Knit related rant: Never in my size

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Posts 2
on Dec 18, 2009 10:37 AM

I am glad that knitting has enjoyed a renaissance, and I am pleased that so many teens, twenty and thirtysomethings have taken it up.  It has made a better variety of yarn and needles for all.  I am, however, wholly disgusted with the magazines and book publishers for ABANDONING the older knitters that have been here for years.  I know that it is important to be fashionable, to keep the new, big-spending young knitters invested, but I am SICK of patterns that don't offer a size larger than a 36 bust.  I am sick of styles that can't be worn with a bra, sick of styles that show 5 inches of belly when you scratch your nose, sick of styles that don't have arms, or  the ever popular "body conscious" ( read here three sizes too tight ) fit,  SICK, SICK, SICK of the slavish determination of every book and magazine to cater to the hottest, youngest, coolest audience.  I wish the marketing idiots of this world would consider that the bulk of the knitting fancy are probably STILL over 50, and that this segment of the market deserves to continue to be served by the industry it kept afloat in the lean years.  Worse, the continual focus of that younger generation on physical appearance and "image' is beginning to influence the magazines and books to omit plus size patterns completely. 

My response to this trend is to completely rebel against the knitting publishers and their products.  I have new rules to impact their businesses.  I will subscribe to NO magazines.  I will only go to the newsstand, and examine the mag there.  If at least 25% of the patterns do not offer plus sizing up to 2X ( at least one 3X), I will not purchase the magazine, no matter how much I like the patterns.  Same deal with any knitting book that strictly publishes patterns.  No plus, no $$$.  Clearly I will not apply this rule to technique books, or things that are genuinely easy to scale by using larger needles. 

I hope there are others that will join me in reminding these businesses that we are still here, and still knitting.  Hopefully the tide will turn and more of the patterns will include conservative styles and larger sizes.  We all deserve to be warm and stylish in a hand knit sweater.


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Posts 6
on Dec 18, 2009 11:37 AM


I'm a size 22/24 & in my 30's. Not even 10% of the available patterns are in my size. One can only make so many hats, rectangles, & gloves! I love all the new, modern patterns, but they are rarely sized for me. Where are the plus size patterns?

When a periodical's subject is a craft where custom fit is the goal, the editors are limiting their audiance if the patterns don't have a "wide enough range". The average woman is a size 16! That means almost 1/2 of all women are over this size.

To include a wider size range for all patterns, including instructions on how to increase (or decrease) the pattern more, should be the main goal of every pattern creator. Not only will the media the pattern is in, sell more copies. It will also result in more yarn being sold due to the pattern's ability to adjust to a wider clientel. A plus sweater uses more yarn than a "regular" size one. This is common sense!

I love this idea & will join you in your boycott. Good luck & try the book "Big Girl Knits". If you are a little smaller than me, it may be right up your alley!

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Posts 21
saspero wrote
on Dec 18, 2009 12:23 PM

This is why  you never throw the old pattern books and magazines away :)  I stil have my collection of old 'Workbasket magazines from the 1960-80s.  I just made something out of there this fall.

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Posts 2
on Dec 18, 2009 2:52 PM

I agree!  I have most everything I ever bought.  Unfortunately, I am just over 40, myself, and had very little $$ for hobbies until about 10 years ago.  I don't have a fabulous library, but I do try.  When Wal-Mart had their pattern wall, I never lacked for something to make.  I love the LYS, but they don't do as good a job at being size inclusive as the old Leisure Arts patterns did in the past.  It goes without saying that the yarn at the LYS cannot be beaten.

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Posts 11
Ruthe2 wrote
on Dec 18, 2009 9:56 PM

Hi fr;om Alaska, where there many of us over size 16, over 50 years old and love to knit.  Alas, I do not have the skill to adapt these small patterns to my size.  I agree that there are only just so many hats, scarves, mittens, baby blankets that one can knit without   getting bored.  i just bought a book for big girls...the sizes are there, but some of the patterns would look rediculous on someone my age.  If only the designers, manufacturers would realize there are  knitters of "rubenesque" proportions out there I,for one wouldbe very happy.  Happy holidays and happy knittiing.  Akstrings2

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Posts 17
AmyS@25 wrote
on Dec 19, 2009 5:46 AM

       I totally agree with you. I am not blessed with being a curvy girl myself, but I am sure that it is very fustrating to not be able to find things that fit. I too would like to see some fashions that are more conservative, and I love to knit from older patterns. Not everyone wants to advertise flesh wherever they go. Just a thought, and I 'm not sure how it would work with copyright laws, but it would be really nice if some exprienced knittier's set up a site where you could download patterns that have been size adjusted , that way knitter's that do not have the experience to fix patterns would still have access to them. I would love a site that had some of the "retro" patterns on it, I do not have access to anything except recent patterns. 

                      The new yarns are really something though, huh?

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Posts 16
milroygrams wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 8:02 AM

Hi everyone. I so agree with your posts.  I too, am a 2x and always rejoice when I find something I actually like in my size. I am joining the subscription boycott.  What a good idea.  I too have kept all my old mags.  I shipped them from Alaska to Indiana 20 years ago when I moved.  I left a lot of things behind but not my knitting and sewing treasures.  Those of us who are older and have kept the industry afloat through the years now have some extra money and time and are continuing to support that industry.  They should consider catering to us!!!!!  I also find the fashions ridiculous and immodest.  I have a 16 year old daughter and she fumes every time she shops because she can't find anything that doesn't show something she doesn't want seen.   Ruthe2 from Ak--have the yarn stores improved in the years I've been stateside?  I lived in Juneau and we had just had a wonderful yarn shop open before I moved but before that we had to take our chances with Fred Meyer or mail order.  I love having all kinds of yarn shops within driving distance!!  Milroygrams

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Posts 1
on Jan 7, 2010 6:02 PM

i've just turned 30 and have been having this problem also as i have  44" bust my other problem is that i then drop to a 36" waist (the joys of a classic hourglass figure) so when i do find a pattern it has a tendency to hang from my bust making me look pregnant.

There is a great magazine in england called Yarn Forward, it guarantes all its ladies patterns fit up to at least a 50" bust so some actually come out a little larger   they do ship abroad or you can get it digitally sent to your e mail box.

Its restored my faith in magazines, lets hope more follow their ideas

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Posts 1
nanabob wrote
on Jan 8, 2010 7:26 AM

I am almost 59 years old and I have the opposite problem you are complaining about. I am a size 0 or extra small with a bust measurement of 32". Every pattern is too large for me. With regard to yarn prices, you would be amazed by the wonderful yarns you can find online if you're willing to do a little research.  Some of your complaints can be easily remedied by simply making the sweater longer, adding sleeves or using a larger needle and a heavier yarn to increase the size. Knitting is a creative art and my suggestion to you would be to get creative and experiment. You may find that you'll soon be writing your own patterns that would appeal to a large audience.

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Posts 3
DeniseW@22 wrote
on Jan 8, 2010 8:51 AM

I agree one hundrd percent.  In fact I have gone back to using patterns that my mother has had for years because they made patterns that fit.  They cover my 50 + belly and hips.  They cover my bodacious TATA's, and evrything else that a proper lady "needs" to have covered.  I can make then fashionable by adding baubbles, cables, beads or anything else my heart desires.  I understand that the magazines are trying to keep the younger new knitters and crocheters interested but please do not forget the people that kept their businesses afloat during the hard times.  Most of us do hopefully have many more years of knitting and crocheting ahead of us and find it insulting to have been put on the back burner persay.  If we stop buying new patterns and adjust our older patterns to be modernized hopefully they will get the message.  Thanks for listening and giving me a place to go with my hurt feelings and an even bigger thanks to those of you that helped me realize that I am not alone in the way I feel.

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Posts 3
DeniseW@22 wrote
on Jan 8, 2010 8:56 AM

Try looking a yard/garage/estate sales this is where I find alot of my magazine stash

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Posts 21
stashqueen wrote
on Jan 24, 2010 12:19 PM

Hi cobaltcanarycherry...and all who can never find "nice" patterns in their size:

I too am always on the prowl for modest designs and XXXL sizes, for fit as well as comfort.

Thought I would share with you one of my most recent findings.

Crystal Palace Yarns .com has recently added to their free pattern list an Ample Woman Sized category.  Chest sizes go from 48" - 62 or 64" depending on the project.  One pretty kimono pattern measures 86 " (not 68, 86") at the chest.  They have more than a dozen patterns in this size range, covering traditional cardigans, jackets, tops and vests to more recent stylish trends; but nothing immodestly clingy (except one tank top).

They also have free crochet patterns in the Ample Woman sizes - I don't crochet so didn't examine those patterns.

They are really nice looking patterns, pictured in various Crystal Palace yarns of course - but the price range of the yarns is also quite good.

If you are in the market for a new project, or just want to print off some free patterns for future projects, this is a great site.  I copied 4 patterns - two short sleeved pullovers (one has a simple lace decoration, the other bobbles - but I think both could be knit without them), a heavy striped vest, and a pullover sweater made from brushed, lightweight,  self-striping merino yarn.

Well worth checking into.  I too am so tired of looking through patterns designed for xs delicate girls, that are too form fitting for the more modest person.  The majority of women, in their "young senior" years as well as teens, need patterns designed for real people.  We'll buy the yarn if you give us something we can make that fits us!!!


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Posts 35
SheilaB@23 wrote
on Jan 24, 2010 12:51 PM


I am just over 50. I have the same problem I have a 50" bust.  Right now I am knitting an icelandic style sweater  I copied off Bernat .  I have ribbed it out twice.   First the body with to small then the sleeve were to narrow.   Likely it is a easy pattern.  Everything is knit it rounds, then the sleeve and body is joined at the under arm and the yolk is knit.  You end with the ribbing around the neck.   I wanted  light weight sweater with colored design the only patterns  I could find were one that use bulk weight yarn.  I warm all the time inside the house and I don't want to freeze my husband out.  We are having heat  wave here in Winnipeg -2C



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Posts 21
stashqueen wrote
on Jan 24, 2010 11:00 PM

Thanks for directing us over to Bernat yarns for free patterns, Sheila.  I didn't think of them - found a super hoodie pattern that lists both actual and finished bust measurements (goes up to fin. bust meas. of 65"), and can be knit with a hood or just a flat collar, has a full zipper down the front , two patch pockets and raglan sleeves.  Lots of other nice patterns too in larger sizes.  I think I saw your icelandic sweater - the lighter weight one, not chunky.  It is very attractive.  I hope your needles will "settle down" and give you a good run for your time.  That is most annoying when you have to rip and re-knit several times to get what you want.  It will be lovely to wear in the house .  I don't envy your location.   I'm southwest  of Ottawa - and heard weather reports for your area that I'm glad we don't have!

I'm going to start keeping a list of the sites that have larger size patterns (esp. free ones).  Eventually, hopefully, enough will be compiled so that the searching can stop and the knitting begin.  At the very least, an assortment of basic knits (tops, sweaters, vests,...)would be good.



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Posts 20
alena@5 wrote
on Feb 23, 2010 4:39 AM

Hello! Let me join the club: size 16, a comfortable L, XL for some models. I never had problems with finding nice patterns... before I came to live in Italy. It is a disaster. The Italian women seem to be all size S or XS if you trust knitting magazines - all the patterns are usually given only for ONE size, which is usuallt 40-42 (i.e. small). I've tried to adjust the patterns to fit my bosom, but it seldom went OK - when you have to recalculate for a size bigger-  it's not that bad, but when you do it for some 3-4 sizes bigger this is where the problems show up. This is why I'm now searching for magazines and e-patterns outside Italy - like this one. I can also recommend and excellent free-pattern source:

The site is available in many languages, a lot od patterns are present in both British English and American English -  And there are a LOT of sizes Big Smile

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