Knit to Flatter

At long last, I may finally be able to knit myself garments that fit. Following a recommendation by Ruth of Rock + Purl to check out Amy Herzog, I’m pleased to report that I’ve done so and I’m feeling very excited about future knitting!

Amy has a book due out soon, called Knit to Flatter and I can’t wait for my copy. If it’s anywhere as good as her online class (more on that in a sec), then it will be absolutely amazing. I bet it will have some excellent patterns in it too!

So what’s this about an online course? Amy has recently released a course on Craftsy, also called Knit to Flatter, designed to compliment the upcoming book. Thanks to a link she posted on Ravelry I was able to bag the course half price and marvel at how I had managed not to sign up to Craftsy before?!?

I wanted to share the video that Craftsy put out on Monday, acting as a little bit of an introduction to Amy. Upon watching this and her whole class, I was struck by something she said:

“When we don’t like something we’ve knitted we assume that we’re the problem”

And it’s so true. We assume that it’s our bodies and figures that cause something we’ve knitted to not look good, rather than accept the idea that it may be that the sweater just fits what we have badly, or isn’t the right sort of design to work with our shapes.

In her class, Amy goes through a whole lesson where you’ll be able to work out what your shape is (top-heavy, bottom-heavy or proportional) and shows you designs and elements which flatter your shape. She also shares designs that have the opposite effect and goes through why you may have knit a sweater before and then not been happy with the finished results. My unhappiness with my Audrey cardigan is pretty well documented and now I know why I’m not in love with the fit.

Amy is a big fan of knitting your sweaters in pieces, with set-in-sleeves – at least to begin with. I completely agree with this and as a result can’t wait to try some of her patterns. She feels that this approach makes it easier to modify a pattern and suggests that you aim for the right fit in the shoulders first, and then worry about everything else. She says any other kinds of adjustments on a sweater are easier than messing about with the shoulder numbers – get the shoulders right first, and you’ve done most of the hard work.

Watching the class has also caused me to remove several sweaters from my queue. While Amy doesn’t act as any sort of “what not to wear” lady, it’s clear that as much as I love the idea of wearing something like heavily fair-isled yoke cardigans/jumpers, they probably won’t look that good unless I change some of the elements.

I also feel really motivated to attempt a sweater again, with the mods I need to do. Amy makes the maths look incredibly easy – laying everything out step by step and talking through things in a very clear manner. It now doesn’t seem like a big deal to knit a sweater that will fit my waist which happens to be over 12″ smaller than my hip or full bust measurements.

As a result of all this, I’ve decided to frog my Audrey cardigan. I’ve heard Wollmeise holds up very well to frogging and reknitting and it just seems a shame to have so much yarn put aside in a cardigan I’m just not going to wear that much. I have a couple of potential projects in mind to reknit it as, but already I feel MUCH better about things having come to that conclusion.

I’m also going to reknit my Marina cardigan. I knitted it with too much negative ease all over, particularly in the bust and arm area and just have to accept that I feel a bit like a sausage in casing wearing it. I’ll knit it again in the right size, with all the additional shaping and get a good result.

So if your knitting resolutions for 2013 included knitting garments, or learning how to modify them, please check out Amy’s class. She has a lovely manner and is also just such fun to watch. I promise you that you’ll feel both empowered and inspired after watching.


One thought on “Knit to Flatter

  1. I’ve signed up for that course too! I have learnt a lot from trial and error and things like Little Red In the City and Amy’s fit-to-flatter articles on her blog, but it’s still a work in process – my Cria fits and I love it, but it’s reinforced that cardigans that button all the way down aren’t for me and I definitely need to do lots of mods on any pattern to allow for my combination of narrow shoulders/large bust/waist and hips about two sizes bigger than my upper torso would be without the large bust.

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