About Woolly Wits

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

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Snoop Shopping

My snoop shopping trip
Last week I gave you some guideline for choosing sweater patterns to flatter your figure.  Why?  Because after investing your time and money in a hand knit sweater, you should be happy thrilled with the results.  But, these guidelines are theoretical until you actually test them on you.  And, the fastest and cheapest way to do that is with . . .

snoop shopping.

You are going to hit the stores, but leave your wallet at home.  The goal is to try on all kinds of styles and test the rules.  Pick sweaters you think will be flattering AND sweaters you think will be awful  – you might be surprised.

So, where should I snoop shop?  Department stores have lots of variety, which cuts down on the number of trips to the dressing room.  Or, you can go to a shop where you know you like the styles, although that may limit your opportunities to explore new options.  I recommend that you be aspirational and snoop even where you can’t afford to buy.  Why snoop shop at the Gap when you can buy a sweater there for less than the price of the yarn.  Too depressing!  If you do shop at a higer end store, dress nicely for good service.  Shopping on a good hair day and putting on a little make-up (if you wear it) will also take the focus off you and on the sweaters. 

What do you need to bring to the store?
·         Camera / Cell phone
·         Measuring tape
·         Optional:
·                 Gauge check tool
·                 Paper and pencil

What do you need to wear to the store?
·         A good bra
o   If you need a new one, that should be your first stop at the mall
o   With the girls boosted up into place, you will look slimmer
·         Thin camisole or tank top
·         If you are trying on bottoms along with sweaters . . .
o   Shoes that slip on and off easily

When you arrive to shop, grab all kinds of sweaters to try.  And, try other garments for their style lines.  Sweatshirts are great as a test, because their weight simulates a knitted fabric.  Once you find a style you like, take photos of you wearing the sweater: 
·         front and back views
·         special details
·         pattern stitches

Also capture the garment tag information – especially the fiber content.  If you are trying on a sweater, check the gauge.  

The paper and pencil were optional tools for you to bring because you can capture sizing information with your camera.  Take a large photo to see what is being measured and then zoom in close to read the tape measure.  

When you get home, relax and put your feet up.  Look at your photos.  I’ve found it’s much easier for me to be objective looking at a photo than in a mirror.  Hopefully you found some sweaters that made you feel good – and followed the guidelines.  Note any trends in your preferences, so that you can then use those to highlight in future Ravelry pattern searches. 

One last bit of work is remaining, and it is math.  Simple math.  An important component of your happiness in a sweater is its ease.  Ease is the difference between your body measurement and the garment’s measurement.  More ease gives you a baggy, relaxing fit, and less ease (even negative ease) will give you a Hollywood starlet va-va-va-voom fit.  To calculate ease, subtract your measurement from the sweater’s measurement.  Ease is usually calculated at the bust, but can also be a factor at the hip or upper arm.  The amount of ease will change based on the gauge of the sweater.  Bulkier knits need more and finer knits less, so be sure to note that. 

Now you’ve got lots of information on the design details which flatter your body, and the amount of ease you like in your garments.  Take this to Ravelry and start the hunt for your perfect sweater.

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