My career has been all about making women feel awesome in the garments they knit from my patterns, and Amy’s F2F original blog series was a great help when I was starting out. I was beyond thrilled to be asked to be included in this blog tour, so how about we let Amy get her groove on and tell us all about her book?? There’s also a competition below, don’t miss out!!!!
I’m a huge fan of Ruth’s designs, they’re so fresh and fun to wear! So I’m super excited to be a guest contributor here to kick off the blog tour for my new book, Knit to Flatter, with STC Craft/Melanie Falick books.
(Photos by Karen Pearson and used with permission.)
Knit to Flatter is a book with lots of knitting in it, to be sure. But it’s very special to me, because it’s not really about knitting. At its heart, it’s about all of us loving our clothes and feeling amazing in them.
Many people who read a title like “Knit to Flatter” assume I’m going to launch into some kind of What Not to Wear tirade about rules and how you can’t knit that sweater you’re craving. Nothing could be further from the truth, really. I want to help you get sweaters you love to wear. Within your own comfort zone, style, and life. If you like that sweater, I want you to knit it. In a way that works perfectly for you.
For me, the path to sweaters I loved started with my own rather expensive taste in yarn. I don’t have an easy body to fit; I need to make modifications to a pattern when I knit it to truly love my sweaters. And I desperately wanted to love my sweaters! So over the years, I built up a set of modifications that I now make to just about every sweater I knit for myself: I add ~1.5’’/4 cm of bust darts, I add some length to the body of the sweater, I add some length to the sleeves.
(Tangled Yoke cardigan, Eunny Jang.)
In 2010, I started writing up my observations on making sweaters that you love to wear in a series of blog posts I called Fit to Flatter. Response to them was so positive that I began teaching workshops on the subject, and these workshops have led me here, to this book.
The workshops have taught me so much about women, and their clothing, and fitting the many and varied body shapes we have. They’ve been rewarding beyond belief, because there’s no feeling like seeing someone change from thinking their body is flawed to recognizing how beautiful they truly are. So I was very excited to have the chance to take the knowledge I’ve gained from the classes, re-vamp the tutorials, and present everything in a concise reference with patterns specifically designed to exercise the principles I discuss.
The book begins with a chapter on what body shape is, and how to determine your own. It explains why hand-knit sweater patterns are essentially ready-to-wear clothing instructions, and need a bit of tweaking to fit most of us perfectly. It provides a measurement sheet specifically designed to be comparable to knitting pattern schematics, with instructions on how to fill yours out. I teach you how to pick a “base size” that will ensure a good fit through your shoulders. I give you a “perfect sweater checklist” that will take you from loving a picture in a magazine to loving the sweater in your closet.
Then, I go into the three main categories of body shape–describing them in detail, offering some guidelines on sweater elements that will provide (or preserve) balance to that shape, if that’s what you’d like from your clothing. I provide patterns that are very simple, easy to knit, but play with these principles. I include a chapter on “special considerations”, like the bust, straight and curvy waists, and long/short torsos, again with patterns to match. Finally, I include a reference chapter on how to make the modifications discussed in the book.
I feel so strongly about this topic. We waste so much time and energy on wishing we could change fundamentally unchangeable things about our body. We waste so much time and energy with a useless side-view of ourselves in the mirror. With numbers we don’t like about ourselves. Hunting down tips and tricks to hide our figure “flaws”.
It drives me crazy, not just because this makes millions of women unhappy and unhealthy, but even moreso because it’s bunk! There is no “perfect” body. Your body is not flawed in the slightest. You are every single bit as beautiful as every other woman on this planet. And your body is perfect and amazing. Numbers… are almost useless.
If there’s a thing or two you don’t like about your appearance, that’s totally fine! (We all have that thing, by the way; mine is my thighs.) But don’t let your whole life be about that thing. Because others don’t see you the way you see yourself, and your clothing can do a lot to project the body shape you’d prefer to have. I’d like to help you understand how, so you can knit sweaters you love to wear and get on with your life. Feeling great about your beautiful self.
Thanks for reading! I’d love to see you elsewhere on the blog tour, since we have a very exciting line-up of stops:
Monday, April 15: Rock and Purl – Ruth Garcia-Alcantud
Tuesday, April 16: Mind of Winter – Julia Trice
Wednesday, April 17: Mary Jane Mucklestone
Thursday, April 18: Moth Heaven – Julia Farwell-Clay
Friday, April 19: Baby Cocktails – Thea Colman
Saturday, April 20: Knitting At Large – Julie Matthews
Sunday, April 21: ADD Knitter
Monday, April 22: Savory Knitting – Amy Christoffers
Tuesday, April 23: Carole Knits
For today, we’d love to give away one copy of Knit to Flatter to a reader. To enter, please leave a comment on this post completing this sentence:
My favorite sweater makes me feel…