Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Sweater that Fits

My proudest knitting accomplishment since the last time I was writing here, was learning to knit a sweater that fits. Today, I want to discuss my first well-fitted sweater, Chickadee.

This lovely little pattern from Ysolda Teague is a top-down sweater that combines a yoke with raglan shaping. You can read the details of yarn, gauge and modifications on my Ravelry project page.
What I want to discuss here is what I learned from this knit.

For one thing, I loved the top-down construction. It seems to me that all the tricky bits of sweater knitting happen at the top. Getting that out of the way first was a huge stress reducer for me.

At the beginning of a project, I get all fired up with excitement and enthusiasm. I make plans and have ideas about how to create the perfect fit. But over the days and weeks of knitting the body and the sleeves, enthusiasm wanes, plans become foggy, and even though I may take detailed notes, often when I come back to those notes, I can't remember what I was thinking! So working a sweater top-down lets me work out the most complex details of the sweater while my enthusiasm, ideas and plans are still fresh.

And I can try it on as I go! I can verify if I'm on the right track and if I'm not, ripping back is not an emotional event because I'm not so invested in the work that's been done.

The other thing I learned was to knit a sweater that fits in the shoulders. I used to knit based on the bust measurement. Being well-endowed and plus sized to boot, my bust measurement is a much bigger portion than my shoulders. My Chickadee sweater incorporates the difference between my shoulders and my bust with increases right after the yoke. There's a ripple of fabric as a result, but I consider that a feature, and it's not very noticeable when I'm wearing it.

Finally, this sweater would not have been possible without the support of the gang at the Knitting At Large Ravelry forum. I needed their support through the initial set up and planning. A big hug and thanks to Julie for her work promoting sweater knitting by and for plus-sized people. She is an inspiration to many.


  1. That is fantastic! It looks fabulous on you.
    I have the yarn for mine, just need to build up the nerve...

  2. I love the colours and the style of that sweater. Getting the hard bits over right at the beginning of knitting a sweater might encourage me to actually finish a sweater instead of just starting one!

  3. What a great sweater! I love the pattern (chickadees are my favourite birds), and it looks wonderful on you. It will be something to look forward to wearing next fall when the weather gets cold.

  4. Anonymous11:39 a.m.

    You look great in that sweater! Indeed it fits very well! I think the little ripple is a feminine touch, quite like it. I really need to learn how to fit sweaters!

  5. Lovely ... both you and the sweater. It fits beautifully.

  6. Oh, how pleasing that is! Looks great! Nice to see you back!

  7. Anonymous8:45 a.m.

    Looks really lovely