The Colette Pullover Gallery (Plus: The Question of Height)

Debbie wears the Colette

The Colette Pullover

by Katie Himmelberg, assistant editor of Interweave Knits

View The Colette Pullover Gallery

The raglan lines of this sweater are complementary to any body type, as is the refined silhouette with waist shaping and a high-hip hem. The tall collar frames the face in a flattering way. I'd recommend choosing a size with positive ease (larger than your actual measurements) for a comfortable fit. The all-over color work creates a thick but not stiff fabric and you'll want some room for movement in this sweater. Remember to measure your hips, bust, and waist and check the schematic when choosing your size.

Veronik Avery is certainly a master of all the fine details we like to see in our knitting; look closely at the ribbed cuffs and collar and you'll notice the tiny cables enhancing the ribbing.

If you want to switch up the colors, again contrast is key. If you're looking for a bolder look, a simple way to add more colors would be to create colored 'stripes" of kittens; switch the kitten color each chart repeat. Just like the Henley Perfected, the Colette has a detail that you'll want to make sure hits you in the best spot—the waist! Be sure to measure for both the overall length of the sweater and the beginning of the waist shaping to best showcase your curves.

This sweater strikes me as something I'd pull on for a walk on a chilly winter night, and I picture myself wearing it with corduroys. It would be a nice rustic pairing and would certainly keep you warm and toasty.

A bit tighter than I'd ordinarily wear, but still pretty!

Does Height Matter? Here's Why Sandi Thinks Not…

Many of you have asked for the models' heights in our Knitting Daily galleries, saying that you can't really compare fit unless you can compare the model's height to your own.

I've resisted providing heights until now, because, well, let's think about it: long (or short) legs have little to do with how a sweater will fit you. Of course, you do want to make sure the overall style and design of the sweater are in proportion to the "overall you," but the critical measurements for determining good fit are the ones shown on the pattern schematic, those relating to torso length and torso circumference. The schematic is a really valuable source of information; I think a lot of us don't adequately respect the wealth of information provided by the schematic. Sooo, to encourage more Schematic Respect, I'm going to start providing a bit more information about our models' measurements as they correspond to the magic schematic.

For the Colette Gallery, note that the relevant measurements of the finished sample garment are at the top of the page; those are taken directly from the schematic (or, in the case of the hem-to-waist length, carefully calculated from the number of rounds stated in the pattern). Then scroll down to see the Interweave Gals wearing the sweater; notice that I was able to re-measure some of them so you can compare the differences between actual measurements and schematic measurements in more detail. The new measurements (including height, especially for you, Alex D.!) are only on the Colette Gallery right now; I'll go back and add them to the other galleries and other model photos as soon as I can.

As for our wonderful Knitting Daily models: It's pretty tough to get up the guts to put your measurements out on the Internet for all to see and comment upon. I'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our models for being brave enough to do something that helps us all be better knitters!


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


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63 thoughts on “The Colette Pullover Gallery (Plus: The Question of Height)

  1. Height matters if you are a true petite. For the average sweater, it’s not a big deal as you can always shorten so it does hang too low. But if it has a design that is supposed to go around just the torso and stop at your bust or vice versa, it’s critical to adjust the pattern to fit a petite torso. I’m 5’3 with a true petite torso and have to try tops and jackets on as things like darts and bust shaping often are not in the correct place for my proportions.

  2. I also want to thank Sandi and the rest of the models. It does take courage to put measurements on the web for all to see (although these gals have nothing to hide – they all look fabulous!) but it is so helpful to see the sweater on real people and not just the magazine model. Great stuff!!

  3. Actually height does matter, i am what they call tall-between. im not tall enough to be ‘tall’ but im too tall to be average. when it comes to patterns i have to add 1 3/4 inches to sleeves and 3 inches at the waistline. pants i buy a 34 inseam becuz 32 is too short and there is no such thing in plus sizes as a 33 inseam…so i get them longer and roll it up. by the way thanks for the pants pattern a while back, i can make those to my exact length…love it. i think the reason folks ask about height is they are trying to see how it would look on the same frame type as their own, but as the constructors of the finished product, its really easy to forget that you can just add an inch here or subtract an inch there to match the frame of the intended wearer.

  4. Yes, height matters, but not total body height. For sweaters what mostly counts is torso length. I really didn’t understand any of this until a friend gave me a copy of Big Girl Knits. They have the most wonderfully extensive measuring section. It can be applied to anybody (or any body) to make a perfect fit. Sandy, perhaps what’s needed is a comprehensive body measuring tutorial, followed by how you apply that to a schematic for a pattern that wasn’t designed for your body type.

  5. A comprehensive body measuring tutorial would be wonderful! I find that my measurements are always shown on the scematic but fall in three different sizes. It would be great to have a set formula to alter between each size.

    By the way, were is the pants pattern?

  6. Yes, thank you so much to the models, seeing the sweater with different amounts of ease on different bodies really helps me visualize how I want it to look on ME and so how much ease I should plan for when picking the size. I have a long narrow torso and long arms so Iroutinely add 1 inch above the waistline and 1 below, as well as 1 or 2 inches to the sleeves. I need to be careful that there is enough length in the design so I don’t look like I’m choking in my clothes. The Henley perfected, as pretty as it is, would not work on me with out careful calculating of where to place the horizontal band, as you discussed previously.

  7. I would say the 2 MOST important measurements would be the torso length, not height, and arm length. If these sweaters are designed for an average torso, whatever THAT is, it shouldn’t be too hard to measure your own torso length. Then it’s a matter of addition or subtraction to get the correct torso length.Same with the arm length. Personally, these galleries are of no help to me whatsoever. I am a full figure woman. I would prefer to see a gallery of sweater styles, knitted in a nondescript color. These styles could then be held up against a variety of body shapes and weights. Computer generated images would be just fine. Since color and design aspects such as stripes, cables, or FairIsle designs are matters of personal taste, I don’t see a need for them to be included.

  8. Sandi – I’m a big fan of the TV show The Closer and have been searching forever for the pattern for the mohair lace cardigan worn by the show’s star, Kyra Sedgwick. With the vast talent and resources available to you, could you help find a pattern for the lovely shawl collar lace sweater? Or have one of your designers come up with an alternative? Many many thanks.

    Mary T.

  9. Thanks for mentioning that torso length is critical. I’ve noticed this in my own family. I have proportions close to Erin’s (I’m almost as tall). My husband is three inches taller than I am, but my jeans have a longer inseam. My daughter’s torso vs. height proportions are much my husband’s, but she is three inches shorter than I (with a longer torso). My older son’s length proportions are more like mine, but he is at least six inches taller than I am. I don’t know how many readers noticed that Sandi has the longest torso measurement listed, even though she isn’t the tallest of the group.

    I have learned the hard way that schematics are critical to proper fit. Anytime a pattern I want to knit gives only a few measurements and no schematics, I spend the extra time to calculate what the implied length proportions are, since they can be so critical to fit (like whether or not the narrowest part of the sweater actually hits at the waist). I also force my family to get measured more frequently and in more dimensions than they would probably like.

    Kudos to the models who so bravely allowed so many measurements to become public knowledge. It has helped me immensely in my ability to decide between positive and negative ease on a variety of projects.

  10. Thanks for the gallery. I’ve always wished that patterns were published with pictures of the FO on more than one model with more than one body type. It gives much more realistic expectations. I hope you’ll consider doing this more often.

  11. I just want to thank you for showing us these sweaters, etc. on various *real* people, and talking about negative and positive ease. It has made such a difference!

  12. I love the galleries you have been posting. It is so helpful to see how the sweater looks on different body types.
    Thank you and keep up the great work!
    Happy Holidays

  13. Hear! Hear! to all of us who are not “average”, I am 5’9″ tall and have a long torso, so always adding length to patterns, but love to add shaping too, quite a challenge. I would love to see more on custom fitting to our own unique shapes. Surely that is one of the best parts of making you own clothes is for a custom tailored fit. Along with the satisfaction of the process of knitting and the peace that brings.

  14. I don’t understand what you are measuring when you give center back length. It varies too much to be the sweater, so it must be a personal measurement, but what?

  15. As everyone has said, we cannot thank you enough for the lovely models and seeing their various sizes. It makes us (well, me) braver to face my true measurements if I want a well-fitting sweater. I am also beginning to understand negative -vs- positive ease, and seeing you all wearing the same sweater, I can see the different effects ease has.

    Thank you once again.

    Jabi in Nairobi

  16. Ah, if only it was just leg length that made us shorter girls different! I’m exactly 5′, with longer legs than the petite clothing standard of 5’3″ (petite-fitting trousers need to be lengthened). As you can probably work out, this leaves me with a very short torso. All sweaters need to be altered. Boxy unfitted ones are easy, but anything fitted will need to have the waist shaping brought up to sit on my waist, and quite possibly have some more length taken out to take account of the shorter distance between my shoulders and the fullest part of my bust (which often means altering the arm hole). Not so bad in a plain garment, but in a patterned one it can get immensely complicated. The only pattern I’ve done that acknowledged that knitters’ heights vary was ‘Rogue’ by Jenna Wilson, which noted where the garment should be shortened if necessary. She has also done a series of articles for Knitty covering this point, which all shorter knitters should read.

    Many thanks to the models – the Gallery is one my favourite features because it so useful, and now it will be even more so.

  17. Like Pam K, I am a “Full-Figured Gal”, (that phrase always makes me think of Jane Russell and her 18-hour bra!) and I may even be like Lakaya as a tall-between based on length of torso, not so much total height (about 5’7-1/2″), and I know I’m going to be looking for the book Kat mentioned “Big Girl Knits”. As such, I was surprised to read Pam’s rather blunt comments, including “….no help to me whatsoever”. It was probably unintended, but it seems to discount the creative ideas and personal efforts involved to create the gallery to help all of us different-sized knitters achieve a custom fit. I don’t point this out to criticize Pam for her honest assessment, so much as to express gratitude to Sandy and all the lovely ladies in the gallery to be so helpful. Judging by the sheer quantity of positive responses and the obvious enthusiasm, it appears that most readers have benefited from the efforts. I would suggest that while there may be those who cannot mine “custom-fit gold” from the galleries, this effort to provide the most useful information appears to be an evolving process, and Sandi and her crew have demonstrated thoughtfulness and ingenuity, and being human would likely be buoyed by positive encouragement as well as tactfully stated requests for additional information.
    So keep up the good work “gals”!
    Sign me, WendyBee, a devoted reader

  18. Thank you Sandi, thank you models. You all look beautiful ! No kidding! I am a size 14-and sometimes 16. Seeing how lovely you look in these garments gives me the courage to try one myself.

  19. I wasn’t excited about this one when I saw it in the magzazine, but after seeing it in the gallery, I’m really really thinking about it. It’s so cute!! Thanks so much for getting all the girls to model for us. Erin and I (I’m also an Erin!) are the same size bust wise, and she’s only got an inch and a half on me, so I always enjoy seeing how something fits on her, so I know how much ease I need to calculate for my own sweater.
    Thanks so much 🙂

  20. I liked the extra information – I agree it was brave for the models to post measurements. I am tallish (5′,6.5″), have a long torso and a large bust so I’m always very aware of bust and shaping details. It would be nice to do a feature on flattering knitwear shapes for those with a large bust. Generally I avoid patterning detials in the bust area (i.e., no bobbles!) My bust and hips are almost the same size so the hip area is less of a problem for me. It might also be nice to do feature on shaping and pattern details for those with a longer or shorter torso. From the earlier posts it looks like similar strategies would work for both groups.

  21. Thankyou so much for the gallery pics! I have been inspired to knit garments I wouldn’t have thought of wearing because I saw them on real people. I’m finally moving out the the ‘scarf and shawl’ era. Again thanks.

  22. I want to tell you that your ‘gallery’ idea is the most effective knitting tool, I have come across in a long time. Viewing all the fits, I realize that I prefer the negative ease on most styles. I never would have made a negative ease sweater prior to seeing your gallery. Thanks so much. And thanks to all the ladies who are so willing to share their vitals to help the knitters of the world.

  23. I think the galleries are great and there is a diversity of body types shown. Mostly all of us appreciate the work and effort that goes into this endeavor. That said, it never ceases to AMAZE

  24. (oops I pressed the submit button too soon)….AMAZE me how some of the readers just do not get the point of this website, and they complain because it is not EXACTLY what they want to see. I happen to subscribe to and purchase many Interweave publications, so I see this as an added service. However, this website provides such valuable knitting advice for FREE, people. Learn what you can from it and move on.

  25. I was puzzled about “Center Back”, too, and went to check out the Craft Yarn Council’s measurement page. ( Turns out Center Back is “Neck-to-Cuff”.

    It also turns out that they have no standard listed for waist or hip measurement. That explains a lot!

  26. I tnink that the “gallery” is an amazing tool to see how a sweater design looks on different bodies. What a lot of work for you and generosity from your models. Thank you so much!

  27. Wow! That sweater looks fabulous on EVERY SINGLE ONE of you REAL women. How odd is that? I’m so delighted to see a sweater that looks great on just about everyone. And THANKS so much for getting everyone who could possibly wear that sweater to try it on. So, helpful! It looks great for a casual, lay about sweater with about .5-1″ of positive ease, and it looks downright sexy with the negative ease. What a versatile garment!! I’m quickly becoming a huge fan of Veronik Avery and I know this will go in my queue (if I would just finish up Notre Dame de Grace, first!)

  28. Sandi, you are practically my measurement twin. I get so much confidence from seeing you in these garments, expecially when the first thing I think is that some one my size wouldn’t look good in that… is easy to be hyper critical of our shape, and not particularly honest about it as well, you look fantastic in these pictures! You guys ALLLL rock for being willing to post measurements, and Katie is as cute as a button!

  29. Sandy: I really like the gallery. I am 5’5″, 195 lbs, 59 years old, 47″ bust, 35″ waist and 48″ hip, and have trouble imaging what a sweater would look like on me. I disagree about height, however. Something that has a short hem to waist makes me look squatty with my 47″ bust. I look for longer hem to waist sweater to give the illusion of being talller and slimmer. Is it possible to use models with my shape? Even if they are younger? Older would be great. What is the reason for using only slim, youger models. Just marketing?

  30. Thank you Models for braving the camera and the tape measure! The two back measurements are really something that is important for those of us whose rib cages sit right on our hip bones! I always have to shorten sweaters because of this issue. I have followed this gallery trend with complete enjoyment because it has been so full of information and face it: A picture is really worth a thousand words! Thank you for making knitting daily so worth while!

  31. Thanks you! What a wonderful service you provide. Just seeing the different body types is a + but measurements too, WOW. Please explain, negative and positive ease…thought I understood it but I think not. Thanks again.

  32. I would like to say thank you for your gallery of sweaters also. I find it one of the most valuable tools out there. And thank you to the models who put themselves out there for us to compare. I have already changed my mind on several of the sweaters you have showcased here, including this one. Now I like it.

    I was also intrigued by the different bust sizes – as in cup sizes. Sandi and Kat have total bust measurements that are within .50″ of each other. But yet both get a different look in the sweater. What a great visual to see the difference between the two. Your photos helps me to decide how much ease I would like on my body. Being that I am closer to Kat’s “frontal” bust size, I would choose her example in deciding how much ease I would like for this sweater. I bet you have saved quite a few of us a lot of frogging time.

    I also vote to see the Refined Aran Jacket. I can’t get that one out of my mind. I want this one in the worst way.

  33. I’ve been enjoying the galleries! I think there might be one more piece of information that would be great to have, though its a little hard to describe.

    The description of this sweater mentioned that it might be more comfortable with positive ease – but it looks really good on the models with negative ease. It would be great to get the models opinions if a garment feels uncomfortably tight with negative ease, or uncomfortably loose with positive ease.

    I think how it feels is just as important as how it looks. Even if a sweater looks good in a tight size, if it feels like its constricting at that amount of ease, would you want to wear it?

  34. Two reasons to include height in sweater discussions: 1 My sister is 3″ taller than I am, only one inch in the legs and two inches in the torso. When one is short waisted (my rib cage sits on my pelvis bone), one doesn’t have a waist which narrows, and one’s proportions differ. 2 Sally Melville speaks about finding a flattering length for garments, and one factor to use in the math is one’s height. Keeping that in mind, I’m only buying petit sizes at the store and find I’m getting complements when I wear those garments. I don’t look so matronly with the shorter garments.

  35. Thanks to all of the real women models who all have perfect body sizes and are women enough to realize it. You have helped us all to choose a similar body size and visualize how we would appear in the sweater!

  36. Yes, Thank You to the models!
    And I agree that total body height is less important than the measurements of the sweater/schematic as compared to the body. My measurements are very similar to Debbie’s, but I’m 5’8″. As far as how a sweater might look on the body (proportionally, etc.), I have a pretty good sense of what works on me and what doesn’t, so it’s not as important to me to see a given sweater on a body that’s similar to mine. To me the real value of the galleries is just to see the garment on Real People, over regular clothes. So again, a big THANK YOU to Sandi and all the women who participate in these galleries.

  37. THANK YOU LADIES!!! how informative this is for us all. I appreciate it immensely. For Maureen A – the sample sweater will only fit so many people. I can’t imagine trying that sweater on myself as a plus size a little larger than Sandi. It just wouldn’t fit. Most designers create with the idea that the models will be small, not xlarge. That said I loved how the sweater fit Kat, in spite of not being a small it fit her wonderfully. I also loved it on Debbie and Katie who should model these in the magazine. She looks great in everything she puts on.

    Sandi I thought the sweater was a tad tight on you, otherwise fit ok.Great work Gallery Gals!!! txKat

  38. Okay, I’ll take a crack at explaining positive ease and negative ease.

    Positive ease is when the garment is bigger around than the wearer’s body; for example, the Colette pullover sample sweater used in the gallery today measures 36.25″ at the bust, and Debbie’s bust measurement is 34.5″, which means the sweater is 1.75″ *larger* than her bust, and therefore has positive ease.

    Negative ease is when the garment measures smaller than the wearer’s body, and therefore is molding or stretching over the body; for example, the sample sweater in today’s gallery is, as stated before, 36.25″ and Erin’s bust measurement is 38″, meaning the sweater is 1.75″ *smaller* than Erin’s bust measurement.

    Everyone, please correct me if I’m wrong or if there’s a better or more accurate way to explain it. 🙂

    Many, many thanks to the ladies of Interweave for modeling these garments! This feature is very helpful, and I applaud you for having the guts to participate!

  39. I really do appreciate the staff’s willingness to provide such personal data–it helps me to decide if I’ll make a particular article. The customization info lets me know what I need to do to actually make it fit. Thanks, folks!

  40. Re the question of height: Each of us has 2 or 3 attractive top lengths, sleeve lengths, waist positions, and skirt lengths. The best way to find out what those are for you is to go to the store and try on Everything, even things you are convinced won’t work. When you find things that do work, take off the item, lay it flat and measure the appropriate length. Repeat as necessary when the styles change.

  41. I think of positive fit as generous (loose) and negative as stingy (tight or pleasantly snug).

    To me torso length is much more important when dealing with sweaters than overall height. Center back length is measured from where the collar rests on the back of your neck to the spot on your back which is comfortable when a belt or waist band sets there. Both spots are along the spine.

  42. Yes, thank you to the models!!! You are all fantastic! I am learning so much about knitting to fit my own shape, and I consider myself very fortunate to be gaining all of this knowledge early-on, as I’ve only been knitting for six months.

  43. Several thoughts here, all fighting to come out first, so I hope I can make them make sense! First, this is a really lovely sweater. Second, this whole gallery notion of putting the same sweater on several different models is pure genius. I wish all knitting magazines would would do this in each issue with all their patterns. (Don’t want much, do I?!?!) Now, the really astounding thing to me is that this sweater looked super on absolutely every person in the gallery. Of course, I realize that the ability to move comfortably and breath at the same time are not something we can assess from the pictures; but just in terms of the overall look, I was amazed there was not a true klinker in the bunch. When I realize that the same could not be said for the previous sweater gallery, it puts me to wondering what is the essential design difference. If I could puzzle that out in my head, I could probably dress myself better….

  44. Thank you so much for including height for the models. I now know that “Katie” has a build most similar to mine(I suspected that she was tall by the way past sweaters have fit her). Now I will know to look for her specifically in the photo galleries to get an idea how the sweater would fit me and what adjustments might be necessary. Thank you Katie!!!! I think this photo gallery is a great feature. there are some sweater from past issues which I would love to see in this gallery. The “Cable-Down Raglan from Spring ’07 for instance since I am planning to make it, also the two dresses from Fall ’07.Thanks again to all of your models!!!

  45. Ditto to the requests for a body measuring tutorial and how to apply that to the schematic. I am 5’10” with a large frame, broad shoulders, long waisted, long arms, and a very modest bust. So torso length is VERY helpful to me, bust size not so much.

    Kudos to all the staff willing to post their measurements! Getting the sweater to FIT is the hardest part of knitting.

  46. I love these galleries of photos of all your employees in these sweaters! It really helps to see how different shapes affect how the sweaters look on according to their dimensions. Katie looks so good in all the sweaters! Thanks for thinking of letting us all see the photos, Sandi!

  47. I love these gallery photos! Computer models just don’t seem to be realistic enough for me to determine how a garment is going to look on me. I am petite and have a rectangular figure. So, I often wonder how some of the more form-fitting sweaters would look on me. I haven’t made one yet, because I’m afraid that after all my efforts, my sweater will look horrid on me. I hope you are able to provide more photo galleries for other sweaters. The ladies all look great with this sweater – even with all the different body shapes! I am sooooo encouraged!

  48. The galleries and tutorials are the most interesting knitting info I’ve ever read. Sandi, I loved your description of how to measure yourself. Now I can assign myself a waist where there isn’t one. I’m wondering how to assign decreases when making many of the pattern adjustments.

  49. I have to disagree with your statement that the raglan lines of this sweater are complementary to any body type. Raglans always look terrible on me, because I have narrow sloping shoulders and a large (compared to most clothing models, anyway) bust. I’d like to add my thanks to the sweater gallery models. This feature is a tremendous help!