. I look at sweaters in the magazine and see a lot of skinny little models and think “That is too young a style for me” – it may or may not be true, but that’s the first impression! I’ve learned a lot about knitting to fit just by trial and error – and by knitting patterns for my two daughters. But I am not always so good at knitting things to fit myself – maybe I’m just not able to see my body for the shape it really is – so I don’t knit much for myself. I would really like to be able to knit something for myself that would be flattering and attractive. I’m willing to work to learn the art/science/craft of knitting to fit if you’re willing to teach me.

  90. The questions about sizing are somewhat skewed. I have a feeling most of us know how to make our patterns fit us. What is missing is the picture of what it’s going to look like. I wish you’d use models other than size 1 to show the end result. I’m a hefty size 16 and I’m not always sure what I’ll look like in something shown on a skinny person like my granddaughter. BTW – I live in Loveland and would love to be a model for you sometime.


  91. Not only do I look for plus sizing but also ease of wear. Being physically challenged, I look for garments that are easy to slip on/off,wide straps to cover heavy duty lingerie, no loose ends to get caught in my wheels,and of course look gorgeous! Alicia

  92. Not only should you state the designer’s intended ease in a pattern- you should tell us the actual bust size of the model as well as the size she’s wearing. Too much information? Perhaps. But that’s the only way these photos and sizes will actually mean something. I nearly wept for joy when I saw that the size of the model was stated in Norah Gaughan’s new collection for Berocco – finally, information that I can truly use to determine which size I should knit!

  93. Larger girls want to have cute and adorable sweaters too! I drool over the gorgeous sweaters in IK, only to discover that my favorites are just not my size. I am definately nore of a “pear”. I am not the most experienced knitter but I am always ready to try a pattern that is more challenging to increase my skills and learn new techniques. A resizing “class” would be great for many knitters. Quality yarns can be quite an investment that could be wasted on a sweater that doesn’t fit well. My knitting time is very precious. There are just not enough hours in the day. When my project is finished I want it to look and feel good on me.

  94. I agree with you, Teresa, Knitting-to-fit and knowing a bit about Styling-to-suit one’s shape and size (they are different!) is very important. I don’t know if it is the responsibility of a pattern writer, but surely some tutorials in IK would be welcome. Also, the demographics of knitters is important: most of us are not youthful, many are over 50–of course we are delighted at the new generation of knitters like Eunny and co., but there is complexity in this issue!

  95. I agree with you, Teresa, Knitting-to-fit and knowing a bit about Styling-to-suit one’s shape and size (they are different!) is very important. I don’t know if it is the responsibility of a pattern writer, but surely some tutorials in IK would be welcome. Also, the demographics of knitters is important: most of us are not youthful, many are over 50–of course we are delighted at the new generation of knitters like Eunny and co., but there is complexity in this issue!

  96. A bit late but have just finished my first ever blocking project after 30+ years of knitting.I needed to do it as the garment is knitted sideways in 4×4 rib 12ply yarn and my 6 feet daughter would not have been happy with a short cardigan.I haven’t removed the pins as yet as drying is taking a while in New Zealand winter weather.I work in a yarn shop and have been asking customers if they block and the answer is always “no, whats that”.
    Our patterns do not have the measurements set out like yours.Enjoying recieving the posts and have referred the site to others ,Thanks
    Elinor ,New Zealand

  97. Maybe there should be a sister magazine addressing plus sized women? Sounds like a real money maker based on the comments here. I wouldn’t mind seeing plus sized models accompany the current models, but I probably wouldn’t choose to knit something only shown in a plus size. Therein lies your dilema… With an entirely different magazine you could pull in experts on the topic of plus sized and really get it right. Does anything like that exist yet — somebody better corner that market quick! 🙂

  98. I would love information about ease – loose, fitted, snug, and definitions as to how much ease is allowed in the patterns. Other than that, I think the range of sizes is fine.

  99. Sandi,

    I think the biggest thing that needs to be added is the hip/stomach measurement, so we’ll know if those cardis or tunics will fit! I’m ten or so inches larger there then my bust.

    Also, I think a lot of people are confused about how the inches match up to a size. A helpful general sizing chart like you get on clothing websites at the beginning of the magazine or a section on the website would probabl be VERY helpful.

  100. Woah! I agree with almost every comment here. One of my pet hates are garments that have obviously been sized-up by someone who doesn’t appreciate women who are bigger in the bust/belly/bottom do not usually have corresponding extra-large line-backer sized shoulders! Adding 12 inches evenly all round doesn’t work.

  101. I am with everyone else here – bigger hips than bust. Straight garments are not appropriate;A-shaped are better. I would like to see adjustments built in for added hip size. You always see added length, but never bigger hips.

  102. You state that the patterns are sized for up to 48 or over 50 in bust, but if my memory is correct, this is the finished size of the garment, not the size of the intended wearer. It would be helpful if the amount of ease is included in the pattern.

  103. Maybe you need some true plus sized women on your staff if you think that a 48″ finished chest is a plus size. I remember reading that the AVERAGE size for American women is a size 14 which is a bust (body measurement) of 39?” With 2-4″ of ease, this average sized woman is going to need a sweater with a finished chest of about 43″. A size 18 (which is 2 sizes larger than average & still at the large end of regular sizes) has a body bust measurement of 43″ which would fit quite comfortably in your largest size of 48″ finished chest. Do you really think that a size 18 or 20 is the high end of the plus size? If anything, you have made a small dent in the low end of the plus size range. And how many of the sweaters that you cite as having finished chest measurements of 48 or 50″ are cardigans? Obviously cardigans need even more ease because they are generally meant to be worn over other clothes which increase the actual bust measurement that they need to cover. I love the cover cardigan on the current IK but a 48″ chest is justs not big enough (& I am at the low end of plus sizes). I am tired of paying for magazines & seeing cute patterns that I would have to make extensive alterations to in order to have them fit. I had actually not intended to renew my IK subscription because of this issue (my SO saw the renewal notice & sent it in). Maybe you should follow the lead of Vermont Fiber designs which provides a wide range of sizes – XXS to 5XL – generally finished chest of 30″ to 70″ for a cardigan (altho some come XS-5XL – 34″ – 66″ finished chest for a pullover). That size range would cover most plus sizes rather than just some of the “smaller” pluses. And remember a cardigan with a 48″ finished chest is smaller than a pullover with a 48″ finished chest – probably a whole size smaller.

  104. i think Interweave does an excellent job at providing plus sizes for majority of the patterns..I wish some of the others would follow suit. you all are so fantastic.

  105. Just to chime in and echo what everyone else is saying, I totally understand how hard it is to please everyone and come up with the right size. I love how Knits always mentions what size the model is wearing, but I always find myself wanting to know what size the models bust is. It really is tricky to guess the amount of ease on some sweaters in print. I think some articles on fit would be very helpful for readers. Sometimes there are complaints that you only have directions for a size 31″ or 34″ bust, when the knitter has a 32″ bust. We could all use a little help with understanding ease, and how to customize our knits.

  106. Just one more request for intended ease in IK patterns. I can usually tell from the picture but not always. I guess there’s the matter personal preference re: ease.

  107. I’d like smaller sizes! I always have to knit the smallest pattern size, and sometimes I’d like to knit one smaller to have less ease, or if I’m having gauge issues sometimes it’s easier just to go down a size.

    And I second the “curvy knitters” above – I may have a 32″ chest but my waist is tiny and my hips somewhat larger, which puts me firmly in the hourglass category. I can generally tell from the picture whether something is going to suit me, but if something’s going to suit a curvy girl, then by all means use a curvy model!

  108. I agree very much with the ease issue. Also the sizing (up and down too) does not give us nice fitting and looking garments. I am 5’8” with a 56” bust. Waist and hips are almost the same. I do not feel comfortable with ruffles and frills but I do love lace.
    I found that proportions are also very important. For example the length- width ratio of a garment make me feel bad when my sweater back or front measures several inches less in length than in width.
    I saw an article in Threads Magazine many years (and moves 🙂 ) ago that explained it wonderfully. May be IK could do a similar feature at some time.
    And yes please use larger models for plus size garments and also petites for petite size whenever possible. It would make a lot of us out here very happy!

  109. I agree very much with the ease issue. Also the sizing (up and down too) does not give us nice fitting and looking garments. I am 5’8” with a 56” bust. Waist and hips are almost the same. I do not feel comfortable with ruffles and frills but I do love lace.
    I found that proportions are also very important. For example the length- width ratio of a garment make me feel bad when my sweater back or front measures several inches less in length than in width.
    I saw an article in Threads Magazine many years (and moves 🙂 ) ago that explained it wonderfully. May be IK could do a similar feature at some time.
    And yes please use larger models for plus size garments and also petites for petite size whenever possible. It would make a lot of us out here very happy!

  110. I also have difficulty getting the right fit. I am in the middle of knitting a fitted vest. The pattern is sized just right for my bust, waist and hips however the length is off. It was designed for someone with a short waist. I’ve realized this after knitting to the underarm steek and I don’t really know how to go back and fix the issue. Do I add a couple more inches of ribbing when I’m done? I think it would be nice to see a length measurement from underarm to hip. At 5’7″ I measure in at a 38″ bust 30″ waist and 38″ hip. I think boxy shaped garmets make me look bigger than what I really am.

  111. Thank you so much this poll about sizing! One of the reasons I was drawn to knitting in the first place was the hope of finally ending up with something that fit! That hasn’t turned out to be as easy as I’d hoped, but I haven’t given up yet!

    I’d LOVE to see the intended ease mentioned along with the patterns! Or at least the amount of ease (positive or negative) used to get the fit on the model.

    I’ll also put in another plug not to forget the smaller sizes. I’m tallish, just under a 34″ bust and not flat-chested — there’s curve in that measurement. So many patterns out there seem to be written only for larger people! It’s hard to find one that doesn’t fit me like a shapeless sack and hides the fact that I really do have a shape under there somewhere!

    From the long list of comments here already, I’d guess a lot of us of all sizes would love some direction on how to look as good as possible with what we’ve got!

    I’ve really been enjoying Knitting Daily, btw — it’s been a great find! Thanks so much for all your hard work — it’s much appreciated!

  112. There is a major study being undertaken here in Australia by a tertiary institution on sizng and how our shapes are changing – it is intended that the results be used by the fashion industry. This could be good news for knitters!

  113. My problem isn’t that my size is not included. My problem is that I don’t know how much ease to incorporate when selecting a size. I can’t just look at a picture in a certain magazie we all love and say, “ah yes 3″ of ease for this one and 2″ negative ease for that one.” Any help with this issue would be appreciated.

  114. It might be a nice idea to take a sweater that’s been modeled by a smaller woman and make an identical in the plus size and have it modeled by a plus sized woman. I can’t see there being a problem with two pictures of the same sweater on two differently shaped models. If one or two garments an issue was done like this, it could be quite a selling point for IK.

  115. I agree that hip measurement should be considered, as well as torso length. I have no waist, with my ribs sitting only 1 finger width from my hip bones. I also wish some of the “plus” sized sweaters would be photographed on a “plus” size model. What looks good on a skinny lady, in the magazine, doesn’t look the same on a larger one.

  116. I am from England and a few years ago Dawn French (the actress) brought out a couple of knitting books for big ladies called Big Knits and Great Big Knits. Now that is what I am talking about when I talk about plus sizes! And the designs were fantastic but finite. We big girls need more please!!

  117. (That’s my post above this, ending at 4. Don’t know why)… hourglass trying to learn to live with a 32F bust instead of hiding everything in an XL tee. Comments in a pattern telling me if it’s appropriate to consider inserting bust-shaping and/or waist shaping and where/how to do so would be helpful. I need to learn to customise; and despite reading lots of books I’d be very grateful for some hand-holding.

  118. Could sizing also bear in mind those of us with wide backs, long arms and flat chests? It’s disappointing to start a project and find that the larger sizes assume plenty out front!

  119. I am UK based, and your magazine (and to be fair, US ones in general) are MUCH better at providing for the bigger sizes than our homegrown ones. When ever a designer here is tackled about this issue, they say they get only get paid to provide instructions for 5 sizes and that magazines (and presumably yarn companies) won’t pay for any more, so they would be doing the extra ones free of charge. Obviously if this is the case, everyone needs to have a re-think, as there is clearly a need out there and we aren’t all up to re-sizing instructions by ourselves.
    Nevertheless, well done to you for at least trying to address this issue.

  120. Wow. Have all the bases been covered or what? I also wanted to comment that waist and hip size should have been included in the sizing survey. Sweaters sized for plus sizes should be modeled by plus sized gals. A tutorial on where to alter a kniting pattern would be great. I refer to my sewing experience for hints, but not everyone sews. This forum is great Sandi. Keep up the excellent work!
    T. Smith

  121. Thanks for considering sizing. But wait! It’s not just bust sizing…it’s hip sizing too. Truly, I know you can’t modify every pattern for every shape, but don’t forget the pear shaped around us.

  122. Just wanted to say, great fall issue! P.S. I had noticed Eunny had not updated her knitting blog since she took this new position. I feel more than compensated by this fall issue! 🙂

  123. Size is surely an issue. My big gripe is about style. As a 2X woman, I really wouldn’t be caught dead in a chunky knit…I HAVE abundance, I don’t need more. I’ll look at a garment, ready-made or pattern, and say oh, cute. I like that…only to find it is not in my size. Or I look for MY size to find that designers think I lost my sense of style when I gained weight or seem to think I stay home and only need casual clothes. It would be nice if we ALL had the same options.

  124. Hi I just had to post about the size thing. My bust is a 54″-56″ depending on the day. The problem that I have with the plus sizing is that while the FINISHED size of the pieces might go up that far there would be no ease built into that sweater. Also in ready made and sewing patterns I wear mostly a 3x but in knit and crochet patterns a 3x can often be more like a 50″ bust. Hope this helps. PS I would have liked space on the survey to write this.

  125. It’s not just the bust size… I have HUGE hips that some patterns don’t account for. Sometimes I need maternity (waist) sizing – just to have it fit the way I want. I have to alter ALL my patterns!

  126. Here’s a solution for those of us that are bustier and have a shorter distance between bust and shoulders. Why not do an article on how to adjust a knit or crochet pattern to fit the individual. There are many patterns that have been printed not just in magazines that people would love to knit but the size is too small. Finally, please remember many years ago the fashion industry decided to switch the size scale, because of the increase of eating disorders. A size 12 today was a size 8 or 10 10 to 15 yrs ago.

  127. I totally agree with all of the above comments. I am a size 4x pear shape and can rarely find patterns to fit me, or that look good on a plus size woman of 50. I have tried to upsize patterns over the years with not much success. Please help us. I do love your magazine and have been with you since the premeir issue. I also like to use my handspun yarns and would appreciate wraps per inch measurements of the yarn used so that I can make yarn to match the garment. Keep up the good work.

  128. Please, please, please, show intended ease with the patterns! I often can’t tell from the picture of the project how much ease is necessary to make my sweater fit like the project. And I agree with the postings above that the smaller sizes should stay too; I often have to make the smallest size of a project, and I know plenty of people, including lots of my relatives, who want me to knit for them, who are smaller in the bust than me. Petite people knit too!

  129. Wow, so many comments from everyone, it’s amazing to see them all. I’m a 3X and aside from all of the different fitting problems that we all face, I have to say that it’s difficult to see a lot of those sweaters in my mind when they are on a model that’s a size two. Since it’s well known that half or more of the adult population is in the larger size catagory, it might be better to show them on larger models. Also, the designs of the sweaters that are so cutsie on a smaller woman aren’t necessarily that great on those of us who are larger. Maybe you could address that issue while you’re rifling through this growing list of comments. I bet you never thought you’d see all these.

  130. So here is my ever problem: I am 41″ at the chest and 46″ at the hips. Yes, bottom heavy. This is always a pain for me because I have to do the larger size for the bottom and then figure out how to taper down to the next smaller size for the top. Does anyone else have this problem and have a good solution? (besides running…)

  131. I agree with alot of these knitters. I am short waisted with hips bigger than bust. If I knit to fit of my hips so that the sweater isn’t stretched to kingdom come then the bust is completely too big. I have 36″ bust and a 40″ hip. Pear-shapped knitting is hard.

  132. My two cents are that you offer plenty of size options and that knitter need to be realistic about their bodies and what fits them AND what suits them. Knitters perhaps also could benefit from lessons on how to customize patterns. You guys can’t do all the work for us, it would be impossible anyway to write instructions that custom-fit every design to every possible body type. Ladies (and gents?), get real!

  133. Sandy,
    Your survey is a good beginning. When making a garment, it is not just about bust size, hip size or sex.

    We can have long or short arms. Long or short torso.
    Waist smaller than bust or hips, waist larger than bust or hips.

    Also a lot of us knit the basic garment, then crochet around the edges. Some of the crochet adds strength to the garment. Some adds feminine touches. You may want to ask more in depth questions.

    I love what you’ve been doing. I know we all appreciate your efforts to find out how we are really built, and how we need our garments to fit.

    Keep up the Good work!


  134. These stats are very interesting. It appears as if there are more patterns geared to the larger sizes than the smaller. As a 5 foot, thin woman, I would love to see more of the patterns in smaller sizes and also notes explaining where best to adjust for “petiteness”. So many stores are now carrying petite clothing, can’t knitting patterns also accommodate us short people?

  135. I think it’s easily forgotten that there is a difference between “Misses” sizes and “Womens” sizes – they are cut just a little differently to allow for someof the “extra’s” we women have. I love the fact that you have been offering more extended sizing in your patterns! I look forward to learning more about how to alter patterns to accomodate special sizing needs -either up or down. Thanks for bringing this issue to the table!

  136. It would be most useful to indicate with patterns how much ease the designer anticipates. Then we would know what size to choose. Now it’s Russian Roulette!

  137. One problem with sizing in IK (and other knitting patterns) is that they are based on bust size, and usually assume the wearer is roughly the same size at bust and hips. I’m 4 inches wider at the hips (down from a 6 inch difference before I lost some weight), while the adult daughter I knit for is 2 inches broader on top. It’s fairly simple to modify most knitting patterns for differences like this (start one size, increase or decrease to another), but very intimidating to beginners. Since it’s impractical to include directions in every pattern, maybe one solution would be a tutorial on-line, with a link listed on the techniques page of every issue. I know I first learned how to make these alterations from an article in IK a number of years ago.

  138. I think my best way to comment is to tell you about my current situation: I’m making the Nantucket Jacket from last winter. I have Narrow Shoulders, a 41″ bust, a 32″ waist, and short, skinny arms. I’ve done some alterations that I HOPE will work, but it’s scary knowing that after all this work, they might not. On the other hand, being able to make those alterations and find something that really FITS is part of what I LOVE about knitting. More than addnl. sizes, I’d love to see a couple of articles about things like bust darts etc. to customize with and tips on finishing/blocking a sweater that may have some “special” needs as I try and fit all this together.

  139. I just submitted my bust size for your survey. You may want to consider hip measurements as a sub-category. After consulting Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ “Knitting in the Old Way”, I don’t want to make a sweater with a “waistband”. P.S. Glad I don’t subscribe to Vogue Knitting anymore!

  140. This is a comment about the sizing. I can find a size that fits but not the style. Propotionately I have a large chest won’t make a sweater that doesn’t have a V neck. My skills are not developed enough to change patterns to a V neck style. Could you include more V necks or maybe give two versions of a sweater or 2 so I can learn how to change the pattern myself. Also, I’d really like to learn to adjust a vest pattern (more of those are V neck) to add sleeves. Thanks! I really enjoy Knitting Daily.

  141. Good Morning Everyone:

    I just took the survey about sizing! I have no problem with your sizing; I just take into consideration that a size number on one garment may not be the same sizing on another garment, due to style, yarn weight, etc. As long as you know what your bra size is (and that differs among bra manufacturers/styles) you shouldn’t have a problem. As a knitter and a sewer; I have found that many women do not properly know how to measure themselves for a bra; there are many things to take into consideration. Many of us get stuck on a “number”, what we have to be.

    Thank you.

  142. I agree with some of the comments above that the photos could be the issue with sizing – if I can’t imagine myself in the knit, I’m not going to make it. You guys need some spectacular plus-sized models!

  143. About the sizing…perhaps the problem is those people who are shaped like apples?…so you have a bust of 40 and a waist of 42?
    Also, I would like to know if the garments we see in Interweave Knits are actually “handmade” or made by machine? So often the yarn projects in LYS have been sent by the yarn company and they are machine made – the hand knit version looks and sizes differently!

  144. I have a comment concerning the magazine. I absolutely love this magazine well above and beyond all others I’ve read. My only comment is that it would be nice to see models with a chest model some of these clothes. While the women are beautiful and elegant and look lovely in the garments it is hard for me to imagine my 38C in some of the clothes. For example in the Fall Issue there is a sweet cardigan done in a chunky white yarn that I love, but I am concerned that with my chest size it might not look quite right. A greater variety of models would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  145. I just wanted to say that visualization may contribute to the sizing problem. You may offer them in plus sizes, but if they are always seen on small models it becomes hard to see how they could possibly look as good on a larger woman. Not saying that is true, but it is probably part of the problem. Just like some people have a problem seeing a project in materials or colors outside of the ones used for a project.

  146. Just one more thought on the issue of ease. Often in IK we are told what the finished bust of the garment being modeled is. However, we are NEVER told what the bust of the model measures. I think all of the women (and men) in the magazine are beautiful, and they are often the same from issue to issue. Giving detailed measurements of their bodies can help all of us resize where needed.

    Also, something as simple as a basic guide for each pattern (something like that on the back of the Vogue sewing patterns) could be VERY helpful. For example… If the garment is designed for someone who is an hourglass and you are more of an apple – probably not the best choice for you. Just a few simple graphics that can be added without taking away vital space for the good stuff! 🙂

  147. On the sizing issue, I think the missing info is the amount of ease in each sweater. It would be so useful to know how the designer came up with their sizing. In my perfect world, each pattern would describe how much ease a designer intended a sweater to have and whether the size given is for the knitter’s actual size (so the designer has determined the amount of ease I will get) or if the size reflects the finished product (so I can decide for myself how much ease I will get in my sweater).

  148. As long as you are working on sizing…how about petites…sleeve lengths and body lengths are always too long and patterns need to be adjusted…petite versions are just as important as plus versions…just a suggestion

  149. It’s not just bust; if you are tall many sizes need significant adjustment; if you are 6 feet tall you are more likely have a 48 inch bust but less likly to be happy with a 20ish inch length (cropped styles are a bummer!)

  150. I don’t think there’s anything I could possibly add to all the comments about size, fit, ease, and design. Add my name to the list of big-busted but proportionally small-waisted people, though. For me to knit a design, it must have waist shaping (or a stitch pattern that makes it easy to add), and it can’t have spaghetti straps, a low back, or a high neck.

    It was interesting to read about the photo shoot, and I’m very very pleased to learn that you don’t pin or otherwise alter the appearance of the garments. This will definitely help me in my decision-making!

  151. I work in a women’s clothing store that sells from size 3 to 24 and I know everyone is different. Just because your a size 5 doesn’t mean you automatically fit everything. Take myself and my coworker. She is about 6″ taller than me but has to wear petite length pants, while I am 5’2″ and wear regular length. We are both fairly busty but my cleavage is higher meaning I have to rock the layer look. Both of us for exaple could do with knowing how much ease a sweater was designed with as we could chose to have it fit looser or tighter in the bust but still have some body shaping.

  152. I think I might be able to provide clarification on the “more plus sizes” requests. Many times there are patterns that us plus size gals LOVE, but they don’t go up to our size. Even though Interweave does offer a nice variety of plus size patterns, I personally would like to see every pattern modified to go into the plus sizes. When we knitters say “more plus sizes!” what we really mean is “create all patterns so the big girls can wear them too”!

    I love Knitting Daily, and look forward to receiving your emails in my inbox. Please keep it up!


    is a pretty good wakeup call. I AM average-5’4″ size 12-14. A plus sized petite, as the charts go.

    And everyone keeps touching on it…if your whole staff went to the store, some women would go to Misses, some to Plus, some to Juniors, and some to Petites.

    I think printing a block explaining ease and fitting would be appropriate in EVERY issue. I also think a piece on fitting and measurements would be handy. I KNOW my knits look better if I shorten the sleeves, establish a waist, and reduce the length. It sounds like many of your knitters don’t adjust or don’t know to adjust for fit. Newer knitters tend to follow a pattern exactly. Some people may not know how to adjust, and that’s another opportunity altogether.

    It’s more than just boobage.

  154. Hi there! I wonder if some of the sizing confusion is due to 2 things: people’s uncertainty about whether the measurements given are finished garment size or bust size, and perhaps also that a number of the designs, while offered in larger sizes, aren’t actually designed to flatter larger body shapes (i.e. they look better on more svelte bodies). Cheers!

  155. Another thought to put into the mix – not all styles are suitable for all sizes – that’s must as important a consideration. Thank you so much for this – I am really enjoying all the tidbits you are including in your newsletter.

  156. As in The Knit Stitch by Sally Melville (and other publications), I’d like to see that small sweater schematic showing Standard Fit, Oversized Fit, etc. Also, I’d like every pattern to include gauge in stockinette stitch. I do a lot of adjusting and these 2 pieces of info would really help. I also like knowing the size the model is wearing. Thanks from a gal whose hips are bigger than her chest!

  157. So many thoughtful comments already… I think it would add a lot to the magazine to include one or two patterns each issue that are specifically designed for larger figures. It’s not so different from providing patterns designed for men and babies. One women’s design idea can’t really be all things to all people. Also, good yarn isn’t cheap and I would feel more confident investing in the materials knowing that the finished garment will look good and fit properly. I love the clean look of the magazine and great photographs. However, the unrelenting parade of lovely waifs modeling IK sweaters can get discouraging (the scary skinny model who graced the Spring 2006 cover nearly caused me to cancel my subscription). Thanks for listening!

  158. Another vote for tutorials on ease and altering patterns to fit your shape. Love the idea of the same sweater on two or three very differently sized models. If your design is good, it’ll look good on all of them. You don’t have to do this for every pattern, but one an issue would be incredibly helpful to all of us.

  159. I love IK but I also find that more plus sizes would be welcome. My bust is in the 46-48 range, so I need about a 50″ finished chest. My hips are 50″ so I almost always have to alter anything that fits below high hip. You should check out the Ample Knitters group on Yahoo (which replaced Shelda’s group when she retired from it about a year ago). There are plenty of very large women out there who have learned design skills because almost no one is designing for them. I am lucky enough to be in a fringe group where I can almost always make something I really want fit properly without huge design changes. You should know that I am a relatively small person compared to many on the AK list. There are a lot of women on that list who never knit for themselves because they feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to RE-design something so that they could wear it! I hope this provides some food for thought.

  160. I have a suggestion for the site. I’d like to have the option to see a larger version of the pattern photo. It’s hard to see details in such a small image. Thanks!

  161. Hello! My bust measurement is 34-36″ and my greatest challenge in sizing/altering knit patterns to fit me is actually my line-backer shoulders. Are there tips and tricks on how to accommodate large shoulders that are bodied with a small bust? Perhaps shoulder shaping short rows? I’d love some theory and tips on how to accomplish that, it will also help the under-arm bunching, I’d guess.

  162. I would like to comment regarding the questions on size. I am a petite woman and love the fact that most of your designs go small enough for me….please don’t change that!!

  163. A significant issue with the sizing offered, is the overall fit of the garment.
    The result of grading a pattern up by simply increasing everything by a % typically makes the shoulders and neckline too big. The bust may fit, but everthing above that ends up looking “sloppy”.

  164. Great Topic! As an aspiring designer the comments here are very helpful to read!

    I’m in the middle of the size range, 36″ bust (medium) and generally average sized so your sizes do ususally work for me. And BTW: Love the new photo style!

    Now that I’m getting into designing though I’ve been looking at shaping issued differently.

    Something I’ve noticed (and I think was mentioned here) is that most of the garments are designed with a medium or there abouts in mind and then sized up and down to fit the rest of the range. How about offering 1-2 patterns per issue designed for the really small sizes (and sized up for the rest) and 1-2 designed with the Goddess size woman in mind and then sized down for the rest of us? Afterall, the shaping, pattern, stitch and motif that look great on a medium size aren’t neccesarily right for someone tiny or Goddess sized. I’m thinking things like necklines, drape, cable placements etc that may accentuate one size may be too much on another size and vice versa.

  165. I just completed the poll, and wanted to add that while my chest is 42″, I am a D cup, that is much of that measurement is right there in the front. I’d love it if patterns could make if easier to know when to start short rows to adjust for this extra depth. The rest of my body is about a size medium, so using the large/xlarge pattern for a size 42 bust leaves me with a garment I can swim in…..

  166. I’m SO glad to see you’re paying attention about “plus” sizes. My bust is 51″ and I (and the vast majority of plus size women I know) want more than negative ease for their sweaters!!! Trust me, none of us want to see the fat rolls displayed by sweaters that hug every curve. Let’s say a minimum of 2″ of ease, that makes a finished 53″ bust sweater and those are few and far between in your magazine. While I love many of the designs, I don’t find many of them are ones I’d make for myself.

  167. I see there are many thoughtful posts before me. I will add that while my bust is about 44″, my hips are close to 60″. Boxy, straight styles do nothing for me. Also, the larger sizes do fit the bust– but often only the bust. The neckline and shoulders are usually far too big/loose. And while I have smallish shoulders, I have heavy upper arms, so sleeves are often too tight in that area. What I need are more skills for designing/altering an existing pattern, but it seems so overwhelming I don’t start.
    I did design one sweater (my first) using the Knitters’ Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. It fits quite well. But having to re-do every design I see in the magazines is disheartening.

  168. A common problem that I find in magazines is that patterns either note the finished size or note the bust size that it is intended to fit. I would like to see patterns always list both so that we know how much ease is intended for a pattern.

  169. Personally, IW is an excellent magazine, but I have found that I stray away from purchasing/ordering a subscription because most of the designs are geared toward the younger generation. I am 54 and would not make even a 1/4 of what is in the magazine because I can only picture younger, skinny, and small framed young ladies with flat bellies! We in the “glorious age years” are looking for patterns that flatter larger tummies, and longer lengths to “hide” hips. Looser items that do not have fitted to the body as we are not in the position to do that! After 3 babies, there are just some items on the body that are not going away and I personally am tired of always having to redesign and never being satisfied with the end result. Again, the magazine is great, but still lacks in patterns that “actually” flatter the over average person.

  170. Hi Sandi,
    One thing I always look for in a sweater pattern is an indicator of the amount of ease planned for in the design. Does a 36″ bust need a 40″ sweater or will 38″ be right, or 42″…Having this information really helps!

  171. what to add? I’d love to know how to alter a garment to fit. I have a small bust and waist, and like to have a fitted waist on my garments so my bust doesn’t disappear. Some of the items in IK are just a straight cut, which might work well for some shapes, but not for me. I’d like to know at what point I should start decreasing and then increasing again to create a fitted garment. Is there a formula for this? Another thing: I feel like sometimes your garments don’t fit your models very well. It looks snug or big or just for a different shape than the model is. I don’t know your process, but I imagine that the garments are knit by your designers, who probably have a specific person (and their measurements) in mind. When the garment doesn’t look good on the model, I’m a lot less likely to make it. (One last TOTALLY unrelated note: is there some way to search the patterns on Knitting Daily by type of garment instead of just by skill level?)

  172. Really good schematic drawings of the garments are helpful in determining wearing ease. Every critical measurement from upper arm to armhole depth to waist and hip and the length to the waist from the shoulder help to determine which size I knit. Thanks for the conversation.

  173. The plus size knitters could use a series on fitting. Some information on bust darts the extends beyond a D cup. Patterns could include information regarding their ease–what is necessay to rewrite and achieve the same end result. How do you define S, M, L, and XL? That information helps us significantly as we choose sizes and alter the patterns to fit. And sleeves… altering a sleeve can be frightening the first time that you do it. And then there’s that first time you mis-calcuated and you have to frog the whole thing. Plus siz knitting does not have to be plain, simple or loose and sloppy.

  174. I would like to echo Lynn G’s post. For some reason the sewing industry has kept sizing standards for what seems like eons. I wear about a size 6 sewing pattern. I am quite petite (5’1″, 97lbs) but have a proper BMI: I am not a waif! I understand that some of the curvier women would like representation, but I would throw up a flag of caution that in the run to accomodate the godesses (which I agree with) you don’t forget us wood nymphs. The retail industry has left us in the dust. Like Lynn G I often have to go to the girls department to find a pair of shorts. But good luck on fitting my hourglass figure in anything of a skirt/dress nature there. Seems strange that I can pick up any sewing pattern and still make it, but I have seen my “wardrobe sizing” change from a 2 to a 1 to a 0 to a child’s 12 in the past 5 years without changing a bit myself. New day, same measurements (32 24 33), but new sizing tag. Sorry to go on a rant. I think IW does an impressive job and seems to really care about its clientele. I have a feeling in another few years I am going to have to sew/knit all of my garments since the retail market has left the petites out to dry- at least I know y’all will have my back. Thanks

  175. I notice you list the size pattern that the model is wearing in your magazine. That’s great, but it doesn’t tell me what size the model is! I would like to see this expanded to “the model is wearing a 32, and is a size 4 in most tops”. This would give me so much more information, because it’s hard to tell what size a model is from the pictures!


  176. Another vote for telling model bust size, ease, figure shape.

    I’m glad that so many people have got to the skill level in clothing where they would profit from a fitting tutorial. My grandmother would be proud that I’m learning the things she couldn’t get her daughters to take an interest in.

    I definitely noticed that the pictures in Fall ’07 were better about focusing on those details you really really need to see. Thanks so much!

  177. I’d like to join the many voices asking for the recommended ease to be part of the pattern. It’s nice to know that the size modelled in the picture is a 34

  178. How about a special issue, like the Felt issue, using some of the great ideas I’ve been reading? I don’t know what your time line is on special issues (I certainly don’t want to wait two years to get some of these answers), but if you can’t change every issue, then perhaps give us one devoted to the subject?

  179. I believe that a good part of the problem is not in the range of sizes, but in the DESIGN of many of the garments. Knits? small-busted models look great in everything. But a fabulous pattern that looks good on a willowy model with a small bust won’t necessarily look good on a, say, 36C, even if it is the ?correct size.? I love reading all the patterns, they inspire me. However, I wouldn?t consider knitting/wearing 95% of them simply due to their design not being suitable for my (I believe to be rather normal) body type.

    Thanks for asking. I love your mag & post, keep up the good work.

    –Robin A

  180. A comment about plus sizing—-I often find that pattern designs consider 46-48″ FINISHED measurement as plus size. Obviously, this doesn’t work! I’m about a 48 inch actual bust size which means that my FINISHED size must be 50-56 depending on the design and the amount of ease suggested by the designer. I think this is where some of the frustration occurs. I’m sure I’m not alone in this and frankly, I’m on the smaller end of what many would consider plus size. Obviously, some designs are not made for us and there is as important a need to continue to have garments designed for those who are more petite. However, it is important to also have designs that are particularly flattering to larger sizes as well. Nora Gaughan seems to get this particularly well!

    Carol P.

  181. okay, the end of my comment was cut off. But what i was trying to say is that without knowing the ease, it doesn’t really help me to know what size the model is wearing.

  182. Well as a plus size person I think you do a great job particularly compared to books and other publications that seem to forget us all together. But like everyone, I always want MORE.

  183. I just had a conversation on a blog about this same issue. First, I want to say that while it is great that many of your patterns do have instructions for larger sizes the problem comes into style. I am a larger and very curvy woman. I have a great hour glass figure and I want to knit sweaters that are going to compliment that. So many of the patterns you see that come in the larger sizes lack any shape. I am not saying I want something that is going to be skin tight or body hugging but something that has shaping to it that will flatter the body.

    Necklines are another issue. High necks and turtlenecks are generally extremely unflattering on a larger woman. If you have a round face or a double chin the higher neck lines just serve to showcase them.

    The other major issue I have seen with many knitting patterns is embelishment. Things like heavy ribbing over the stomach and breasts which will stretch and distort is a major problem. Also, design elements like large cables running directly over the breasts can be a problem. The easiest of all problems I have seen to correct are horizontal stripes; which, tend to just make a larger woman look broader.

    Articles with information on how to adjust patterns for arm and shoulder size would be great. Also, how to adjust a pattern for to compensate for your body type.

    At the end of the day, though, sometimes you just want to be able to see a pattern that is going to look fabulous on you without major adjustments. I don’t want to have to alter the shaping and neckline on every item I go to knit. In the end the results of that is just me altering a pattern so much that it is no longer the original sweater but one of my own design and let’s face it I am not a good enough knitter yet to be a pattern designer.

  184. Reference Sizing: the body dimensions are usually ok and easily adjustable but we ‘older ones’ can be prone to “sagging
    arms” and would appreciate an easy with or length adjustment. I avoid those short-short sleeve young things.

  185. Thanks for the efforts!I think mine is a problem with visualization. Even if the pattern will fit my hips/bust, I am fearful of the outcome when the model is obviously not the same size I am. Many things I see and admire are met with a “*sight* Looks good on HER” and a turn of the page.

  186. I don’t have problems with the sizing for most sweaters for myself (although I could stand to lose a few, ah many, pounds), it is for the MEN in my life. DH has a 54-inch chest, oldest son is 6’6″, middle son is 6’4″ and still growing – you get where I’m going with this. I love many of the men’s sweaters in Interweave Knits (as does my DH), but my skill level is not quite up to adding up to 6-inches to the chest measurement of a sweater. Bigger size ranges in men’s sweaters would be great!

  187. I just have to endorse the size/ease/intended to fit thing. I would love to see 44″ intended to fit bust size 38″-42″ type thing. Even though I know my bust size, I am never quite sure if I should go up a size to get the ease I like, or if the sweater has plenty of ease in it. Like most I am a tad disinclined to pay a lot of attention to patterns with negative ease or those that are cropped in such a manner to show off the fact I have a roundish belly. For the most part, I like the designs I have seen, I just wish I could understand sizing a little better, and I think the intended ease would help a LOT with that.

  188. Thank you Interweave for thinking of us Plus Sized ladies. May I make one further suggestion. This is based on how to alter and fit sewn garments. If you could print with the illustrations what the exact finished measurements (once the garments are seamed). A good start would be Bust – Waist – Hip – Back length.
    While I have seen your schematics with the measurements, it’s a little difficult for me to tell how to read them as a newer knitter.
    Another question would be to print how much

  189. Thank you Interweave for thinking of us Plus Sized ladies. May I make one further suggestion. This is based on how to alter and fit sewn garments. If you could print with the illustrations what the exact finished measurements (once the garments are seamed). A good start would be Bust – Waist – Hip – Back length.

  190. I think your patterns do cover a large range of sizes. I like the idea of IK doing a series on how to modify sizing especially for different body types. I am shaped like a bosc pear no matter how much I weigh (bust 8 inches smaller than lower hip). I don’t want a sweater that is huge in the bust or tight in the hip–how do I adjust the pattern of a more or less traditionally fitted sweater so it looks good?

    I have also found that negative ease in knits is no joke, even when I don’t want a tight fit, and I think there are many, many knitters who don’t believe that. They add a lot of ease, even more than is required for a woven fabric. I’ve been guilty of this, and I finally measured a whole bunch of knit tops and sweaters of mine that I had purchased, while trying them on!, and now I know that I had been knitting sweaters one to two sizes too large, even when I wanted a “traditional” non-fitted look.

  191. I did your survey. I find that your patterns meet my size needs. One topic that would be nice to address as I am sure many women have this problem, would be bust size smaller than hips and in some women the reverse is true. Is there a way to increase around the hips that will not show in the knitting? Thanks Sue B

  192. Ditto on the comment of giving an icon with a pattern that shows what kind of body types the pattern flatters.
    I think though, reading these comments, you’ll never find a way to please all of the body types above via patterning. It’s necessary to learn the skills of pattern alteration. More articles or links to that affect would be marvelous.
    Suggestions: Polar fleece has many of the same qualities with regard to drape as does knitted fabric. Before setting out on a hugely expensive knitting project (jackets especially), if you have some sewing skills up your sleeve, measure your garment out in fleece, and sew up a quick garment that way.

  193. I’d like to ditto most of the above comments. My actual bust size is covered by your range pretty well, but I could use a) some indication of how much ease should be allowed, and b) some indication of whether the sweater that looks so cute on the model will still be cute when my boobs are factored in. The occasional sweater designed for plus-size rather than scaled up might be nice, too.

  194. I appreciate your concern, but didn’t think your survey was especially well thought-out. You will get a lot of information about who fits in relatively narrow categories in the smaller sizes, but the larger size just gets “62” and above.” As it that’s the end of the known universe. Here be dragons and all that.

    And as several other people have mentioned, bust size isn’t the whole of it!

  195. Ok, I had always thought that I knew how to measure my waist, but why is Kim measuring so high? She’s clear up around her ribcage!

    After having 3 kids, my tummy tone is not what I want it to be, and most of the patterns I’ve seen are very form fitting, and that’s not very flattering my mid section.

  196. I just took the fitting survey and want to add some comments. I am 59 years old and between plus size and large. I do have a prominent bust and don’t like showing cleavage. Most new styles in the stores and many in the magazine seem to high-light cleavage! to me at least. It is hard for me to find styles that are neither dowdy or too trendy/young. Please consider this when looking at new patterns and designs. I know it is hard to satisfy the broad cross-section of knitters.

  197. Wellll…, I took your “little” survey but its quite lacking. Whe you did your break down of sizes in past issues, you failed to mention how many “sweaters were lacy over throws, heavy shape hiding or what. Just bcause we have a bust or hips dosen’t mean we don’t deserve to have the oppotortunity to make up our own minds of whether the pattern is apporpriate for ourselves or whoever we may be making it for, ie… my daughter is 17 and has a 44″ bust but a 31″ waist and is 5’8”. So if I make “only” those sweaters that are available in her bust size she’ll look “FRUMPY”. We all look to Interweave to get us past the sterotype of you must be a size 4 or your obese. You count needs to take into account what the sweater/top “looks” like, Please.I know this is a bit of a vent but Interweve is the only one who seems to care. Thanks.

  198. You asked about plus size garments. Many times, published patterns for garments that are plus sized are those that are relatively easy to up-size but are not flattering to plus size figures. More often than not, those that would be flattering are not up-sized.

    Some of us are lucky enough to have hour-glass shapes and can pull off many garment styles but we apples and pears are severely limited by the style.

    Yes, you publish plus sizes but what good are they?
    I frequently wonder what editors are thinking about when they gave an ok to some of those garments.

  199. I am most disappointed with the lack of patterns designed to look GOOD on plus size women. I have noticed that your patterns are almost always sized large enough for me, but that many of them are not designed to flatter women with ample curves. Bulky yarn with huge stitches, sweaters with horizontal elements at the hips, body skimming knits, high necklines; all of these items are notoriously difficult for women who have larger than average model bodies. I also agree with the comments about ease…that is a VITAL addition. And I think that the shaping symbols in Big Girls Knits could be useful at every size…small girls want to accentuate boobs and butts too…just smaller ones!

  200. Oops, had a few more comments I wanted to make to the readers of the magazine. One thing that I do is find designers who are built like me and look more carefully at their patterns. I find that they often do a much better job with the larger sizes. Women like Annie Modesitt, Joan Michael-McGowan, Norah Gaughan (I have high hopes for Berocco’s patterns), Jill Vosburg at Just One More Row (I don’t know her size, but she seems to get it) do a great job of talking about patterns that will LOOK good on larger women. Check out the intro to the Basalt tank in Knitting Nature for an example.

  201. Yeah. What they said up there.

    Say a pattern says it covers size S,M,L,XL,2X,3X. A picture of that pattern in the largest and smallest size should prove it can be done – and that it looks good on at least SOME people who wear that size.

  202. I have a larger bust than hip measurement and it has made knits my choice of top in just about everything I make or buy. I understand very large people having frustration at size issues, but the very fact that they know how to knit gives them the power to adjust. I have had to do this on many occasions with European patterns that tend to write for a 36″ bust – period. All I can say is Gauge, gauge and gauge – either go up a needle size, use worsted if it calls for DK or add stitches based on the repeat number for the pattern. I always short row in the bust area like Sandy did on her Tomato sweater. Knitting is a process and as you get more experienced, you’ll find you are making quite a lot of adjustments. I do a 3 needle bind off on the shoulder, no matter what the pattern says. I make the neck higher, or lower by adding or decreasing the depth at which I start the neckline, armholes, etc, etc. It can be very helpful to tak a favorite garment that is flattering, trace it onto a paper bag and use that as a pattern. Knitting is only making fabric after all, fabric that is shaped as it is made rather than being cut out of whole cloth as sewing is done. If you think of it that way, you can LEAP outside the box as it were, and take the pattern as a rough guideline using it’s lace pattern, surface design or arrangement of cables while SHAPING it to what is going to fit YOU. That’s why I knit, for creativity and I consider the pattern a spark to get me going rather than a roadmap to lead me blindly from here to there.

  203. I think learning how to size up a pattern and how to size down a pattern is critical for everyone. There are ways to do it, be it needles, yarn weights, gauging up or down to use a particular type of yarn is how you do it. (I know that much) but the macination, the formulas, how much yarn to buy, are things I don’t know. Article like this will answer many of the comments provided by all these wonderful knitters. The great thing is you have an audience who really cares about these things and wants to know how to do these things are isn’t afraid of the challenges. If I may suggest, hit a few knitting stores and have seminars on not only what is good and bad about the patterns but to see who your audience is–you will see the range of individuals that buy your magazine.


  204. Now that I’m am down to a svelt 44″ bust and some publisher’s (like IK) are finally publishing patterns to accomodate a wide range of sizes, I can finally find patterns that have some hope of fitting me. But after decades of the largest size being 38 or 40″, us curvy gals have gotten in the habit of continually asking for stuff in our size. Perhaps that’s one reason for the flood of inquiries in your e-mailbox. Once again, I think IK is doing much better than it’s competitor’s, but sometimes the sweaters sized to fit curvy gals are, well, not so form fitting and stylish. It’s easy to knit a 50″ box, but we want great shaping so folks know we have a narrow waist, or whatever. Many plus-sized patterns are so unflattering! And finally, keep up the good work in trying to have most of your patterns written to fit the super petite to the not so petite. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a design only to discover it’s not written for you size–something us curvy gals have had way too much experience with.

  205. Speaking of pattern sizing…. Why is the back the same width as the front in almost every knitting pattern? To avoid creating a garment that stretches too much across the bust and is saggy in the back, I have tried knitting a larger sized front, but then the smaller sized back doesn’t fit with the shoulders and sleeves. Am I crazy, or do boobs generally add inches to the front? I know I’m not the only one in this country with a 34DDD bra size (average back with big bust). What do the women with bigger cups than mine do??? Will the magazine ever print instructions to fit us?

  206. Well, firstly I would like to say just how ecstatic I am with the new mag; Eunny, you rock! I’ve been reading it instead of writing an essay for uni. Secondly, I am a young, small!, fashion-forward girl who also happens to adore knitting but unfortunately there are very few hand-knitted things out there that I would a) want to wear or b) would actually fit me. If sizes 28-32″ were to be included, I would be very grateful! It would be great to see an assortment of trad and trendy within the magazine. I think that this latest issue has come the closest to that, leaving the frumpy, boring and out-of-date on the needles and in the closet. I have never ended up subscribing to IK because too often I am disappointed with what I find and don’t bother buying one but that may change if it keeps going in the direction of the latest instalment. I agree with the earlier posts, that it would be great to know if a pattern can be altered, how to alter it and the size of the model (perhaps in inches and centimetres, rather than dressmakers size as those vary from country to country), and not just the size of the garment.

  207. I am sooo glad to hear you say that you don’t pin the clothes in any way. This is a major grievance of mine, as I really need to know how things fit before I invest the time to make them.

  208. Regarding the sizing questionnaire, Interweave Knits usually doesn’t give the S, M, L, XL equivalents for patterns, but uses instead only the inch measurements. I would like to see the S, M, L, etc. used also. Sometimes it’s hard to know if the size range begins with S or XS. This also gives an idea of how much ease is included in the design.

  209. Regarding the sizing questionnaire, Interweave Knits usually doesn’t give the S, M, L, XL equivalents for patterns, but uses instead only the inch measurements. I would like to see the S, M, L, etc. used also. Sometimes it’s hard to know if the size range begins with S or XS. This also gives an idea of how much ease is included in the design.

  210. I think the range of sizes is fine, but I really wish you’d include more information about how the garment should fit. Including the intended ease of the garment and the measurement of the model would be a huge help.

  211. A big part of my problem with sizing is that, on my plus-sized body, all my bits stick out (top and bottom). So I’m a 44″ bust wearing a 34 G-cup bra (yep, 34 G). Of course I don’t expect most patterns to accommodate something that extreme, but perhaps you could challenge designers to, say, design a lacy or textured sweater, plus size, with short-row options in the bust…? Okay, that’s a major fantasy, but I’m just wondering if the size issue is all in the inches or if it’s a shaping issue also. Thanks for your time!

  212. I think the problem isn’t just the size.

    Realize that people who are “larger” are larger all over – upper arm circum. mine is 17″ to go with my measurements of 48″ – 47″ – 54″.

    Obviously, something that looks great on a size 10 or smaller model, isn’t going to work for my huge upper arms.

    Who wants to devote HOURS needed to make a sweater (even more when it’s plus size) when you know you won’t get any use out of a sleevless item? Or out of a round neck because V-Necks are more flattering?

    I believe that’s what people are really saying when they want “plus size” patterns.

  213. about the size survey; for me the question is often “What will this style look like on me in a larger size?” All your patterns look great on a model but I am often disappointed with the way it looks on me. That’s why I liked seeing the Tomato on Sandi – I could see exactly what it would look like on a curvier lady.

  214. i have an 11″ difference between my bust line circ. and my rib circ. ( I am a G too!unless breastfeeding then an H)
    i need a 44″ bust pattern. that ammount is usually skipped. 46, 47, 48 or 42. this is c9onfusingknit the bigger size, the smaller size, how much ease is there…
    i would like more concise short row help. like how many short rows per cup size?? i never am sure if i have added enough or not.

  215. One of the reasons I let my subscription lapse is that you seem to have fewer 50″ plus patterns than you used to. I don’t mind sizing up a few inches, but I don’t like to do really extensive modifications all the time, and it seems like that’s what I have to do more & more. I also want to make sure you are considering design ease– many patterns that have a finished bust measure of 50″ are obviously intended to have a lot of design ease so still need a lot of sizing up to look right on me. Also, what’s with the tiny socks? I have big feet 9.25″ around and 10.5″ long, I can’t be the only one.

  216. I agree that it would be useful to have the amount of ease indicated on all patterns. As a 32.5″ chest I usually have no problems with pattern sizing. My complaint is about SMALL covering 32 – 34″ which is always too large for me. Combined sizes may work well for loose fitting garments for larger people, but not for petites.

  217. It is not the sizing, it is the styling (as others have pointed out in comments). Fate is cruel – I went through 2o plus years of my adult life being too petite for all the patterns; now the patterns sizing “fits” me but the styling does not suit my larger, bustier (but not plus size) middle-aged self. There are designs in the magazine I love, but I suspect would look horrible on me. Maybe some of your models could be people with a 40″ bust instead of 33″?

    More info on styling and modifying patterns to fit different body types would be great… along the lines of the modifications to the Tomato.


  218. Bust size doesn’t tell all that much. I have a size 40 bust but a size 50 hips! And there are many ‘amples’ who have the opposite measures. One needs various options – I tend to wear things that are drapey at the bottom but fairly well-fitted at the top. Ideal are items that are not asymetrical but have either longer fronts than sides or v.v. And mostly cardigan style. Others have entirely different needs.

  219. Sandi, I got dizzy reading all the comments. We all have basically the same problem but in different ways. I think we need to learn how to adjust a pattern we like to fit our own body shape. How about sharing some tips and tricks to accomplish this.

  220. Wow, you sure are getting an earful! I am 6 feet tall and getting more pear shaped as the decades go by. But I know that it is up to ME to know what flatters and how to make things fit. And articles to help us know what flatters and how to make the garments fit will be helpful.
    It might be helpful to have ‘sizing hints’ with the patterns: ie: For a curvier waist, beginning 7″ from lower edge change from size 5 needles (from size 8) for 5″.

  221. Wait? When did a waist move up there? I used to be a seamstress and we used to have waists above hipbones, narrowest part, etc? Maybe this is why things fit ‘funny’…

  222. I have a roughly 44″ chest. My problem with patterns, and clothes in general, is that they fit when I am standing, but not when I sit down, which I do for the majority of the day. My belly sticks out further when I sit than when I stand. Probably because I’m so used to sucking in my somewhat large gut when I stand. I have large hips and a big butt along with broad shoulders, why designers think my waist should be small I’ll never understand. I would love to see waist measurements with the patterns so I’ll know if it will fit me or not. Being a new knitter, I would also like to see articles on adjusting patterns to fit different shapes. I have one sister with a perfect hourglass figure and another who is definitely in the large plus sizes with no measurement difference between bust, waist, and hip. Being able to adjust a pattern to fit either one would be great. I also would like to see larger sock patterns. No one in my family wears smaller than a women’s 10 and we all have wide feet. I also would like to see socks for men in large sizes so I could make my brother and Dad pairs, especially since that’s all they want me to make them!

  223. At only 5 feet with a 32 inch bust, I have a difficult time finding commercially made sweaters that fit. I knit in order to make a custom fit. Please continue to size for small bust sizes. Features on how to shorten sleeves, and shoulder to waist/waist to hip measurements on fitted sweaters would be most welcome!!

  224. I know it’s been said, but I wanted to chime in with another vote for including ease information. IK already states what size the model is wearing, and it is one of my very favorite things about IK. I wish every mag and book would do this. I am lucky in having a very middle of the road chest size and even figure, such that I generally fit right smack within the sizes already available. However, I find the key to “true fit” for me is ease. Depending on the style I may choose to go up or down a “bust size” to get it the fit the way I want to wear it. Great question though!

  225. SIZING

    For me, you’ve missed the issue on the sizing problem. For me, I want to know the amount of ease a particular garment is designed with. Just giving me the inches and teh size the model is wearing does not tell me (a) what size to make for myself or (b) how it might look on me.
    If I knew the model’s size AND the garment’s size then I would have so much more information to work with.

  226. Hi, I just wanted to say that I received the Twisted Sisters Sweater Book today and it is TERRIFIC for everyone. There are several items in there that fit my style, but more importantly my SIZE! The book is worth it and just as good as their sock book! Good directions, great tutorials, pictures, and easy to read AND understand!

  227. Having the patterns fit a broader audience (no pun intended) would be great. But truth to be told, if I really wanted to spend the time knitting a plus-size garment, I could figure out the math to make it happen. (My LYS could help, too.) What’s most important to me, though, is that a plus-size garment be pretty, fashionable, flattering and suitable for a conservative office. What I see most often geared toward the plus-sized is pretty ugly.

  228. I think there’s a big difference between a) designing all the sweaters for size 4 and then working out all the calculations for all other sizes and b) designing sweaters that flatter a range of sizes. If you always design a sweater for a small frame, it’s not always going to flatter larger sizes even if you include the calculations up to 5X or whatnot (and vice versa). It’s always pretty clear that the sweaters are designed with a thin model in mind. (Another gripe: you include bigger sizes but don’t have various sized models. Are you afraid to show models who are heavy?)

    It would be nice to see more patterns *designed* to flatter a wider range of body shapes – from thin to fat, curvy or not, tall or short, etc. Not just sized up with a calculator whether they actually knit up nice or not.

  229. Hi, I am really enjoying your newsletter. I just wanted to comment that I feel that your magazine contains a great assortment of plus size patterns. I always feel that I can count on Interweave Knits for patterns that I can use. I am about 46″ & find very few that won’t work for me. Thank you so much, Cindie Vornholt

  230. Based on the size ranges listed it seems most bases are covered (tho I am by no means intimating that I am any kind of authority). Could it be that people are looking for the pieces to be photographed on models to fit the larger end of the spectrum?? Just throwing it out there…

  231. On the plus size topic, I’m an 18/20 on a good day and I have never knit because of this part of the problem is that A) the pattern goes up to 48″ while I have a 52″ bust and B) even if the pattern goes up to my size it probably wouldn’t look good on me. I think that along with more sizes that go up to 53″ or MORE, it would be nice to have as many tutorials as possible on how to resize patterns for anyone, and also have the styles modeled by as many different sized people possible.
    Something else I noticed is that the new picture/ pattern setup is very inconvenient.
    Hopefully these concerns will be addressed, thank you for at least asking us our opinion.

  232. I loved the Fall 07 issue, but I’ve loved the previous issues, too. The extra photos were great.

    Sizes? It’s all been said, but I’d like to add a vote for indications of both ease and yarn weights. I’m a plus size and would like ease indication to help me scale up your patterns. Since they are normally knitted in luxury yarns, and I’d have to buy many more skeins to knit in my size, I’m very likely to substitute the yarn.

  233. Well, I think everything I wanted to say has been said already! But just want to add my vote for keeping the small sizes. What struck me about Sandi’s post was that there are actually FEWER patterns for 34″ than for 48″ busts (eg in the latest issue 14 out of 16 patterns are 48″ plus but only 11 are 34″ or smaller) Oh, and another vote for indication of ease please!

  234. I am a big ball-shaped 60-year-old woman, 57″ bust with waist and butt following behind at 51″, and I love the beautiful sweaters you have in IK. However, it’s really discouraging to go “Oooh!” and “Ahhh!” and then find out that only three sweaters even go up to 50″–about the equivalent of a commercially made 1X jacket. I’m not a seamstress, flunked sewing back in home ec, and have a really hard time changing the bust, the arm circumference, the length, where the waist is placed, when to start the armhole, blah, blah, blah. If I’m going to invest in 25 balls of expensive yarn to knit a sweater, I want it to be the sweater the designer intended, and I’d like it to fit. And have lace sometimes. And be asymmetrical sometimes, or modular, or weird. Thanks so much!

  235. Just wanted to agree that the simple bust measurement does not address the issue of cup size. Mine is all up front too – I wear a 36 inch back size, but my overall bust for your survey came out at 49 inches.

  236. I appreciate the opportunity to complete the survey, but it did not cover my problem. A double mastectomy left me without breasts, but all sized are determined by bust size. That is impossible for me. Any help would be appreciated.

  237. Another reminder that some of us are hippy and short-waisted — and not quite good enough knitters to know just how to get from wide hips through short-waisted to medium bust without looking like a trapezoid. A section in the general how-to section on how to put two sizes together would help.

  238. Thank you! I promptly pulled out the tape measure, measured the important parts (wanted to have a glass of wine or something to deal with the shock) and clicked on the survey link. But you only asked the top measurement. I think it’s important to know how some of us are large-sized on the other parts, so you’ll know why deep waist darts don’t work: top=42″, waist=40″, hips=47″. Ok, this *better* be anonymous!

  239. I answered the survey, but just wanted to add here that with a 48″ bust, when I shop at a “Plus Size” store, I am on the small end of the plus size range, wearing a size 14 or 16. What really gets me the most though are the skinny, skinny sleeves – I generally need a 17″ sleeve, and often I find patterns that have a 48″ bust, but a smaller, narrow sleeve.

    This just leaves me with a goal of working on my pattern alteration skills so I can make the sleeves bigger at the top and at the adjust the armhole openings accordingly.

    Or I’m just doomed to making lots of scarves and socks…

  240. About sizing, one thing that I’ve noted when teaching knitting/crochet classes is that people have a slightly skewed sense of their own “size”. E.g. actual bust is 38″ so they choose sizes that are bigger and sometimes much bigger to knit/crochet. When the garment is done, the fit isn’t quite right and they are disappointed. Why are we all trying to “hide” in our tent-like clothes? I’ve done this myself so mea culpa but I’ve learned from it. I make sweaters that will have a 36 to 39″ bust knowing that my waist will be hidden just fine and that fit will be more flattering generally assuming there is drape.

    Interesting topic, thanks,

  241. I simply want to join the chorus of those whose hip size is more of a problem (in knitting patterns) than the bust size. Knitting clothing has been generally unsuccessful for me for exactly this reason! How about advice for enlarging at the hips, or creating slits in the sides, etc.?
    Margie W.

  242. The instructions for knitting the larger sizes are included but my thoughts looking at some of the sweaters in the magazine is this, how would the sweater look on a larger woman like me. I think I would just like to see some larger models wearing some of the sweater patterns and then I can say, This sweater will look flattering on me too. If it is on a size 5 model it is difficult for a larger woman to imagine herself in the same sweater. Ex: The sweater Sandy was showing us with the bust darts looked good on her so I can see that sweater pattern as something I would like to make.

  243. My question for Eunny has nothing to do with size (though as a newbie knitter, I recently learned the hard way about negative ease and I think my ballet camisole might end up being too small…) Anyway, my question for Eunny is where and when can I get the pattern for the GORGEOUS sweater she designed, the one she refers to in her blog as “modernist of modern Fair Isles?”


  244. I’m fairly ample and find IK patterns sized for me. Besides, I adjust patterns all the time. Maybe the issues are really about (1) individual shapes (apple, pear) and (2) what people think is flattering to their body type but expressed as”pattern not sized for people like me.”


  245. What a great idea to actually ask your readers about their sizes. I don’t think any other magazine has ever done that! Kudos to you all.

    As a plus-sized gal I feel very left out with most knitting mag patterns. My problem is that I am truly an hourglass. If I can actually find a pattern I like to fit my bust (50 inches), it is just going to be huge in the waist.

    The main problem, though, is that most patterns offered in plus-sizes would look bloody AWFUL on us. We don’t want stripes across and shapeless pullovers.

    We would love to show a little cleavage and shoulder!

    Lezlie C.

  246. Sandi,
    I find as we age we do not have so much a bust problem, but my friends have a middle problem. It seems that we spread there and we have to work around that also. Prehaps you could address that issue? After all not all of us keep that wonderful hourglass figure we so want back!

  247. Sandy– I’m not plus sized by any stretch of the imagination, but I am not short either. As a woman of little bust, having everything measured by bust size makes my arms look like they should be on a gorilla. I think the problem is less that you aren’t writing for all sizes and more that no one really is a “size” we’re all a SHAPE!

  248. I wanted to mention one thing about bust size. Two people can have a 40″ bust (for example) and be different cup sizes. Bust “circumference” is just one part of the fit. Bust “cup” size is more important. A person with a B cup size at 40″ is going to have a different fit than a person who is D cup and 40″. Short row shaping to create a dart helps. I just found an article that was 13 years old to explain this. This would be an excellent topic to revisit again.

  249. Amen Lezlie! I find many plus size patterns are filled with the coveritallup syndrome. I can’t stand a neckline that hugs my neck and living in TX, I want something that will breathe – I find myself knitting a lot of tanks, but have to try to alter the neckline which results in a lot of frogging(undoing what I’ve done). I will also chime in that many patterns I’m interested in aren’t in the plus size. And I know I don’t know how to increase the size – I’ve tried. Models sizes would be nice but plus size models even better! and don’t forget the women over 50… tasteful, a bit funky, stylish, not tacky. lol

  250. I’ll try this again—-

    I wanted to mention one thing about bust size. Two people can have a 40″ bust (for example) and be different cup sizes. Bust “circumference” is just one part of the fit. Bust “cup” size is more important. A person with a B cup size at 40″ is going to have a different fit than a person who is D cup and 40″. Short row shaping to create a dart helps. I just found an article that was 13 years old to explain this. This would be an excellent topic to revisit again.

  251. Wow– I was going to read all of these comments to try to keep redundant requests out of MY post, but I don’t have a spare few hours!
    Looks like IK has hit a pretty rich vein here. I hope that the editors are seriously considering a series on pattern alteration. Speaking as a longtime IK reader and avid knitter, the #1 reason I am going to be keeping my old IKs and keeping my subscription up is: the technical articles. And when you have had multipart technical articles, it is even more valuable because the instructions are more detailed. I agree with the posters that have commented that it’s impossible to satisfy everyone re sizes, but since 50% of American women wear 14 or over, and since store-bought 14s are larger than pattern 14s, it stands to reason that a lot of knitters out there are going to be starting with the 40s and 44s, and that a significant number of us need bust measurements over 50″. (I’m 54″ myself.)
    And, it’s also nice to see you taking the attitude that “since it’s our job to sell you patterns, let’s see what sizes are most needed.” That’s the kind of open attitude that makes me feel even more positive about Interweave.

  252. One more comment: I’d like to add my voice to the voices asking for plus size models in the mag. I love the models you currently use, but it would be really positive and affirming to show a wider (ha ha!) range of body sizes. Speaking as a wide girl myself, that would be really exciting to see in future issues.
    Thanks for listening to us!

  253. I was a “Large” size for many years, 50″ +. Back when no patterns were written for large women. That’s how I learned to design my own. But I am MUCH smaller. With the broadening of America I am worried that range between sizes will broaden also, such as 39″ and the next size is 43″. I have seen this more and more. Instead of calculating more sizes, the designers are making patterns larger between sizes. On some sweaters this is no problem, size up, size down. But a garment with intricate color/pattern work or detailed shaping it is sometimes impossible to make any changes myself. We need more sizes not just larger sizes.

  254. After submitting my answers to the survey, I feel like there’s a lot more information that could be gathered regarding fit. From my bust measurements — in the 36-“-38″ range — I’m somewhere around top of the mid range, but this is fairly misleading. I’ve got a 30” under-bust measurement, for all my D+ bustline, and am always wary of knitting sweaters because of awkward fits. Perhaps a more detailed size survey would be beneficial to Interweave, with all our “ups-and-downs” as well as our “arounds”, to paint a complete picture of the myriad sizes we come in!

    In a similar vein, more information on fit-to-flatter modifications, such as the Bust Darts tutorials, would be very much appreciated!

  255. To jump in late, I have to agree with Sandi and what everyone else is saying about learning to ‘fit’ your knits. I’m a complete novice knitter, but I do know my body can (and happily does) range from size 14 to size 1X, plus I’m 5’10”. During its little journeys up and down the scale ‘the girls’ range from a cup size 38C to a 42DD!! I have pulled out t-shirts (now at the larger end of one of my trips) that I wore when I was maybe a size 16, and although they still fit me, they’re a full 2″ shorter with the girls recent onset of ‘fluffiness’. My little sister, on the other hand can do a full 40 pound weight range and her cup size remains a B! So, obviously, adjustments I would have to make on the fluffy side are not the same adjustments others would have to make. Some things you can just hold up to your self and see what needs to be done (for instance, I’m trying to knit a Cardigan for Arwen and, with my height, I’ve had to add 1 1/2″ to the length before I start the sleeve, and even BEFORE the girls get involved) But I’ve seen items goddess sized women have knit where the bodice needed an extra two inches or some such and the pattern didn’t include it, and they obviously followed the pattern as written. Eunny’s good at math, I know, because I read her blog article about shortrowing for bust size. It seems like a math problem to me.

  256. Thanks much for conducting your survey in order to more accurately reflect sizes. I did not respond to the survey, however, because my concern is that there are no patterns (at least I haven’t found any) in petite sizes. I find it quite easy to alter sizes for width, but making adjustments to a petite size is more complicated. I find I need to adjust for the armhole, length from shoulder to waist and sleeve length.

  257. I find that as I move along the rows in knitting this sweater, my stitches decreased (all by themselves)! Is this a common situation among knitters? Thanks. Annette Alabaster

  258. While I am a Goddess Gal I’m not an ample gal. Most of the patterns start at a size or so larger than I am, so if I chose to make it I adjust down to a 34 for myself or 32 for my daughter (age 22).
    Like many, knowing the ease would be most helpful.

  259. Lynne Vogel’s new book is lovely. She said in an interview that she had enough information for 2 more books. So PLEASE talk to into it. There are some knitters out here that want more than beginner designsSuch as complex designs, gussets, added extras such as unusual shaping. and how to design all this Thanks

  260. Hello Sandi,
    It is not only bust, it is waist and hips too. I am only 5′, and 49-44-50. It will not be the same ,for example, for a person 5’9″. Oh yeah, to see ample model will be nice. We are not getting little, for what ever reason (mine is medications), but bigger.
    Thank you for your concern and help in this matter.

  261. Beyond bust size, the issue is that most of us are not the “ideal” hourglass. So… the issue becomes how do we increase the hip size while retaining the integrity of the design?

  262. I really appreciate all the efforts you are making on so many fronts…….but would like to mention that I feel that your size survey is not a functioning survey at all.
    One question in regard to bust size really does not say a lot about size itself….IMHO…..
    For example: I have a 44 inch bust size measured without ease.
    You might assume I am a large woman…
    I have a 29 inch waist and am 61 inches tall, but have a friend you has a 40 inch bust and a 42 inch waist.
    I believe most women who are clamouring for more ” normal/ natural ” sizes do not have well balanced figures……and know it is much too ask, but please consider that the bust measurement is not the only measurement that makes a size…..

    Mexico City

  263. Always, if you list the actual measurement of the garment, as well as a descriptor of how it ought to fit, or how it appears to fit in the photo, that is incredibly helpful.

    Something that I always have to do is lengthen the body of a piece, particularly from the narrowest part of the waist upward. Seems that most of the patterns I have worked from were written for a short to average torso, and I’m more of an average to slightly long torso. So, a clue about where it makes sense to adjust the length would be awesome, too. Pipe dream, I know. But still. (I have to increase the body length by about 2-4 inches every single time.)

  264. One thing that bugs me is when designers resize a garment by changing the needle size, rather than recalculate stitches. I think the designer is just lazy if all they do is change needle size. A yarn that looks great at 20 sts/4

  265. Maybe the ease and articles on how to fit are the starting answer, take my daughter for instance.. her bra size is a 34DD.. would she do a 34 nope, meauring her bust she is a 40 but small framed and 5’5″, tiny waist .. fit for her is as hard as for me 5’3″ 38DD but a 43 bust… mmmmm Articles on how to adapt and fit would be great.

  266. Letting us know about ease would be great, and I really like the idea of symbols for body types too. One of my big girl friends has problems with length – cos she goes out in all directions, she need longer length clothes. I’m average sized – by moving to the USA I lost two dress sizes! 🙂

  267. I am another small-framed, small-waisted 34DD looking for answers. If I choose fit according to arms/shoulders/waist my chest is bursting out. If I choose the size that fits my bust comfortably the rest looks like an ill-fitting sack. Help!

  268. I have small-medium bust, but an X-small waist, and often have problems with finding clothing that will accommodate my 32DD/E chest, but will fit my waist so it doesn’t make me look pregnant. Mentioning ease is definitely a good idea, as negative ease generally makes a garment that fits me the way I like. It’s a little frustrating having to re-write half the patterns I use so that they’ll fit!

  269. oh I been reading the posts and almost forgot when you are plus size and have big chest big tummy and big hips (48-48-48) you also have to have longer under sleeve to hip length. I just finished a sweater that I will have to add about a four inch border on the bottom.

  270. oh I been reading the posts and almost forgot when you are plus size and have big chest big tummy and big hips (48-48-48) you also have to have longer under sleeve to hip length. I just finished a sweater that I will have to add about a four inch border on the bottom.

  271. There is a lot more that goes into sizing a garment than just the bust measurements. A beautiful tunic must fit the bust yes but also the waist and hips. I am only 5’2″ and I am very short waisted. Normally I buy a petite size so that the back length from neck to waist also fits. When I knit a sweater I am forced to alter How about some petite size sweaters? Petite/average/tall is a height issue not a weight/bust measurement issue. Thanks for listening

  272. I agree with all the comments about giving a guide as to how much ease is incorporated in a pattern. It’s the first step to deciding what size to knit – or even whether you think the garment will suit you at all.

    My fitting problem is a full bust. I approach this in the same way I do sewing – I treat the back and front of my body as separate things to be fitted. So, I compare my back width measurement to the back width on the pattern, and similarly my front width measurement (round the bust) to that size on the pattern. This means I usually knit a smaller size for the back than the front and this seems to sort out most of my back fitting problems. I’m still working on the front.

    I’ve tried short-row shaping, but haven’t worked out the right ratio for me yet. I often find just knitting the “right” size for me for the front is enough because of the stretch in knitted fabric. I haven’t yet worked out what to do with the excess fabric at the armholes – but I’m working on it.

  273. Larger sizing may be available, but the designs are styled for thinner folk. We larger people would not look good in the garments even if we knitted the larger sizes. How about some designs for larger sizes?

  274. Eunny commented that the magazine likes to use “real” people as models. I think that is one of the best things about IK. The models are real and not size 0. Thank you from all of we “non-size 0” people.


  275. Please… more information about the ease of a garment, including how it’s shown on the model.
    For example: “The sweater is designed with a negative ease of 2 inches. Finished size is 32 inch bust, shown on model measuring 34 inches.
    This would take a lot of the guesswork out of sizing a garment.

  276. Many sweaters designed for larger/plus sizes tend to have dropped sleeves. That looks plain ugly on most larger bodies. Actually IMHO to look well on most people the shoulder seams should be where they are supposed to be.

    Another fitting issue for larger sizes and older people is the “hump” on the back of the neck that comes from rounded shoulders and extra plumpness.

    And yes, so many have already commented on it….ease, ease, ease should be noted for all published patterns! And articles addressing this need to appear again, and again! Understanding this is critical to our expectations, a resulting happy fit and a pleased knitter.

  277. Personally, I would like to see more fitted garments (ie, set in sleeves, not over-sized), also would suggest “versions” for a sweater. For example, same sweater with Crew Neck/ Turtleneck/ V-neck/Scoop neck. Or sleeveless/short sleeve/ 3/4 sleeve, long sleeve. And, since you asked (THANK YOU!) why did many designers stop putting pockets on their cardigans?

  278. I have the same issue as the poster above who mentioned having to lengthen the torso.

    I am doing a pattern now (not from IK) with a very defined waist that I want to fall at my waist, not my ribs! It would help me a lot if the pattern showed all the measurements of the sweater – including the length between the bottom of the sweater and the waist and the distances between the armpit and shoulder and the waist.

    So really my point is just that the drawings of the garment with as many measuremments as possible are really helpful. I appreciate that they are in the IK patterns.

  279. Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, I’d love to see some patterns that do not require us to knit three sections to make a body…I sometimes enjoy a pattern that starts at the top and goes down [fitting can be done as you knit] or are knit in a more interesting one piece construction [and that do not have kimono sleeves which flatter few people]or even more interesting ways to put together garments.

    Thanks for asking!

  280. Just one small thing.

    Someone wrote: “Maybe you need some true plus sized women on your staff if you think that a 48″ finished chest is a plus size.”

    I’m 5 feet tall, an hourglass shape, 210 pounds, my bust is a 44… and I can’t see how a 48″ finished chest measurement would not be considered a plus-size. O.o

  281. I do agree that ease information would be awesome. As for the rest–we’re all different shapes and you do what you can do. It’s impossible to please everyone–I’d rather see information on how to knit-to-fit than any huge change to the style of patterns in the magasine.

  282. I am 5’2″, 28″ bust. I do have difficulties finding patterns that are shapely and womanly versus ‘blocky’ and childish. I would love to see more Petite sizing as well as workshops for soze altering. Thanks – Keep up the good work!

  283. I haven’t taken the time to read ALL of the comments, but what I have read leads me to believe that most knitters do not really do a swatch before they begin, nor do they seem to read through the pattern several times in order to visualize the actual garment’s dimensions.

    I agree it would be helpful to have you print the model’s actual size (perhaps measurements) with the information about the pattern, as well as what the fit is supposed to be.

    Also, most of the comments seem to be from larger sized women (of which I am one), but I see a lot fewer comments about being small. I am sure that being petite is also a fitting problem. Well, since I’m also a seamstress, I know it is.

    By and large I’m thinking that this is a perfect opportunity to print a Special Issue just on fitting, measurements and body sizes. I’ll bet a lot of women would be interested in having that information at their fingertips.

    Also, an overworked phrase, but extremely important one, stress that they need to do a gauge swatch!!!!! before they begin anything after purchasing your yarn.

    I used to teach knitting and most of the questions I had to field required me to ask, “Did you read the pattern through before you began?” In 99 cases out of 100 they had not. I am continually teased by friends – because they always call with questions – that I always make that inquiry. But now I have figured out that they just don’t want to do it, they would rather call me because I “Bonnie-size” it. That’s their term for I have read it many times and done it and I can explain it, but they don’t want to do that.

    Well, that’s enough for now. Probably more information than you wanted.

    Bonnie B., Grand Rapids, MI

  284. I love the intelligent thoughtful comments. I found myself saying; “YES” a lot reading these posts. I too want to see the amount of ease for each design, a standard set of measurements and a special issue on fitting. I hear the angst and share it with a figure often referred to as “built like a brick s*it house”. A salty way of saying I need to know all the adjustments, shoulders, bust, hips and upper arms. I have noticed that things which look sweet or feminine on a small build make me look like an escapee from a sword and sorceress photo shoot. Which can be fun, but not every day 🙂

  285. For the “TooMuchHipAndStomach” group (of which I am a member), this measurement allows an ease that eliminates the front and rear “cupping” that usually occurs.

    The final inches may be shocking, but its always worked for me. Place the tape at the biggest part of your rear and carry it diagonally up across the biggest part of your stomach. This should be the same as the circumference of the sweater size you plan to knit.

    Regarding the SIZING SURVEY…in the over-65 community I live in, the most common bra size is a 34-Long! (just a little joke…it’s really more like a 46-Relaxed fit.)

    Thanks for your fabulous KnittingDaily. Inspiring!


  286. As a counterpoint, I am a petite woman, and one of the reasons I subscribe to IK is that you consistently offer patterns sized 34 and below. PLEASE continue to do so, regardless of how you address the plus-size issue.

  287. Everyone is commenting on sizing so I’m not going to. I’m going to comment on the suggested yarn.

    Not all of us can afford to make the garment with the yarn used in the pattern. Many of us substitute but as we all know that when you substitute, the results are quite different. Can your patterns include substitute yarns like Elann or Knit Picks yarns that are more affordable?

  288. I think intended ease would be a great thing to offer. I’m a 49-50″ bust, so generally at the top of your size range, and it would be good to know what size the model is as well as the size of the garment. You do much better than the other magazines I buy in terms of sizing though!

  289. I don’t think it is just a matter of “sizing up” a sweater. I don’t want to make a sweater that is designed for a women half my size, it just wouldn’t look the same on me. And I want to see the sweater modeled by a women of a size that resembles who the sweater was designed for.

  290. Showing the knitted items on larger models would also be helpful… garments fit quite differently on large models. Even if numbers are given for large sizes, doesn’t mean that the sweater will actually look okay on plus sized people. (Yes, this would require a second size to be knit, but I think it would be quite helpful.)

  291. Dang thing ate the rest of my comment: One thing I did notice was that, after the first four or so issues of Interweave Crochet, the largest sizes started, well, shrinking, and it finally got to the point where the few things that would look good on me weren’t sized to fit my 46″ bust. The things I could knit straight from the pattern tended to be unflattering (boxy, not shaped, drop-shoulder…the list goes on). I haven’t bought an issue since, though, so it’s possible that the sizing has changed. But, I refuse to purchase magazines or books that don’t accomodate that sizing (which is why I never renewed my subscription to Vogue Knitting). It’s not worth my money to have to do what I’ve indirectly paid the designers to do.

  292. As for the topic of using plus-sized models, don’t bother. And that’s advice coming from a fat chick. Lane Bryant, one of the most popular makers of plus-sized clothing, did surveys and studies years ago while they were trying to decide whether or not it was worth their money to get plus-sized mannequins. They found that plus-sized women didn’t just not react positively, but actually reacted negatively to seeing the clothes on mannequins their size. It’s an obviously bizarre psychological disconnect, but, y’know, that’s how places like Weight Watchers stay in business.

  293. Re: your mention of creating a more comprehensive survey. This is probably not one of your publications, but I have found the measurements asked for in “Big Girl Knits” extremely useful. They address the fact that big women are bigger (or smaller!)in different places.

  294. While you do offer a number of larger-sized garments, they’re very often not the ones I want to make. Even more frustrating, the ones I want to make are too small – the Minimalist Cardigan comes to mind. I love the simplicity of it, but I need it bigger.

  295. Thank you Interweave for thinking of us Plus Sized ladies. May I make one further suggestion. This is based on how to alter and fit sewn garments. If you could print with the illustrations what the exact finished measurements (once the garments are seamed). A good start would be Bust – Waist – Hip – Back length.
    While I have seen your schematics with the measurements, it’s a little difficult for me to tell how to read them as a newer knitter.
    Another question would be to print how much

  296. Sizing, hmmm, this is always a problem for me. I know, believe me, that sweater sizing is always based on bust size but (here she looks wistfully down south) my “healthy” hips also need to be addressed. I am always adjusting patterns because of this issue. Also, I know you provide larger size patterns, but how come we never, never see larger size models?? Hey, I belong to my 150+ local knitting guild and I am here to tell you, very (emphasis on very) few of us are the size of the models in the knitting magazines. Why can’t we have more normal looking women model those sweaters? I would also appreciate maybe some articles on what would look good on different body types. Many times I look at a sweater and wonder, “would that look good on me??” – the $64,000 question. Thanks – Joyce

  297. Not sure if this has been mentioned yet or not … but many garments, even if the pattern goes up to a 50-inch bust, would not flatter someone with a 50-inch bust. Perhaps the cry for more plus-sized garments was actually for more flattering plus-sized garments.

  298. Eunie – I haven’t seen the Gifts issue yet but I bet that you are not using “real” women as models. You may be using women who don’t normally model, but these models do not reflect the varied sizes, shapes, and heights of your readers. Get REAL Eunie by showing the diversity of body types out there!

  299. I think it would be difficult for IW/KD to accomodate EVERY figure. I would love to see tutorails/workshops for altering sizing. Being 5’2″, bust size 32, long arms, short waisted, & birthing hips (with a butt to match) – finding the right size (whatever that is) is near impossible. I would love to learn more shaping/special techniques for sizing garments. The sewing magazine Burda comes to mind. Each issue features a ‘sewing workshop’ to learn a new (or re-learn an old) technique or how to use new products in new ways. I have fallen in love with IWK and KD – Thank you for all the hard work you do to provide us with wonderful ideas!!!

  300. I agree with all those who have asked for tutorials on how to alter for your size. I am way out on the edge of the bell curve re size so I know it is unlikely a pattern will include me but as a new knitter I don’t really know what increasing the width does to the shoulders, necklines, and armholes. I just bought a bunch of back issues of IK and found a lovely lace cardigan that consists of three rectangles so I think I can modify that one myself but for patterns with shaping I’m lost.

  301. Join us today as we discuss The Vaccine Book b y Robert W. Sears. This is the second time that contributors of Silicon Valley Moms Blog , Chicago Moms Blog, DC Metro Moms Blog and NYC Moms Blog (along with the rest our friends throughout the blogsphere