Knitscene Fall 2008 Brocade Leaves

Gallery: Brocade Leaves by Kathy Zimmerman

Knitscene 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!

Overall Comments on the Brocade Leaves:
One look at the photos below, and you'll think that this sweater has amazingly graceful waist shaping. One look at the pattern itself, and you realize that the opposite is true: This sweater is basically two rectangles with a V-neck and sleeves. So why does it look so curvy and gorgeous on all of our models? Because Kathy Zimmerman is a genius. She's picked an elegant, all-over stitch pattern that is elastic like ribbing, yet not quite so clingy. The result is a comfortable, form-fitting sweater that shows off your curves without showing off what you have in your back pocket.

This sweater was a surprise hit amongst our Gallery Gals! The yarn is soft and not a bit scratchy; the sweater is as comfortable as it is flattering. Make it in a light color to really let the stitch pattern pop; or in a dark color for a more subtle effect.

Brocade Leaves

Sample shown is 33.5".

Knitting Gallery - Brocade Leaves Toni   Knitting Gallery - Brocade Leaves Kat


Her bust: 33.5"
Zero ease

Size: Great! Sleeves: Could these be longer? Maybe just a bit. V-neck: Toni does not like to show a lot of skin, so she thinks the neckline here on her is a bit low to wear without something under it. If she wanted to wear it alone, she would have to knit a less dramatic V. Color: I love the deep brown, but Toni has such a delicate complexion that I'd like to see her in something much lighter, or much more colorful. The brown overpowers her! Otherwise: Toni looks like she's ready to curl up with a book and some hot chocolate on a rainy day.



Her bust: 40"
6.5" negative ease

Size: Kat prefers a close fit, so this might be perfect for her. However, if she wanted a looser fit, she could easily go up to the 38", with 2" of negative ease. (If Kat wanted a really loose fit, she could go for the 42", but I think that that would be a LOT of loose fabric adding extra weight and width around her nice figure!) Sleeves: Too short. More, please. V-neck: I like the depth here; if Kat goes up a size, she'd have to check the measurements. Color: Kat loves green. What about a rich avocado green? Yum. Otherwise: This is very flattering on Kat. She should have several, in lots of shades of green!

Knitting Gallery - Brocade Leaves Amy   Knitting Gallery - Brocade Leaves Amy


Her bust: 39"
5.5" negative ease

Size: Well, goodness. This size 33.5" still looks good, even with a lot of negative ease. That goes to show how stretchy and forgiving this stitch pattern is. (Brilliant, Kathy.) But for a bit more comfort, Amy might want a larger size, say, the 38". Sleeves: They look like they are about perfect here, so in a larger size, Amy would want to do some measuring to see if they would still be OK. V-neck: Perfect. Color: This is a good color for Amy's complexion–she has a lot of color in her face, so she can pull this off. But blue is one of Amy's favorite colors… Otherwise: This sweater shows off Amy's curves in an attractive way, which is unusual for "box" sweaters. It does not add a lot of bulk, and it does not cling too tightly.

Knitting Gallery - Brocade Leaves Debbie   Knitting Gallery - Brocade Leaves Debbie


Her bust: 34.5"
1" negative ease

Size: Perfect. Sleeves: Perfect. V-neck: Perfect. Color: Perfect. (Sigh. Sometimes it is very demoralizing to write these little commentaries for Certain People Who Always Look Perfect In Everything.)

Knitting Gallery - Brocade Leaves Stefanie   Knitting Gallery - Brocade Leaves Erin


Her bust: 34"
0.5" negative ease

Size: Perfect (here we go again…). Sleeves: Perfect. V-neck: Perfect. Color: (I refuse to write another "perfect"!) Stefanie would look stunning in a cream or off-white version to match her fabulous earrings.



Her bust: 38"
4.5" negative ease

Size: Even though this looks really swell on Erin, she might be more comfortable in the size 38". Sleeves: Longer, please. The hem too. V-neck: Erin doesn't like to show too much skin either, so she might bring up the V just a bit by starting it later and doing fewer decrease rows on the way up to the shoulder. Color: Brown is pretty on her, but what if it were steel blue to match her eyes? Yeah, baby.

Knitting Gallery - Brocade Leaves Sandi   Knitting Gallery - Brocade Leaves Bertha


Her bust: 40"
6.5" negative ease

Size: I liked this, but I also felt that the small size added visual pounds to me–the small size clung more tightly to my tummy, which is not really my best bit. I'd like a larger size, please–probably the 38". Sleeves: Could be a tiny bit longer. V-neck: Whoo. A bit deep on me. It's not too bad, but I feel self-conscious, and it's really important to note how you FEEL in a garment, not just how it looks on you. Up with the V-neck. Color: The brown does look good, but brown is not a color I wear a lot of. Could mine be black? Or (wait for it…) a nice plum purple?



Her bust: 34"
0.5" negative ease

Size: I like it, even though it hangs a bit loose on Bertha. She could go a size smaller if she wanted to. Sleeves: Hush now. Let's not be rude. V-neck: A bit racy on Ms. B, but not too bad. Color: Bertha's coloring allows her to wear a variety of colors, but this one is pretty strong for her clear, almost glowing complexion. How about a deep dusty rose?

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79 thoughts on “Knitscene Fall 2008 Brocade Leaves

  1. What I love about these galleries is that they often make me more interested in a sweater than I was originally. I think it looks great on you, Sandi!

    And I’m with you on the love of plum purple.

  2. This reminds me of the puckered smocking on the peasant tops that used to be so popular in the 70’s, only it’s ALL over!
    It’s not a very flattering style on someone that’s heavier-set.
    I think you would really have to have quite an hour-glass figure to set it off, & be a bit on the more slender side. It could add some enhancement for a smaller-busted person, but you’d want to make sure to be slim in build, with small hips.

  3. it is nice to see the same sweater on different sized and shaped women, along with your comments on how they could do mods to achieve a better fit. I think this is a very very useful tool – the gallery!

  4. I don’t agree with the comment that the waist shaping was “graceful” with all that smocking. It’s not a bad sweater and the colour is one of my favorites. I don’t think this colour shows the pattern off the best; a lighter colour might have shown the pattern off better.

  5. The sweater seems to be very flattering to many figure types, with appropriate modifications. On Debbie, the sweater is too long and covers too much of her hips making her appear to be more ‘hippy’ than she really is. I think a shorter length would be better for Debbie.

    Also, a lighter colour would show off the pattern instead of hiding it.


  6. I agree with Rita, I can’t see the pattern at all. A lighter color such as a soft blue or a denim would have shown the pattern much better.

    I think, Sandi, with the weight you are loosing, you’re going to look great in a 36 or 34 in no time!

    Dodie R

  7. Sandi, you are looking AWESOME.
    I am really grateful for today’s galleries, because I had an opposite game plan re What I Want To Knit before I saw these pictures: I was planning on making the bodice, and this pullover didn’t make much of an impression on me. Now that I have seen the pictures, I really don’t think the bodice is flattering on anyone – tiny OR busty – but I think this sweater is the most flattering gallery garment I’ve seen yet, and I have to make one for myself!

  8. The gallery is great! But I wish you wouldn’t model things knitting in such a dark color. Maybe it’s my eyes, but I find it difficult to make out the pattern. In the end, one pullover is much the same as the next, and that’s a shame…I know it is much more special than that!


  9. This is a sweater I never would have picked out for myself, but after seeing it on real women, I just might make it. The stitch pattern is problematic. It creates a “poofiness” that doesn’t seem to flatter shorter or rounder women. (Being tall and bony myself, it just might be perfect for me.) I agree with others that it should be a lighter color. I have some light green in the stash that would be great.

  10. I agree with the comment about the color. When I first saw it – I skipped over it because I could not make out the stitch pattern because of the dark color. Though the color MIGHT be okay in real life because you could actually see the person wearing it, for a magazine, it is wrong. A lighter color would have shown off the pattern. Even now I have no idea of what the stitch pattern really looks like!

    Looks great on most everyone, though! And Sandi you do look GREAT!

  11. Again, the gallery is a very fun concept that I like a lot. In this case I would have liked to see a close-up of the overall pattern stitch as I can’t really tell what it is like.

  12. I LOVE the galleries! They are so helpful.

    As someone with postmenopausal slippage through the midsection, I am usually not a huge fan of negative ease. I think the texture of the stitch in this one helps conceal more than a plainer sweater would.

    I agree with the comments about the color–the stitch pattern is hard to see.

  13. This pattern looks terrific on all the gallery gals. I think it might look even lovelier in a heathered olive or a soft dove grey. It’s the main reason I might buy this issue!

  14. You guys (gals) have really bee working hard. It’s good to see examples of what the sweater look like on all types of shapes. Kudos!!!! Harriett

  15. I love this sweater, but the dark color makes it impossible to see the stitch detail at all! I hate that!

    However, Sandi, I think this one looks perfect on you. I know you said it was too tight, but I think it makes you look much smaller. I think it’s great! (Which is good news for me, because I’m about your size/shape too!)

  16. I agree with the comments that the color should be lighter or please include a closeup of the pattern. I think this sweater would look good on larger women because the stitch pattern won’t allow it to cling too much, even if the sweater rides the curves. I also think it should be shorter for Debbie. I’m amazed that you think the v-neck is too low on some – I can’t tell that at all. Tho I am in California, so maybe I’ve been biased by the half-dressed around me.

  17. I like the sweater on Erin, Amy and Kat. The sleeves may not have been the right length, but the sweater itself was the perfect length. Not too long and not too short.
    Ladies … about being able to see the pattern, I think that is why the magazine from which the sweater is made is at the top of the page so you can buy the pattern… 🙂

  18. I liked the neckline on everyone. I am so tired of seeing cleavage, even on the stars on the food channel. All of you looked great and none of the necklines were too deep or revealing., I may look into this pattern for myself.

    Judi A

  19. This sweater was flattering to everyone. So was the color. I love the pattern, too. This one I would knit for myself and not have to go on a diet to wear it. Thanks.

  20. I love the comment about the sweater being done in a heathered olive or dove grey. When I first saw the sweater, I thought, “nah,” but now, thinking in a different color makes it more of a possibility. Although the pattern does kind of remind me of paper towels….

  21. I agree that we need to use a different color to see the pattern. Why do all the work, if others cannot see it? But I do think that this sweater looks good on all of the models. This pattern is a keeper!!

  22. Sandi, You are looking great girl. Keep up the good work. I think the V is perfect on you, remember a V neck is more flattering on larger buss. It looks like the sweater could use some shaping but I’m thinking he leaf pattern doesn’t lend itself to shaping…

  23. I love these galleries! I think it looks the best on Sandi and Amy. I really didn’t think I would like to make this until I saw the gallery but perhapsI should take the plunge and go yarn shopping!

  24. Sandi,

    I have been a fan of Kathy Zimmerman’s designs for years, especially the lovely stitch patterns she uses. I was disappointed that the sample was knit in such a dark color and that there was no close-up of the fabric. Could you either publish a well-lit close-up of the sweater fabric or get someone to work up a swatch so we all could be enlightened?

    Thanks so much.

  25. I skimmed quickly by this sweater on the preview page because it does look somewhat boxy there. I like it much better here on the gallery girls!

    While the stitch pattern probably would photograph better in a lighter color, I can see it fairly well on my monitor. As the name suggests, it’s an all over leaf pattern.

  26. Sandi – I think this sweater looks fantastic on you. The V-neck definitely suits you much better than some of the more petite girls. I am so tempted now to knit one for myself, now I see how it looks on real women.

  27. I agree with all the others on the color. Although I like the color I would like to see this sweater in a lighter color. I think the sweater suits the best on Sandi, Amy and Erin. It’s nice to see the sweater on different persons.

  28. I really like being able to see the sweaters on different body types! What a great idea (whoever came up with this one is a genius!). When I look at patterns in magazines, I am always wondering how they would look on a “normal” (read: not model) figure. I wish more patterns would actually show the item on several different figure types….I know….dream on….

  29. Love this jumper, I agree that the brown doesn’t show the stitch pattern off best, but I’d definitely wear a brown jumper like this! I also love the galleries. I must agree that seeing the same jumper worn by all you lovely ladies is an invaluable tool when it comes to making choices – I’m much more likely to buy a pattern after seeing it in your gallery than just seeing it on line or in a magazine worn by one model. Thanks!

  30. Sandi, I know how it feels to have to hide a tummy, but in my humble opinion, you look awesome in that sweater and you do great things for it. Don’t be so hard on yourself!

  31. Hm, now this is a sweater I don’t really like, myself. Tastes vary (thank goodness!).
    I think this is a lovely colour and a pretty stitch but ladies, I do feel it bulks up every single one of you, including the Michelin effect on the sleeves. I would really, really hesitate before putting this on anyone who wasn’t 6 ft tall and really skinny.
    Sheer amazement that so many of you feel the V-neck is too low!!! I was just thinking it was fairly high when I read the first of those comments… Surely women need to be emphasising their assets (without looking cheap) and the curvier ones even more so – a V is perfect to give that lengthening effect, the lower the better. You can always wear a cami underneath if your underwear starts showing.
    well, that is just my opinion, of course. Room for everyone here 😉

  32. Sandi – you’re getting skinnier and skinnier. DO tell – what program have you been following?

    This sweater is very pretty and it’s encouraging to learn that a choice of stitch pattern gives the shaping. I’d love to see it in a medium green too! (I know you don’t get to choose the color for the samples, tho’.)

    These galleries are the greatest idea. Love ’em!

  33. Hmm, I’m going to be the voice of dissent and say that I only like the sweater on the larger ladies, when it’s got lots of negative ease. Sandi, it looks amazing on you, especially the depth of the neck. It still looks boxy on the smaller girls to me.

  34. Sandi, it’s fabulous on you! If you go for a sweater in chocolate, I’ll go for one in purple/plum for myself? I love purple, I just never wear it as a big piece, usually just accessories. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  35. I love these galleries, I think they’re really interesting. But the thing that scares me is that it always seems to be a case of ‘even if you change the size, you might need to do adaptions’. Now I’ve been knitting for over 20 years, but I don’t know if I could handle making the changes that are necessary, especially now that I dont’ have my dressmaker mother handy to measure me (she lives on the other side of the world).
    So even though I think it’s interesting seeing the changes and the way it looks on ‘real’ people, in a way these galleries put me off because of the way they highlight how things need to be adapted. I guess I just need more guts.

  36. I agree with everyone who says seeing it on real people makes me much more interested in this sweater.

    I also agree that the “poofiness” could be problematic – especially around the hips.

    So I’m thinking maybe it would be even cuter in a cropped version?

  37. I really like this sweater on all the models, but what about the skin or white undergarments that can be clearly seen through the holes? I think that’s more risque than the V-neck. I would have to wear a similarily-colored camisole under this sweater.

  38. In that color, I cannot make out the stitch pattern at all. It just looks like a boxy dark brown pullover to me. Maybe better lighting would have helped?

  39. I think this sweater looks good on all the girls, but on Amy the best – I didn’t think it needed any changing! The color can be changed easily, but changing the pattern with the stitch pattern would be way beyond my capabilities. I would have to pass on this sweater.

  40. I love v-necked sweaters. I also love to knit a fabric that has a pattern that appears with each row.
    Too bad the picture was so dark. I was unable to detect the pattern.

  41. Ok, when I first saw this sweater in the preview I kind of said “Ew.” However, as I looked at the gallery I started liking it better with each model. I especially like it on Sandi and on Amy. I also like it in the chocolatey brown but I think it would look very pretty in a deep cranberry red or a soft green. If I were to make it for myself I’d go for the red.

  42. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

    …For showing a sweater on actual women. The airbrushed stuff you see in so many magazines give no clue what a piece will look like on us full-figure gals.

  43. Sandi, I disagree with your personal assessment. I think the sweater fits perfectly and brown is a color you should definitely be wearing. It’s very flattering. Also, LOVE your haircut and you are looking mahvelous dahlink!

  44. Agree with everyone else that showing the garments on real women is not only very brave genrous spirited on behalf of the models but very instructive. Ny only complaint is that if knitted in dark colours, such as the Brocade Leaves sweater it’s very hard to pick out the detail in the photos.

  45. I try to give positive feedback wherever I can, but sorry, I can think of nothing positive to say about this lumpen garment. It doesn’t even suit the lovely Debbie, who normally shows every knit off to perfection. It certainly didn’t get my gallery vote.

  46. I think the gallery is a great idea and definitely shows how slight changes can really affect how a garment looks on a person. Makes things a bit more challenging but worth the effort.
    Rita W’s comment reflects my thoughts exactly. A lighter yarn would show the pattern off better and I think the length of the sweater on Debbie hits at an unflattering point, emphasizing the width across her hips instead of flattering them.

  47. Ok, after looking at the sweater and reading most of the comments, I have to say I think particular style looks best on the fuller figured ladies. Especially those that are more evenly shaped and have more at the top. Sandi, don’t sell yourself short. You look AB FAB in this sweater!

  48. Sandi- The V-neck looks very flattering on you (but i know you’re not comfortable with it). As far as the overall effect, I think the sweater looks the best on Sandi, too big on Debbie. I just may have to make this one for myself. Maybe in a sage or an olive green? (I have Kat’s hair and coloring).

  49. Glad there was a Gallery, because it confirmed a hunch I had: It just isn’t a very flattering style, and I wouldn’t invest the time to knit it. Too dark, also: If there are redeeming details, they just hide in the deep, dark yarn.

  50. I get the fact that this is supposed to be a Fall sweater, but does it have to be such a drab dark brown? Maybe a dark burnt orange or something with a little more color to it to show the detail.

    I do think that this pattern is flattering to those of us of the larger set.

  51. These galleries are simply amazing to me – really it is the most helpful thing EVER. And I think I’m gonna have to get this issue of Knitscene now because my mother would look simply divine in this sweater!!! Thank you so much.

    BTW, Sandi – you are looking FABULOUS!

  52. Nice sweater. Didn’t really look bad on anyone! I liked Sandi and Amy’s fit best. I thought it put more attention on their faces and not their bust. Thought the neckline looked great on Sandi! can’t see the stitch detail well in the brown though.


  53. Swimming against the tide:
    I love the fact that this garment wasn’t knit specifically for the gallery but that it was “taken from the rack”. The purpose for this gallery isn’t to see stitch definition (that would be a bonus) but to analyze how it works with different body shapes, and for that it mostly works although the dark brown does make it hard to really see how it hangs, or clings.

    I’m developing a growing appreciation for dark rich browns – it was interesting to see that it worked better on most everyone than I’d have guessed.

  54. Kudos to KathyZ.! Sandy, I think that this sweater is the most flattering thing that I have seen you model yet. Envision the brown with a red scarf…. Note that the most flattering fit appears on models whose natural waistline falls at the “straight” dividing line between pattern repeats. This might be something to consider when adjusting length. And yes, Debbie needs one fewer pattern repeat for best length.

  55. Sandi, I think this sweater is incredibly flattering and slimming on you! I was surprised to read that you didn’t like it around the tummy bits. It’s stunning on you!

  56. I love this sweater. It is flattering for all body-types. What a great surprise!

    In fact, there is nothing in this mag I don’t like!

    Cherrie C., re: Fall Knitscene-Brocade Leaves

  57. I found that the stitch pattern showed up better in the magazine than on my monitor, but since that wasn’t what I was looking for here, that was fine.

    I like the fact that the fabric pulls in enough for shaping, but not to the point of clinging. If the yarn itself is not too bulky (forgot to check), the texture should actually help to camouflage anything I’m not happy about around the tummy area.

    My dark brown yarn is earmarked for something else, though, so it will have to be a different color. Maybe the cinnamon brown or turquoise. . .

  58. Hi..Overall, I think this sweater looked better on everybody than the medieval style did. I thought the color looked flattering on most..I am wondering, though, if it is like doing an aran texture–that is, the patterning would show off more with a lighter color…..

  59. I have to thank-you for these galleries, they are extremely helpful! I wasn’t particulary interested in this one, now I just love it! I think it looks really great on everyone, I love how it clings without showing off those ‘trouble areas’.

  60. It looks like a nice pattern but I wish I could see more of it. It is so dark on my screen. Anyone do this in a lighter color? Nothing against plum…. Anyone else have this problem?

  61. I found it hard to see the pattern. The dark color didn’t show off the stitches enough. I liked the overall shape, but am not sure if I liked the pattern enough. Wish I could see it in a lighter color. Again, I have to say how much I like these galleries. Congrats.

  62. Wow, now I’m considering this pattern for a first sweater attempt (version 2.0). I really enjoy these galleries, since I start noticing patterns that I normally wouldn’t consider. Great job girls!

  63. Another comment regarding the color: can’t see the detail and can’t tell what the design is. Maybe some close-ups would help. I love the style of the sweater and deep neckline, and it certainly DOES help to see on everyone. I wouldn’t make the sweater for myself as what detail I could see, puffs it up too much, like cables do, and I would not want to add all the bulk. But it looks good on all the staff pics.

  64. If you’re looking for a design that makes any sized woman look 10 lbs heavier, this is the one for you. Adding puckers over your entire torso and arms can doing nothing else.