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careynev
Chatty Knitter

USA
307 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  07:37:07 AM  Show Profile Send careynev a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, I hope this is acceptable--I'm not a man, but I'm about to embark on my first no-pattern design for a vest for my husband, and he has a few figure "issues" that have me confused.

I thought, "Who better to ask about this than a group of men who knit?"

So, here's where I'm confused:

His shoulders are extra-wide, yet the rest of him is very slender. If I make a vest that will fit him around the waist/ribs, etc., then won't the shoulders look weird? And if I make it wide enough for his shoulders, I know it will swing out from there and be too big on his body (this happens with sweaters, too, so I know of what I speak).

Does anyone have advice on how to shape a vest for this kind of problem? He's also tall in the torso, but that's easier to handle. It's those shoulders that have me confused. [**]

Thanks in advance for any manly advice you can give.



Judy, the Nerdy Knitter

RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  07:47:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not a man, but I promise there's a motor oil commercial on as I type this.

Size the shoulders and the waist differently - increase up to the shoulders (or decrease down to the waist, which ever direction you're working in).

That's the thing about knitting - you get to make those individual modifications that you can't get in store bought items.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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careynev
Chatty Knitter

USA
307 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  08:49:04 AM  Show Profile Send careynev a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, RoseByAny--So if I work from the bottom-up, I CO the # of sts for his waist circumference, then decrease for armholes, then increase again to get the shoulders wide enough, or do I not dec for the armholes?

I guess that's where I'm having trouble with this idea...I don't know how to make the top wider when it's traditionally the smaller part.

I'll have to play around with this a bit, obviously.

Thanks again for the input--as I type this, my husband is outside changing the oil in our cars, and I can hear the motors running through the window. I hope that counts! Hee hee.



Judy, the Nerdy Knitter
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MMario
Permanent Resident

2210 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  11:56:57 AM  Show Profile Send MMario a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If it is a sleevless vest, it shouldn't be too much of a problem; as many vest have scooped armholes. but If you don't like that look, just decrease a few stitches less for the armholes during the decrease section which will make the shoulder sections wider.


MMario - I don't live in the 21st century - but I play a character who does.
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SFMichael
Gabber Extraordinaire

437 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2007 :  2:04:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit SFMichael's Homepage Send SFMichael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If it is not just his shoulders, but his chest which is broad, then increase from the waist to the armholes, then decrease for the armholes and knit straight up from there.

If it is actually his shoulders, then just let them be.

With a vest, broad shoulders are actually less of a problem than with a sweater. Generally you don't want to make the armholes flare by adding increases between the armhole bind-off and the shoulders. With a sweater, you can balance the chest measurement and the armhole depth to give you satisfactory shoulder fit. Narrow chest and broad shoulders => bind off/decrease fewer stitches at the armholes.

----|
    |
    |
    |
     \
     |
     |

Broad chest and average shoulders => decrease more at the beginning of the armholes.


--|
  |
  |
  \
   \
    --
     |
     |



e.g. If he has a 40" chest and shoulder to shoulder is 17", you'll want a sweater that is ~43" around for ease. At 4sts/in you'd cast on 86 stitches for the back and knit to the armhole. When you get to the armhole, you'll bind off and decrease 9-10 stitches at each edge (total of 4.5-5"), then knit straight up to the shoulders. If he has 19" shoulders you will only bind off 5 stitches on each side for the armholes (2.5")

You'll work the front the same way. If his waist is particularly narrow, c/o fewer stitches (still w/ ~3" of ease) and increase evenly up to 86 sts at the armhole.

The less stitches you end up binding off at the armhole, the longer the distance from the armhole to the shoulder should be to keep the armholes from being too tight.

With a vest, it is the chest and waist that are more important -- the armholes are usually set significantly deeper for a vest than for a pullover anyway. You can make the shoulders a little broader by applying the same principle and decreasing fewer stitches at the beginning of the armhole and making the armholes slightly longer.

I don't work on cars.

Michael
http://pages.prodigy.net/maecooper/
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careynev
Chatty Knitter

USA
307 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2007 :  5:22:22 PM  Show Profile Send careynev a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the great help!

Let's see...my DH is skinny around the ribs/chest, but broad in the hips and shoulders. His shoulders are close to 19" across yet his ribcage/chest is only 38" around. All I know is that his shoulders are so broad that the body of everything he wears, whether a store-bought shirt or a handknit sweater, swings from his shoulders like a tent/trapeze shape, and everything is always too short, which emphasizes the swingy shape.

So, this vest of mine/his is going to fit him if it kills me!

So far I've made the hips wider (he's one of the only guys I know who has substantial hips), and slowly decreased to get to the right size for his ribs/chest. I'm just now at the armhole shaping, and was originally going to bind off and decrease the way Ann Budd recommends in her handy book of patterns, then slowly increase again to get the top of the armholes to match his shoulder width.

I'm getting 5sts/in and once the binding off/decreasing for his chest size is finished, the remaining fabric across the shoulders will only be 15" which is a lot smaller than 18.5-19" which is his real measurement. Granted, I will add ribbing, but not 3" of ribbing...maybe 1.5" at the most.

So do you really think I'd be okay with not increasing back to a respectable shoulder width? I feel like if I don't do all of the decreases for the bottom of the armhole, they'll gap...maybe I'm worrying about this too much. I just want it to fit properly. He is frequently frustrated because clothes never fit him the way they should.

I guess I'll mull this over a bit more...of course I'm right at the armhole shaping right NOW and I'll be obsessing about this all night (I'm at work...can't knit until 10:00 tonight, which isn't a good time to be making important decisions). Maybe I'll think it over tonight, check KR tomorrow, then move on from there.

Thanks again for the help--and the illustrations! I love KR!

quote:
Originally posted by SFMichael

If it is not just his shoulders, but his chest which is broad, then increase from the waist to the armholes, then decrease for the armholes and knit straight up from there.

If it is actually his shoulders, then just let them be.

With a vest, broad shoulders are actually less of a problem than with a sweater. Generally you don't want to make the armholes flare by adding increases between the armhole bind-off and the shoulders. With a sweater, you can balance the chest measurement and the armhole depth to give you satisfactory shoulder fit. Narrow chest and broad shoulders => bind off/decrease fewer stitches at the armholes.

----|
    |
    |
    |
          |
     |

Broad chest and average shoulders => decrease more at the beginning of the armholes.


--|
  |
  |
         --
     |
     |



e.g. If he has a 40" chest and shoulder to shoulder is 17", you'll want a sweater that is ~43" around for ease. At 4sts/in you'd cast on 86 stitches for the back and knit to the armhole. When you get to the armhole, you'll bind off and decrease 9-10 stitches at each edge (total of 4.5-5"), then knit straight up to the shoulders. If he has 19" shoulders you will only bind off 5 stitches on each side for the armholes (2.5")

You'll work the front the same way. If his waist is particularly narrow, c/o fewer stitches (still w/ ~3" of ease) and increase evenly up to 86 sts at the armhole.

The less stitches you end up binding off at the armhole, the longer the distance from the armhole to the shoulder should be to keep the armholes from being too tight.

With a vest, it is the chest and waist that are more important -- the armholes are usually set significantly deeper for a vest than for a pullover anyway. You can make the shoulders a little broader by applying the same principle and decreasing fewer stitches at the beginning of the armhole and making the armholes slightly longer.

I don't work on cars.

Michael
http://pages.prodigy.net/maecooper/



Judy, the Nerdy Knitter
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SFMichael
Gabber Extraordinaire

437 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2007 :  09:53:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit SFMichael's Homepage Send SFMichael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here is what I would do.

You are just about to decrease for the armholes. Rather thand decreasing all the way down to 15" across, decrease fewer stitches on each side -- If you omit 3-4 decreases on each side (say 1-2 b/o stitches and 1-2 decreases) your shoulders will end up 16" - 16.5" wide. Plus 1" of ribbing each side will bring the width to 18" - 18.5". The modifications on each armhole are relatively small, less than 1", but the difference in fit across the shoulders will be markedly better.

If you were to do all of the decreases and then increase back to the shoulder width you'd have shoulders that were a little pointy and wing like. Woven fabrics are cut with slight tapers toward the shoulders for tailored vests and waistcoats. But more than a slight increase (1-2 stitches along the length of the armhole) may look odd in a knit fabric. I also think that having the garment edges end a bit short of the tip of the shoulder will make a better vest.

But don't be afraid to try one way and rip it back if it isn't going to work out. It's a learning experience and it will be worth it to have a good fit -- once you have the technique you can make all of his sweaters fit.

I might recommend finding a copy of The Knitter's Guide to Sweater Design. It is out of print but if you can find it in a library it is a great resource for designing shaping for any body type for any sweater structure. It basically tells you how to take measurements and convert those measurements into the shaping instructions for each part of a sweater.

quote:
Originally posted by careynev

Thanks for the great help!

So far I've made the hips wider (he's one of the only guys I know who has substantial hips), and slowly decreased to get to the right size for his ribs/chest. I'm just now at the armhole shaping, and was originally going to bind off and decrease the way Ann Budd recommends in her handy book of patterns, then slowly increase again to get the top of the armholes to match his shoulder width.

I'm getting 5sts/in and once the binding off/decreasing for his chest size is finished, the remaining fabric across the shoulders will only be 15" which is a lot smaller than 18.5-19" which is his real measurement. Granted, I will add ribbing, but not 3" of ribbing...maybe 1.5" at the most.

So do you really think I'd be okay with not increasing back to a respectable shoulder width? I feel like if I don't do all of the decreases for the bottom of the armhole, they'll gap...maybe I'm worrying about this too much. I just want it to fit properly. He is frequently frustrated because clothes never fit him the way they should.

Judy, the Nerdy Knitter



Michael
http://pages.prodigy.net/maecooper/
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careynev
Chatty Knitter

USA
307 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2007 :  3:50:03 PM  Show Profile Send careynev a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks--that makes sense! I think I'll keep the BO sections and only do 1 set of decreases, then just work straight up. My mother had suggested possibly using short rows for the ribbing if I need it to make them a little wider up top than in the armpit area...I didn't really want to do that because I was afraid it would wing out, but I think your solution will work just fine.

I think I thought about this too much--it's not as complicated as I thought it was.

I can't wait to see how it fits him--but I still have to finish the front in order to get a good idea.

Thanks again for the great advice; I'll definitely look for the book in my local library (I'm a librarian, so I can even do an interlibrary loan for it--yahoo!)


[quote]Originally posted by SFMichael

Here is what I would do.

You are just about to decrease for the armholes. Rather thand decreasing all the way down to 15" across, decrease fewer stitches on each side -- If you omit 3-4 decreases on each side (say 1-2 b/o stitches and 1-2 decreases) your shoulders will end up 16" - 16.5" wide. Plus 1" of ribbing each side will bring the width to 18" - 18.5". The modifications on each armhole are relatively small, less than 1", but the difference in fit across the shoulders will be markedly better.

If you were to do all of the decreases and then increase back to the shoulder width you'd have shoulders that were a little pointy and wing like. Woven fabrics are cut with slight tapers toward the shoulders for tailored vests and waistcoats. But more than a slight increase (1-2 stitches along the length of the armhole) may look odd in a knit fabric. I also think that having the garment edges end a bit short of the tip of the shoulder will make a better vest.

But don't be afraid to try one way and rip it back if it isn't going to work out. It's a learning experience and it will be worth it to have a good fit -- once you have the technique you can make all of his sweaters fit.

I might recommend finding a copy of The Knitter's Guide to Sweater Design. It is out of print but if you can find it in a library it is a great resource for designing shaping for any body type for any sweater structure. It basically tells you how to take measurements and convert those measurements into the shaping instructions for each part of a sweater.

Judy, the Nerdy Knitter
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ilustren
Warming Up

Canada
79 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2007 :  5:21:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit ilustren's Homepage Send ilustren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
HI.
Right at the shoulder, you could bind of one third/one quarter of the stitches, turn for a short row, and repeat till you have a tapered shoulder.

How's it looking so far?

Best of luck!

Charles
Welland, Ontario
Blog: http://jigraknits.wordpress.com/
"God being the original knitter (Psalms 139:13) and humans (she AND he) being made in God's image...I'm equally entitled to enjoy creating through fibre."
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careynev
Chatty Knitter

USA
307 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2007 :  3:52:08 PM  Show Profile Send careynev a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished the back this morning--and use the short row technique for the shoulders, which I was proud for remembering.

So far, the good things I've managed to do are:

1. I added a selvedge stitch so that when the seams are sewn, the ribbed st pattern (k6/p1) will be uninterrupted.
2. I figured out the math to make #1 above happen (not my strong suit).
3. I shaped the back of the neck a little instead of just binding off straight across. I figure that's important in a vest considering there will be collared shirts to contend with.

I think that's it for the moment.

Oh, well--I knit a swatch (I hate them, and I never seem to keep the same gauge from swatch to project), I did HEAPS of measuring and math, and I managed to remember that the ribbing will extend the shoulders BEFORE I got that far. That would have been disastrous!

So far so good. Now I "just" have to do the front.

I took everyone's advice to just use fewer armhole decreases instead of increasing back to a wider shoulder seam.

Now I'm a little nervous about shaping the 'v' for the neck. I have the Ann Budd book to go by, but of course DH wants a fairly shallow 'v' (4-5" from the shoulder seam), so I have to do a little bit of math. What confuses me is that the Ann Budd pattern has you do every-other-row decreases and then a few every-fourth-row. My math makes it seem like I'll need to do the every-other-row decreases the whole way. But it's only for 16 RS rows. Does that kind of shaping make for a weird/abrupt/sharp 'v'? I'll just play with it when I get there and see what it looks like, I guess.

Thanks again to everyone for the great responses--your input has made this vest more beautiful and for that I'm grateful!


quote:
Originally posted by ilustren

HI.
Right at the shoulder, you could bind of one third/one quarter of the stitches, turn for a short row, and repeat till you have a tapered shoulder.

How's it looking so far?

Best of luck!

Charles
Welland, Ontario
Blog: http://jigraknits.wordpress.com/
"God being the original knitter (Psalms 139:13) and humans (she AND he) being made in God's image...I'm equally entitled to enjoy creating through fibre."



Judy, the Nerdy Knitter
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SFMichael
Gabber Extraordinaire

437 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2007 :  3:34:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit SFMichael's Homepage Send SFMichael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Every other row decreases will give you pretty much 45o angles, which seems fine to me. Further it seems as though you'll have about 24" around the neck (before you add ribbing) which should be plenty to go over a head. I think you'll be fine, unless you do more than an inch or so of ribbing around the neck.

Michael
http://pages.prodigy.net/maecooper/
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careynev
Chatty Knitter

USA
307 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2007 :  5:55:16 PM  Show Profile Send careynev a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I LOVE getting so much help from this place--you guys are fantastic!

I don't think I'm going to do more than an inch of ribbing--I'm not a big fan of ribbing, and I don't think my DH is either, so it will be a maximum of 1".

Thanks for the confirmation that I can do the every-other-row decreases. Now I "just" have to get to the neck shaping. I'm just about halfway through the hip/waist decreases then it moves pretty quickly from there, so maybe next weekend will be the big finishing weekend (I'll be visiting my parents, and my mother is a knitter extraordinaire, so I'll have plenty of opportunity for consults when it's time for seaming).

Thanks again--I'll post when I'm closer to completion so you can see how nice it looks, thanks to you all!

quote:
Originally posted by SFMichael

Every other row decreases will give you pretty much 45o angles, which seems fine to me. Further it seems as though you'll have about 24" around the neck (before you add ribbing) which should be plenty to go over a head. I think you'll be fine, unless you do more than an inch or so of ribbing around the neck.

Michael
http://pages.prodigy.net/maecooper/



Judy, the Nerdy Knitter
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careynev
Chatty Knitter

USA
307 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  4:38:50 PM  Show Profile Send careynev a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yahoo! I finished the vest today, and I think (without blocking, mind you), it looks pretty good. I'll block this weekend and hopefully have a photo to show next week. Nerdy Hubby is going out of town for the weekend, so I'm hoping to block it tonight in order to let it dry for him to try it on for a photo shoot before he goes.

Thanks again for your help.

Judy, the Nerdy Knitter
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careynev
Chatty Knitter

USA
307 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  4:59:24 PM  Show Profile Send careynev a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Guys--the vest is done! I posted a pic of it blocking on my blog today. I'll post a photo of DH in it when the vest is dry enough for him to put on.

Thanks so much for your help--it made a huge difference in how I approached the design, and I really appreciate it.


Judy, the Nerdy Knitter
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SFMichael
Gabber Extraordinaire

437 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2007 :  3:31:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit SFMichael's Homepage Send SFMichael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, it certainly looks like a reasonable vest. Looking forward to seeing it modelled.

Michael
quote:
Originally posted by careynev

Hi Guys--the vest is done! I posted a pic of it blocking on my blog today. I'll post a photo of DH in it when the vest is dry enough for him to put on.

Thanks so much for your help--it made a huge difference in how I approached the design, and I really appreciate it.


Judy, the Nerdy Knitter



Michael
http://pages.prodigy.net/maecooper/
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careynev
Chatty Knitter

USA
307 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  09:11:08 AM  Show Profile Send careynev a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Michael--there's a photo of my husband wearing the vest on my blog today. It fits perfectly--I'm so glad I didn't do all the crazy increase/decrease stuff around the arms/shoulders--thanks again!



Judy, the Nerdy Knitter
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SFMichael
Gabber Extraordinaire

437 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2007 :  1:55:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit SFMichael's Homepage Send SFMichael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by careynev

Hi Michael--there's a photo of my husband wearing the vest on my blog today. It fits perfectly--I'm so glad I didn't do all the crazy increase/decrease stuff around the arms/shoulders--thanks again!



Judy, the Nerdy Knitter



Great Job!

Michael
http://pages.prodigy.net/maecooper/
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