IWK Fall 2008 Afterthoughts Darts Cardi

Gallery: Afterthoughts Darts Cardi by Theresa Schabes

Interweave Knits Fall 2008As you can see, the same sweater looks very different on different women! We give general suggestions for customization for your inspiration. Only you can choose how you want your sweaters to fit and which customizations will work best for you and your beautiful self!

Some links you  might find helpful:

Measuring yourself and your clothing

About positive and negative ease

Measuring tutorial with photos


Afterthought Darts Cardi

Sample garment measures 34.5" at bust and is shown in the magazine with about 3" of positive ease

Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Sandi   Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Sandi


Her bust: 33.5"
1" positive ease

Size: Picture this in sky blue on Toni, or rose pink. Awesome. She could start out with about 10% more stitches at the hem to give her hips some more room, and then decrease down around her waist to get the fit right up top. Darts: I'd move them up about an inch (start an inch earlier and end an inch later) to better emphasize her waist. In other words: Center the darts vertically around her natural waistline. Other stuff: Hem needs to come up about two inches so it sits right at the widest part of her hips. Sleeves are cozy and fine!

Knitting Gallery - Afterthought Darts Cardi Kat   Knitting Gallery - Afterthought Darts Cardi Kat


Her bust: 40"
5.5" negative ease

Size: If Kat wanted a close-fitting top designed to be worn on its own, without anything thickish underneath, this would be stellar. However, as a cardigan-to-go-over-other-stuff, it really is too small–so, depending on the look Kat wanted, she could go for negative ease with the 37", or positive ease with the 42". See how the sweater rides up in front, particularly at center front at the bottom of the button band? That effect would be minimized with a larger size, particularly one with positive ease. Darts: Um, rather perfect, methinks. Other stuff: Hem length is perfect. Sleeves are perfect. (I vote for just giving Kat this sweater, what do y'all think?)

Knitting Gallery - Afterthought Darts Cardi Debbie   Knitting Gallery - Afterthought Darts Cardi Debbie


Her bust: 34.5"
Zero ease

Size: This size just barely fits Debbie across the bust, and doesn't fit her at all across the hips. So here's an interesting challenge: How can Debbie get a sweater which will close all the way down, but not be too baggy at the bust? One solution: She could compare her hip size, plus ease, to the finished measurements on the schematic and find a hip measurement that is closer to hers (plus ease). Let's say that Debbie's hips were 39"; to get a nice bit of ease, she could cast on the number of stitches for the 42", and work some decreases at her waist to get to the proper stitch count for the 37" (which would fit her at the bust with a similar amount of ease as at her hips). The decreases would be in the area covered by the darts, so they wouldn't be noticeable. Darts: I think these could be moved up an inch or so–started an inch later and finished an inch later, in other words–in order to match Debbie's own curves–again, centered over her waistline. Other stuff: Hem could be an inch shorter; sleeves ditto.

Knitting Gallery - Afterthought Darts Cardi  Stef   Knitting Gallery - Afterthought Darts Cardi  Stef


Her bust: 34"
0.5" positive ease

Size: Perfect as a stand-alone main garment. If she wants a looser cardigan for layering, she would probably want the next size up (37"). Darts: Beautiful! This is very flattering on Stefanie. Other stuff: The only thing I'm noticing is that the shoulders seem to be falling off Stefanie's shoulders just a bit. She could widen the shoulder area by a half-inch to an inch in order to help things stay on better.

Knitting Gallery - Afterthought Darts Cardi  erin   Knitting Gallery - Afterthought Darts Cardi erin


Her bust: 38"
3.5" negative ease

Size: If Erin wanted this look, instead of a loose-cardigan-look, then I'd say the size was perfect. However, for an actual cardigan-to-wear-over-stuff, she would probably need the 42". But what if that's too loose? Well, this sweater does have DARTS in it, after all…and the darts are worked after the sweater is sewn up and ready to try on! So…she could work up the sweater, sew it together, try it on…and see how much she wanted to take it in. If need be, she could work a couple more darts than called for in the pattern, and scootch all the darts closer together, so the extras would fit. Extra darts = a closer fit. Voila!(Note that the reverse is true: Fewer darts, spaced further apart, equals a looser fit.)

Knitting Gallery - Afterthought Darts Cardi  Sanid   Knitting Gallery - Afterthought Darts Cardi  Sandi


Her bust: 40"
5.5" negative ease

Size: Eek! Tightness. Note the distortion of the stitchwork over The Girls, the gaps in the buttons when buttoned, and the overall appearance of Sandi Holding Her Breath And Turning Blue. To make this sweater with a bit of positive ease, as shown in the magazine, I'd go for the 42" size. Darts: It's really hard to tell if the darts need adjustment, because the sweater is overall too small here. I'm going to guess from how the sweater fits on all the other girls, plus how it fits the magazine model, that I would want to have the darts come up an inch or so higher so that they are centered on my natural waist. Other stuff: I would check the shoulder width in the larger size to make sure it was wide enough to cover my bra straps. The sleeve length is good, but the hemline needs to come up a bit.

Knitting Gallery - Afterthought Darts Cardi  Bertha   Knitting Gallery - Afterthought Darts Cardi  Bertha


Her bust: 34"
0.5" positive ease

Size: I LOVE how this looks on Bertha. I might (might!) have continued the waist darts up another inch or so, to emphasize her long, graceful waist curves, but that's just personal preference.

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Hats, Knitting Patterns

49 thoughts on “IWK Fall 2008 Afterthoughts Darts Cardi

  1. I think it looks best on Bertha – but it’s great to see the sweater on real people! Thank you, ladies, for wearing it and showing us what it looks like on you.

  2. I agree that it looks best on Bertha. Seeing it on real people only reinforces my opinion that it’s not meant to be worn by real people. The yarn or the needle size is all wrong for what could be a lovely sweater. Too bad. I would like to see it made with either bulkier yarn or smaller needles.

  3. The darts probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but really aren’t flattering on anyone who isn’t stick thin. They have the effect of jumping out at you rather than creating the illusion of something drawing in. I agree with Pegola.

  4. I actually disagree with everyone else. I think it looks worst on Bertha and the best on Erin. I think it flatters her curves wonderfully. In that size you wouldn’t be able to close it all of the way, but in that style of cardigan you don’t always need to.

  5. I agree that Bertha looks best in it, although it’s great to see it on real people. So often I’m not really interested in patterns unless I can see them on “real” people. But my only real gripe with this sweater is that on every single human body, it looked as though the shoulder line was falling off, sloppy, and probably uncomfortable. That’s a huge deal with me. And yes – Great color on Kat! 🙂

    Can we get a Gallery for the cover sweater?

  6. I think I’d like it better if the fabric were darted on the inside of the sweater – they jump out a little too much for my taste. I think the more subtle shaping would sleek the sweater down for anyone already a bit wide in the mid-section. Other than that, I do like the sweater, especially on Stefanie.

    Sally T.

  7. please rate your patterns, “beginner, intermediate, advanced” so I know which sweater I am capable of knitting without getting in over my head. Thanks. Sandra
    p.s. I agree, the Gallery makes all the difference as to whether or not I want to knit these items! And which size would fit me the best. Thanks again to the “girls”!!

  8. I really like this sweater. Although I’m not wild about the butterscotch color, the light hue really shows off the detail of the darts. I would have liked to have seen it fully unbuttoned on one of the models as I usually don’t wear a cardi fully buttoned. I especially like the way the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater mirrors the ribbing in the neckline.

  9. Hi- I think it looks too overwhelming on Bertha and just great on Erin and Stef. It would look good on Sandi also if worn open at top and bottom.

    I am new to your knitting magazine and would also request that the patterns be coded as to skill level. And since I’m on a tight budget and can’t really afford to make large projects in the expensive yarns suggested, could the numbered weight system be included also to help me make yarn substitutions more easily. Thank you.

  10. I like this sweater as well, but not sure I’d make if for myself. The placement of the darts relative to your curves really determine how flattering it is. On Erin they fall just short of her beautiful bust and on Bertha just short of her or so thin waist. Like neon signs….here it is boys. So this would fit me like it fits Sandi, with the neon darts emphasizing ‘le bellie’. I love the curve of the neckline and I love the transparency of the sweater fabric.

  11. I love this sweater on Kat! She looks fabulous in it. Such a great colour too. This was one that I earmarked to maybe make for myself. This is an interesting guage for this yarn. I really like its uniqueness.
    I vote you give the sweater to Kat too!

  12. I find nothing attractive about a transparent cardigan. Perhaps I’d like it better as part of a formal evening ensemble over a strapless or thin-strapped dress of the same color, or a summer sundress The sleeves don’t seem to fit any one of the models except Bertha, who doesn’t have arms to pinponit the fit problem. They aren’t too bad on Sandi, though. I second Lynne A’s suggestions.

  13. I just LOVE these galleries. I often knit sweaters because I love how they look in the pattern, but am disappointed when I put it on. Why, oh why can’t I look like the pattern models…sigh. Now the gallery gals are my heroes. They let me see how these lovely sweaters look on real people, like me….and I’ve learned alot about how to make adjustments for me….never did that before…didn’t know how. Thanks, lovely ladies!! Now I can have any sweater I want! : )

  14. There are some translucent sweaters that look good on some people, but this isn’t one of them. Who needs a sweater designed to showcase whatever it is that you’re wearing underneath? Bertha is the only model to escape the dreaded VPL syndrome.

    It’s a cute design and in a different yarn might make sense.

  15. I don’t understand how it doesn’t fit Debbie (zero ease) around the hips when Sandi (5.5″ negative ease) can get it to button.

    What’s up with that???

  16. I’m afraid I really don’t like the darts at all. They’re just too obvious. If I wanted to pull the sweater in at the waste, I’d probably either (a) switch to a smaller needle for the waist section or (b) put in a section of ribbing. Ribbing might look a bit jarring, too, but not as much as the darts.

  17. I agree with KellyN: it really stood out for me on Kat. It complements the color of her hair and I never noticed the lacy openness of the stitches because the needles used are larger, it appears, than the recommended needle size for a “regular” fit. I have this thing for beautiful, mesh-like, open-aired sweaters and it’s so apparent on Kat. I didn’t like the pattern when I saw it on the model in IWKF08 but I found it stunning on Kat. Yeah, give the sample to Kat!

    Btw, thank you to all the ladies for modeling the sweaters. You are brave, beautiful, and merciful. Instead of slaving over sweaters that don’t suit my figure and I end up unraveling or giving away, I can now have a better idea which garments would look good on me.

  18. sandi,
    i don’t think you give yourself enough credit. comfort is very important for sure and how you feel in clothes often makes the clothes. however, now that you’ve lost some weight you really need to pay attention to how clothes fit on you NOW. you have a lovely and cute little figure. regardless of the size, clothes that fit your body (as opposed to baggy clothes, which heavier people often want to wear) tend to flatter more than people think.
    while this size sweater isn’t the best for you, i wanted to put out the possibility that snugger clothes in areas you have wanted to hide may actually flatter your figure more than you think.
    just had to say it in case nobody has yet. =-)

  19. I didn’t like this UNTIL I saw it on Bertha. Truly, most knitwear just seems to hug any extra roll a normal person might have. Also, I always hate most Fall issues of magazines because Fall Colors are featured and only redheads can wear them! Notice how great Kat looked in all of the colors? So it’s hard to like items when you instantly know you won’t look good in the colors. Most of the US population aren’t redheads.

  20. Unless Interweave Knits has started using fembots in their fashion shoots, the magazine also shows this cardigan on “real people”. Being a model doesn’t make a woman any less “real”. Can we please refrain from using that phrase?

    That said, it is great to see the same cardigan on a variety of sizes to get an idea of what kind of ease I would need to make it.

  21. This is one of those garments that I wasn’t so hot about until I saw this gallery. The fit was all kinds of wrong for that model — the sleeves, the bagginess under the arms and in the back. Now I rather want to make it!

    I have to say, though, Sandi, I think you spend way too much time trying to bag-out sweaters for me. Erin and Stephanie look awesome! And they are wearing something underneath — it makes me wonder how many layers you’re expecting people to wear, or at least how thick these layers are supposed to be.

    I agree with KnittingValerie. This cardi is perfect for showing off ones curves. While you may was to add to the bust area a bit to bring in those buttons (should you make this yourself), I’d say the fit is otherwise pretty perfect.

  22. Love how this looks on Erin so much i actually want to make this for myself now…and i would move at least the back darts up on hers to really flatter and not have her back appear so solid! thanks Erin & Sandy! Also…would love to see the actual magazine photo at the top of the galleries to compare if that is possible it would be helpful! thanks love these!!!!!

  23. I like the external darts — they seem both functional and visually interesting. Overall, I very much appreciate IK’s inclusion of body-skimming garments. The last thing I want to wear is a sweater that falls straight down from my bust; I do have a belly, but garments that follow my body from The Girls down to The Hips are much more flattering than baggy things that make me look 20 pounds heavier than I actually am.

  24. Great sweater, but don’t want the darts showing on the outside or filling up the inside. I would just knit them in or use a smaller needed at that section. I love the color – perfect for fall!

  25. I LOVE the Galleries – they are so helpful! However, I would really like to know the height of the models also. I know everyone is different as far as long- or short-waisted, but I think it would be helpful info.


  26. One thing I love about these galleries and the comments is I learn.

    My body isn’t like everyone elses. Childbirth has moved things since.

    I’ve learned that I can simply move things to where I want them. It’s like playing God in my own little knitting world. If it doesn’t look good, I rip out and do it again.

    BTW – Sandi, you look good.

  27. I too was confused about the bust fitting so tightly on Debbie but not on Kat, but I think the button placement is actually the issue here, not necessarily the bust size. I do a lot of sewing, and even if a fitted button-down shirt is the right measurement, if there isn’t a button at the largest point of the bust, the shirt will gap open. Notice on Debbie that this point falls between two buttons, creating the gap. On Erin and Kat, wearing the sweater with considerable negative ease, the button falls in the correct spot and prevents the gapping. Unfortunately, re-adjusting the button location does require a bit of math and it can be hard to get the buttons spaced out well while still closing at the right spot.

  28. I see from the comments that some are less than enthused about the external darts and the transparency of the finished sweater. I have a couple of ideas:

    1. Choose a nice, smooth merino that will give the gauge, and fill in the holes.

    2. Peruse a stitch library for an appealing cable pattern, and place cables where the darts would be, during the knitting. You will probably need to try out a few to see how much they pull in.

    I can see this leading to changing the neck and button band treatments…

  29. Don’t exactly know where to put this comment but PLEASE do a gallery on the Tweedy Waistcoat. The finished size specs are confusing re the front overlap. Do we size without the overlap dimensions (6′ TO 4-3/4″) or do we size up to include the overlap. A gallery would certainly help, I absolutely LOVE this waistcoat and have already purchased the yarn. I just need to know what size to go for. I have a 39″ bust. Also, I am thinking buttons. What changes would I make? HELP!!! By the way. my second favorite is the Backstage Tweed Jacket (big on tweed this year) but am still somewhat put off by the galleries. Has the designer any ideas to avoid the not so attractive closing on the oh so attractive models? This would be my No. 2 project if I can figure a way to make the front closing attractive. The hooks and eyes are not attractive. How about some way to use snaps (small ones), or frogs (what kind?) This jacket is way too cute to give up on.,

  30. I really like the idea of the afterthought darts and will probably apply this to other sweaters (either inward facing or outward as it is here), because it seems like a good skill to have to be able to custom fit a top after the knitting is done.

    If I had been making sweaters before I started to lose weight, I’d probably have plenty that I’d want to use this technique on just to get a bit more use out of them.

  31. The type of highly-visible external darts in this sweater actually highlight the location of the darts — not what is above or below them. Therefore, since they are located mostly in the waist area on everyone, only a tiny waist (compared to the bust and hip measurements of the owner) will look attractive in this sweater. That’s why even the model in the magazine does not look good with these darts, but Kat and Bertha do! An hourglass figure is best suited for this sweater.

    An observation about the shoulders — the armhole seam is on the arm for everyone and just not visible on Bertha. Is it designed to be down on the arm, or is the weight of the sweater coupled with the lovely wide ballerina-style neckline dragging it down?

  32. I liked this sweater as soon as I saw it, but I’m not sure I have the curves to carry it off. I’m trying to decide if I would make it with zero ease or the next size up.

    I don’t like the way it looks on Kat – it pulls up in the mid-front, and looks too tight overall. It seems like this sweater would have to be perfectly proportioned to get not only the darts to sit in the correct place, but also to make sure the length below the darts isn’t too long. Also, the sleeves look a wee bit tight on some – I like them best on Debbie.

    I appreciate these sweaters that require a cami – I’m usually too hot in regular sweaters to wear one!

  33. Great gallery! This is another one which, now that I’ve seen it on Kat, I think I could knit! The darts just looked bulky and ugly on the magazine model but with less ease and on a person with a curvy figure, I like them!

    RE: the “real women” comment, I think it is fair to say that the vast majority of women are not 6 feet tall, wear a size 3, have a 32 inch bust and no hips, no thighs and no butt. I know a total of 1 person in real life who has that shape. By “real women” I don’t think what is meant is just “fat women” though that is part of it. It means “women who have a womanly shape”. I know many women who are a tiny size but most of them are also short and they are not pencil straight. They have more shape to them than your average fashion model. For example, Toni has a 33.5″ bust measurement which is very small, yet she has a very different shape from a fashion model. She looks like the very small women I actually know. Obviously, those models are “real women” in the sense that they exist and someone knows them but even though I know women of all sizes, I don’t know many that are shaped like a fashion model.

  34. I like this best on Toni, and Debbie looks cute in it too, but I think it looks great on everybody, except Sandi. The darts hit Sandi right in the belly instead of the waist. I like the dart as a feature look.

  35. I second what TammyT wrote. Sometimes I look at a photo in a knitting magazine and think “Where did they think I would wear that?” When a design makes even the model look fat something is wrong. I also don’t like the darts in this cardie but I can see the usefulness of a translucent cardie for dress-up or on cool nights. But I rarely wear a cardigan fully buttoned up either. Think I’ll go back to my Aran cables.

  36. I love it on Erin and I would totally wear this myself. I’m short – 5’0′ and a size 12. I think it looks darling and am seriously considering this. I love the darts and details like this are what makes a sweater special and look expensive. Without the darts it would be a Plain Jane sweater and not worth the effort.

  37. I love it on Erin and I would totally wear this myself. I’m short – 5’0′ and a size 12. I think it looks darling and am seriously considering this. I love the darts and details like this are what makes a sweater special and look expensive. Without the darts it would be a Plain Jane sweater and not worth the effort.

  38. I love it on Erin and I would totally wear this myself. I’m short – 5’0′ and a size 12. I think it looks darling and am seriously considering this. I love the darts and details like this are what makes a sweater special and look expensive. Without the darts it would be a Plain Jane sweater and not worth the effort.

  39. The hour glass shape looks best on those who don’t have an hour glass shape already. The only way it may look decent on womanly figures is completely unbuttoned. It would be very cute on a 12 year old girl (no joking).