About Woolly Wits

I am a hand-knitting designer and teacher. See and purchase my published designs on Ravelry.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Pick Your Perfect Pattern

Wedding Dress by Nicky Epstein
Vogue Knitting, Fall 2012

This Tuesday evening I will be speaking at the Windy City Knitting Guild in Chicago.  My talk will be an updated version of my 'What Not to Knit' talk.  Mary Coen and I started giving this program when knitters found patterns through magazines and books.  In the post-Ravelry knitting world, we now have more patterns available to us than we could ever see - almost 112,000 garment patterns as of this morning.  So, instead of asking "does this pattern work for me?", the challenge is now to use Ravelry search features to find the designs that potentially do work for you.  

The first section of my talk is the general rules for choosing sweaters to make you look longer and leaner.  I am presenting those notes here to save hands from cramping and trees from the chainsaw. You are, of course, without my well-chosen photographic examples as well as my witty insights, but that is for the audience that drags themselves to the Sulzer Library on Tuesday evening.

The basic rule of looking taller and thinner:  
create vertical lines.
How?  Move the eye up and down the length of the body
  • One color head-to-toe
  • Vertical stripes
  • Vertical design elements, such as button bands
  • Necklines: scoop, slit, unbuttoned cardigans    
  • A trim fitting, v-neck cardigan can be the most slimming sweater you knit                
Design by Theresa Schabes
from Knit Noro book
Diagonal lines:  also great for thinning and shaping
  • Wrap sweaters
  • Diagonal patterning
  • Necklines: v-neck, shawl collar 
Horizontal lines:  they move the eye across the body and widen you!
  • For most women, horizontal stripes create the single most unflattering garments.
  • Wear horizontal stripes where you want to look broader.
  • Horizontal lines can be worn to emphasize the narrowest part of you.
  • Necklines: crew, boat neck, turtleneck 
How else to look longer and thinner?

Fitted shapes hug your curves!
  • Garments close to the body emphasize the vertical
  • Boxy, oversize shapes make you look boxy and oversize
Thinner yarns are more flattering than bulky yarns
  • Smaller gauge garments will drape and cling
  • Big gauge garments add inches and tend to be boxy
Along the same lines, watch out for texture
  • Smooth stitch patterns, such as stockinette, as more slimming
  • Highly textured stitches, such as cables, will add bulk
Watch your armholes!
  • Set in sleeves are more fitted and therefore more flattering
  • Drop shoulders create excess fabric and bulk at sides
  • Dolmans also leave extra fabric to make you look wider
  • Saddle shoulders can create a strong horizontal element at shoulder
  • Raglan sleeves create a diagonal design line. 
Do you wear your clothes or do they wear you? 
Avoid ‘high concept’ garments which attract attention without flattering you.
  • This includes holiday motif sweaters.  
A word on pattern scale -
  • Shorter, smaller boned women should stick with small scale patterns.
  • Taller, bigger boned women can wear bolder patterns. 
And, beware of . . .
Bobbles – they can make you look diseased

Motif placement – they shouldn’t be centered on your breasts or other areas which you might not want brought into focus

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a great presentation last night, Theresa, at WCKG. Lots of food for thought here!