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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2002 :  08:58:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
The April issue of Knit 'n Style has a wonderful article by Leslye Solomon titled Love the Way You Are. It's about how difficult it is to knit for the bodies we walk around in - and how often we just don't knit for ourselves because we are afraid we won't like what we've made. It's so much easier to knit a sweater for a 3-year-old who is rectangular anyway and looks cute in anything besides. But for those of us who once were a size medium, somehow managed to diet down out of XL into large - those of us who own only magic mirrors that make us look slim, but who have to wear real sizes - coming to terms with our bodies is an ongoing issue. And it stands there like a lump between the needle and the garment, blocking our way to a lot of knitting pleasure.

(How do you like the use of the royal we?)

I, for one, know that my fear of looking good in the garment is one of the main impediments to completion, (the other is being an ENFP on the Meyers Briggs scale - the talkative type who mourns projects upon completion, rather than takes pleasure in them). I know this about myself and realize it is an issue I will deal with forever. But it's mighty nice to see it addressed in a knitting magazine.


BLN3320
Permanent Resident

USA
3808 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2002 :  3:33:58 PM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
Hi, BessH: The problem I have with knitting something other than a scarf and/or hat is that I don't feel as though I have something new. It was the same when I use to make all my clothes. I never felt I had anything new, although it was. Beverley

Bev
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Alissa
Seriously Hooked

USA
632 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2002 :  8:30:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Alissa's Homepage Send Alissa a Private Message
My problem with knitting for my fluffy self is that I totally love what I am knitting until someone asks me if I am knitting an afghan. I lose my taste for it quite suddenly after that. Once it is done and a few months down the road I am much happier with it!



Alissa
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LoriAnn
Warming Up

USA
70 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2002 :  08:36:07 AM  Show Profile Send LoriAnn a Private Message
Admitting one is "Built for Comfort" is easier said than done. Knitting for one is harder. When one in making a shawl, blanket, or scarf, ample is a compliment. When making a vest, ample reminds me that I am not a stick.

I love to see the hand knitted items other Fluffy people have made for themselves. And one of these days, I will get there. Knitting is great therapy. But I have to get over the "cast on as many stitches as you would if you were making a blanket" concept.

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AtomicKnit
Chatty Knitter

USA
120 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2002 :  10:37:51 AM  Show Profile Send AtomicKnit a Private Message
Being a Robust person myself, I find that I go through the knitting mags with a supercritical eye: no boatnecks or halter-style (can't wear a bra with those), no sleeveless (upper arms exposed, horrors!), no horizontal stripes, (heaven forbid!) . . . And by the time I'm finished the only potential project left is a black long-sleeved turtleneck. Fooh. So I knit a lot for kids and other people.

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Shysmommy
Warming Up

USA
62 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2002 :  11:56:36 AM  Show Profile Send Shysmommy a Private Message
I am glad I am not the only one who has this problem.......I tried to make a sweater for myself when I first seriously got into knitting about 6 years ago and I made it in the largest size that was on the pattern, and even put a few extra seed stitch rows on the sides and I knitted it a bit longer so as to hide my child bearing capable hips when I wore leggings, I hated it bottom line when I got it all done I hated it, it was too snug here or there and it made me look frumpy, one of my stick friends bought it from me cause she loved it with a belt as a dress (argh!!!!) I guess all wasn't lost though.

It is much safer to knit for babies and significant others, babies never complain and neither (generally speaking) do signigicant others!!!

Friends Welcome
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2002 :  12:33:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Okay guys, now you know why i simply love the eps sweater - Elizabeth Zimmermann's circular sweater knit to your body. I have big square shoulders and am also otherwise topheavy and I was worried about the patterned yoke making me look even more like a linebacker for the washington redskins, but it didn't at all. the first eps yoke sweater i knit (with all its flaws) is simply lovely. I have never had a sweater fit so well. I did put in the short rows in the front instead of th back, but it's awfully nice to knit and knit and knit and have something to wear when you are done. and best of all - she says "dont measure yourself (really don't measure your husband unless he likes you to) but measure a favorite fitting sweater you already own and knit to that measurement. lord that woman was a genius of practicality.


good knitting to us all

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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2002 :  12:36:30 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
From one fluffy friend to another,

I am from a family of fluffies and have done a lot of sewing for special occasions. Taking measurements was always a problem until I started doing it this way. Take a tape measure--the kind that has centimeters on one side and measure honestly by using the tape measure backwards--make the highest number on the centimeter side mean zero. Now use this way of measuring for all of your needs until you are able to make something for yourself that fits! Don't be a slave to numbers or a pattern book. Everyone was happy with their dress as long as they didn't know the numbers.

Use a program like the one on wwwe.knittersfiend.com and be honest. The reason most sweaters don't fit is because not enough ease has been allowed. The fluffier you are the more ease you need. The program will add it automatically. I like my sweaters at least 4 inches bigger around the bust than what I am and prefer 8 inches. You will look much more slim if you allow enough.

Then carry a baseball bat and knock anyone out who dares to approach you with a measuring tape. Your size won't show on your sweater, but your good taste will.

Fran

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Alissa
Seriously Hooked

USA
632 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2002 :  4:06:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Alissa's Homepage Send Alissa a Private Message
Here, Here! I just love the way you think Fran.

I have to agree with Lori about getting over the "casting on enough for an afghan" to knit a sweater. But I really do love the freedom to make something I really want. I could never buy something like this at the fluffy person stores. All they sell is hip current stuff and leisure wear. I am probably too old for hip, I have NEVER been current and I have enough leisure wear. What I really need is dressed up enough for a dinner party wear. Something that will go to work and a banquet but not look out of place at the school open house. Sweaters work great. I am so encouraged by my last attempt I am planning another. After 29 years of knitting I am finally learning what I like and how to get from here to there! (I could do it for other normal shapes but my left me stumpped and depressed.)

What shaping challanged have you overcome? I like Fran's suggestion for ease. Mine is to not make the armholes too deep. I might be large but I am not a body builder and I don't need an armhole the size of a bread box!

Happy Knitting,


Alissa
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2002 :  7:30:50 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
Exactly, Alissa, Clothes made for "fluffies" have very wide shoulders and an armhole that goes down to the waist. No one will look good in something that ill fitting. But take that same fluffy person and put her into something that fits under the arms and across the shoulders, with an attractive neckline, and as much ease as needed across the bustline and down to the waist and she will look much slimmer and more attractive. Too large doesn't do it. You are better off to take a pattern designed in a size 14 or 16 and just widen the places that need to be widened, rather that create a tent. The most creative sweater I knitted was for someone 5"3" with a bustline measurement of 72". For the first time in her life, she looked in the mirror and said, "I'm pretty in this". That made my day. I tell these people to taks something that they like the way it fits (frequently a sweatshirt), then I pinch the shoulder to see how much should be taken out of the armhole depth, mark the edges of their shoulder with pins, double check the length so that it does not end at the widest part of their body but below it. Another thing to check is the hemline and correct it if the front goes up higher than the back, or the back goes up higher than the front. Then keep the sweatshirt and measure it. There are a lot of other little tricks for different problems and if you need to know one just contact me. I have knitted and sewed for people with deformed curves to their spines, dwarfism, and other medical problems. You just have to get a little creative and nothing is off limits, cables are fine, stripes, either horizontal or vertical are fine.

Fran

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schoolmama
Permanent Resident

USA
2310 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2002 :  9:20:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit schoolmama's Homepage Send schoolmama a Private Message
Fran, you know, I just experienced the same problem with a sewing pattern for a sleeveless shell. I got it for my measurements, and ended up taking over an inch off the shoulder seam to get it to fit. And, I am not short, I'm 5'7" tall. They must think that we get taller as we get wider !! That might work better!?! Barb
And besides, we need our armholes higher when we are fluffy so our "unmentionables" are covered!
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2002 :  9:50:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
I guess i'm a Weeble - I'm three sizes bigger on the bottom than I am on th top, which is MUCH harder to clothe. You gals with chests have it made - your sweaters can drop from the chest and avoid touching your middle. Since my gut sticks out farther than my chest, I always look like a swallowed a beach ball - MOST unappealing. I haven't found a solution yet, and a-line makes it worse - emphasizes how wide my middle is. Sigh.

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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  04:13:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Lissa you will love learing about short row darts. Maggie Righetti's book sweater design in plain english has a thorough though somewhat complicated explanaition of how to go about them. If you haven't learned how to make a short row - not for a sock heel, which, though the same thing,feels different, but to go over body curves, practice some on swatches. Once you are comfortable with them you an invision all sorts of uses for them for making that hem fall straight without distorting the shape of the sweater.

I made a vest for my husband with 3 inches of tummy darts on the front. Hanging up it looks like a stretched out maternity top. On his body it makes him look trim and slim and perfectly fitted.

I recently corresponded with Meg Swansen about using the EPS to create fitting sweaters for fluffies and here is her reply:

All my yoke-patterned instructions say that the yoke depth is approx half
the body width, BUT rarely ever greater than 10".
Large circumference does NOT translate into deeper yokes.
The trouble they may run into is getting rid of enough stitches in that 10"
section to get down to a proper neck-circumference. I recommend the
4-decrease yoke, with perhaps a more severe decrease each time (Maybe 1/4
for the first round: K2, K2tog. Then 1/3 for the following 3 decreases: K1,
K2tog). Some math in advance will tell you if you will reach the right neck
size.


And she followed with offers of more consultation if I run into other trouble. She is absolutely the sweetest person and doesn't get at all irritated if you act like a teenager at a rock concert (which I tend to do - you know, gush and sort of squeal)You can call her for knitting advice. This is what's posted on her webpage.

Questions? Knitting Difficulties? Call us at 715-884-2799 between 8:30 a.m and 4:00 p.m. CST



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Rebecca
Permanent Resident

USA
1119 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  05:32:43 AM  Show Profile Send Rebecca a Private Message
I read your comments and related to them 100%. In the last three years I have gained enough weight to put me into the "women's sizes" thanks to hormone replacement therapies and aging. I still love bulky sweaters and bright colors and knitting for myself. Nobody gets younger, and I've decided not to waste my remaining time on this mortal plane fretting over whether I can compete with the latest Twiggy.

I try to eat healthy and get exercise, and accept the fact that I'm 49 this year. It's almost working, but I have my days.

If fluffies were a rare body type, they may have been the fashion statement, who knows? As a species we're just so weird! We all have our own gifts to share with others no matter what our bodies look like.
Rebecca

...found easily in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia...
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CCR
Gabber Extraordinaire

375 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  06:32:37 AM  Show Profile Send CCR a Private Message
I have never replied to a topic before. I'm new, so please forgive me if I've done this wrong! But I was so excited to read that article because IT'S ABOUT ME! How did that writer know? After knitting 5 sweaters for children and one for my husband, I am embarking on one for me and I am so nervous about it. I wish all patterns had larger sizes. sigh.

CCR

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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  07:15:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Ain't it the truth, Rebecca? We are so silly to worry our lives away. sometimes I wish I were more like my dogs - always ready to be happy. And we fluffies will just fluff ourselves all over Md. sheep & wool. can't wait to see you there.

and CCR I'm glad this topic got you to join in the discussion. For those of us for whom this is an issue - it's a mighty lonely feeling till you start talking about it and find all kinds of sisters and brothers longing to talk too.

grand knitting to you all

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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  12:56:42 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
Lissa,

Try something that really surprised me. I too cannot wear A-lines because they make me look even bigger, but I was given a blouse and felt I had to wear it in order not to hurt the giver's feelings. Well, it was a blouson with a band around the bottom--a 4 inch wide contrast color band. The trick was it was an extra long blouson so the band came below my widest part instead of on it, and it was extremely flattering. It drew the eye away from my widest part. Another thing that is flattering is an open vest that is extra long, kind of like a duster. Make it a-line until you have the width you want and then straight down or with very little mmore angling of the a-line. There are a lot of other hints that help too, like an angled hemline. The biggest thing is to check where on your body something hits. length of sleeves can decrease the width of a bustline, etc.

Fran

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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  1:05:35 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
When making clothing for myself, I have found that although I don't want the armhole lowered, it does help to make it wider under the arm and I add inches there,(in the number of stitches bound off to start the armhole and also the sleeve. I add 1 1/2 to 2 inches for myself and have added as many as 5 (for the 72" bustline). Even with raglan sweaters, and I make a lot of neck-down sweaters, I add stitches under the arm, increasing the width. Frequently this is the only change necessary when checking the width of the sleeve.

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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  9:10:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST! Bess, thanks for that info. As a long-term beginner knitter, I'm not sure what a short row is, but it sounds like something I'll need to learn. Fran, you're ALWAYS a source of solutions! I used to love blousons when I was thin, but you're right - if the fabric's dense enough, and the band low enough, it might work. I never wear anything open, though - I have a really small chest, and if I wear something (like a vest) open, you can REALLY see how big my gut is! I've been "accused" of being very pregnant. Sigh.

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e_looped
Seriously Hooked

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  11:08:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit e_looped's Homepage Send e_looped a Private Message
One thing that has helped me in knitting for myself is to think in terms of stitches, I know it goes against what several of you have already said. When I'm making something for myself, I have the slap in the face of reality when I'm trying to figure out what size to make, then I concentrate on the stitches. Since I use so many different types of yarn for sweaters for myself 200 stitches may be for a fine yarn and 75 for bulkier. I just start knitting and go with it. I always have several projects for myself going so I don't have time to concentrate on it.
Although I may sound like the queen of self-esteem and self-acceptance, I assure you I am not, but I do feel my best in the clothes that I have made for myself - whether it be from sewing or knitting. The ultimate is when you sew something for yourself (after getting over the horrifying fact of what size they say you are on the pattern) and you have to take it in! I made myself a jumper and had to take two to three inches off the sides.


erica :)

Life is like knitting sometimes it's smooth, sometimes it's bumpy and sometimes it's the ultimate frustration.
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2002 :  02:09:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
I think if I ever were to sell a pattern for publication I would call a 36" sweater width could be spritely, a 38" width elfin, a 42" delicate, 46" could be dainty ,48" maybe slender, and 50 could be a small!

what would yours be called?

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