Saturday, March 6, 2010

Things that look better on the table

Making garments for yourself requires a bit of give and take, and a realization of what your body-type is... and accepting it. Sometimes, you make mistakes and end up making things that look great, but only on the table that you're photographing it on.

Example: My Cherie Amour (insert Stevie Wonder background here):

I made this using James C. Brett Marble Chunky that I fell in love with in a store in Edmonton when I was there on a work trip. Fantastic colours, truly different. I promptly bought two of the enormous balls and brought them home. I eventually settled on making Cherie Amour (I even special-ordered another ball to make sure I had enough) and set to work on it.

Well, here's the problem: it's not only Marble Chunky, but it makes ME look chunky.

In Big Girl Knits by Amy R. Singer and Jillian Moreno, one of the first cardinal rules of knitting for a bodacious body is "Thou shalt not knit with chunky yarn." Why add inches when you don't need inches?

Funny thing is: I knew this rule before I started this sweater. I thought, "Well, it's awfully cute in the pictures. I'm sure it'll be cute on me. I'll just modify it here and there..."

Well, Misses Singer and Moreno, I was blind, but now I see.

I still wear this sweater from time to time, usually on the weekends when nobody sees me. I've added a lace-up to the front so that the neckline doesn't gape, and it's better, but it ain't Vogue.

Nowadays, I make liberal use of Ravelry to see what patterns look like on different shapes. You can check out a pattern and see what people have done with it, and if there were any problems with the pattern, or if someone has made a clever modification. It's a godsend... one that I really should have scrutinized a bit longer before making this.

Ah well... at least I can hum a l'il bit of Stevie today.


Rusty M. said...

It's still very pretty and I really like the color. Why do we insist on knitting something that we know deep down we might not be happy with the end result? I just finished a sweater (Ragna by Elsebeth Lavold) and it's beautiful if I do say so myself. Except...I look like the prow of a ship when I'm wearing the thing. *sigh* At least we are good knitters...teehee.

Kourtney said...

I really like it! I always end up knitting sweaters - and occasionally re-knitting sweaters - then giving them to my friends because I haven't figured out how to deflate the bust allowances in the sweater. I'm hoping to shake that with my current WIP - it's a top-down cardi that I'm designing myself. And if not, well. The act of knitting brings me peace. It'd be good if it brought me sweaters, too, but whatevs.

I love using Ravelry to "comparison" shop, too.

AdrieneJ said...

@Kourtney - At least with a top-down cardi, you can try it on as you go along. I'm about to start one myself, once I can figure out my gauge. Good luck!

Joanne said...

You are so right on with this post! I can't tell you how many sweaters I've loved as designs and knitted without (ahem) consulting my actual body shape. It's one of the reasons why I love designing--I can make the sweaters I like without worrying if it will flatter my form. It does eventually flatter someone's form, if I've designed something properly in the first place!

Thank you for your kind note on my blog. I really appreciated all the moral support. I know for sure that there will be other opportunities out there...I just have to be brave enough to keep trying. Thanks for the empathy and cheering! I needed it.:)

t said...

We've all made things that turn out looking better on the hanger than on us. Lord knows I've knit my share of them. But that top is so cute I've bookmarked it. Love the colorway of the fiber you've chosen. It looks beautiful! :0)

AdrieneJ said...

Thanks, Susannah! I love the colours of this yarn, too. I have some of it left, so maybe it will live on as a nice, chunky scarf!