Thursday, May 21, 2009

Katjab Revisited

I promised you guys I'd explain why the Feb Lady in my last comparison garnered an unenthusiastic "meh" in the case of Katja, or Katjab on Rav. I invite you to examine exhibit A, below:
Well, looks like someone had quite a figure hiding under that other sweater.
Katja knit this up in the smallest size on US3 and US6 needles. She also used Euroflax Sport, which is the closest thing to spun gold inmyhumbleopinion. Don't get me wrong, it's a challenge to knit with, but oh so worth it.
Anyhoo, this pattern is called Aleita and it can be found in the Summer 2008 Interweave Knits. You might be able to find a copy in the Ravelry Destash Group.

Next up (in my favorite photo evah) (well, so far, anyway) is Gina AKA Knittwotogether. Doesn't she look like she's enjoying life there? And can you blame her? She looks great. Gina knit her Aleita in Plymouth Linen Isle on US5 and 6 needles. She made a size 42, which I suspect is on the middle to right hand side of the size spectrum. I don't have the pattern, so I can't really say how the sizes range.
What I can say is the deep v-neck and stitch pattern on the top half of the vest really draw your eyes up to that gorgeous smile (I think I would enjoy going out for Margaritas with you. You look like a fun drinking buddy.) At the same time, the waist shaping and the drape of the linen defines a waist, while keeping the fabric from hugging too tightly.

Our last example by Teri (tpasto) was knit up on US4 and 7 needles in Sublime Yarns Cashmere Merino Silk DK. This yarn seems to be more full-bodied than the linen used in the other two examples, but for Teri, it works great. If this vest were flowy on her, we'd lose her in it. As with Corona, the deep v-neck and stitch pattern here gives the chest area just enough definition and the wool/cashmere blend stays close to the waist, giving more shaping there as well. I can't even write about the color. I don't have words for how beautiful it is.

If you want to emphasize your chest or waist with this vest, go for a yarn with more structure. A linen or silk blend will let the vest skim over the waist/tummy area and can offer camoflauge there if needed. Deep V? Great for the girls as usual. Waist shaping? Do I even have to say it? None of the knitters here mentioned modifying the pattern, so that's always a plus in my book. (Don't forget to make sure you stitches aren't twisted when joining in the round!) My bustier friends might want to use a cami or tee when wearing this as a tank, smaller girls can probably get away with wearing it alone.

Speak Up:
There are over 200 Aleita projects listed on Rav. Is one of them yours? What yarn did you use? Were you knitting it as a tank, or a vest? Is there a difference? Anybody try any cool mods like sleeves, trim around the neckline, changing up the stitch pattern? I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, May 18, 2009


I've gotten a few pm's on Ravelry about this blog so far. Everyone has been very encouraging. I love to hear from all of you. So, if you have something to say, leave a comment here or pm me. My Ravelry name is ShannonAnn.
If you like what you see here, tell a friend or two (or three). You can also point me to your success stories because finding patterns to flatter a variety of shapes is no small task.
Thanks again for all the wonderful pm's and I hope to hear from you all again soon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

She's a Lady

A February Lady, of Course!
This is kind of an easy out since the February Lady sweater has no less than 5588 projects listed on Ravelry and is in 8911 queues. I'd still like to take the time to discuss this sweater and what makes it most popular for women of all sizes.

First of all, any pattern that does this:

to a full baby-belly, earns a free pass in my book. I know all pregnancies are different, but my babies all allowed me to wear regular clothes way into the gestation, but also forced me to wear maternity long after they had exited the uterus.
NonStopKnitter used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in the Lake Colourway and size us8 needles. I like the idea of cotton for this sweater (I'm moving into a Louisiana summer here where the thought of wool gives me hives.) but I think the acrylic in this yarn keeps it lighter than pure cotton and doesn't let it get weighed down.

Next, Rosape used Cascade 220 and size us7 needles on her xs version.
The smaller gauge and fitted size keep this sweater from becoming too boxy, which is a complaint I got from Katjab on her version (below). 220 is a great yarn for anything that needs structure and shape, so it's perfect for a fitted Feb. Lady. In a larger size, however, a more drapy fabric might be necessary to keep the sweater from hugging the wrong curves or making a baby bump where none exists.

Katjab gave me this example of a sweater that does nothing for her figure. I agree that it does nothing for her figure (and you'll see why in my next post) but it is a good example of how this pattern, with the right yarn and fit, can be a beautiful camouflage for those lumps and bumps our babies leave us.
Katjab used Dream in Color Classy Merino and size us8 needles on this xs version. This illustrates how important yarn selection and gauge are to the finished product.

The February Lady Sweater can be knit up to either hide or enhance. In a more structured yarn and smaller gauge, the sweater will be a nice fitted cardigan. Add a little drape and bigger gauge, and the sweater floats away from the body and pretty buttons can draw the eye up towards the face. This sweater probably won't give you sexy in the way Corona can, but what it lacks in sex appeal, it makes up for in versatility.

Speak Up:
What are your experiences with February Lady? Were you going for fitted or loose? Did you have more luck with Cotton or Wool? Did anyone try this in a Linen or Silk blend? Link us to your projects that either worked or fell flat.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Let's Get This Party Started!

The Corona sweater by Canary Sanctuary is not only sexy as all hell, but it looks universally great on everyone I've seen model it. I had a hard time picking out three examples of different body types because there were soooo many choices. Let's begin, class.
The first example is from the genious who created it, Canary Sanctuary herself.

This sweater was knit in Cascade 220 in white, but I don't know the exact colorway.

Can we say "Va Va Voom"?
Let me just get it out of the way and point out that, although she may be wearing a really good bra, I'm convinced it's the sweater that is creating that awesome boobage.
Don't believe me?
Well, then let's look at another fine example.

This sweater is by Ravelry member,
The Corona here (size XS) creates curves by cinching the waist between the wide band of bottom ribbing and the deep-v neckline. The cables around the neck and the hoodie collar bring the eyes up to enhance the decolletage and emphasize the collarbone and neck. Doran used Cascade 220 in the 8885 colorway. I think the 220 was an excellent choice because it keeps the cabling crisp and defined.

Ravelry member,
Lucille, used Kartopu Gokova (that's a yarn I've never heard of and I couldn't find a link) for her Corona (size M). This yarn is an acrylic/rayon blend and has a wonderful drape and doesn't cling as close to the body as the 220 in the other examples. The softer fit is forgiving around areas that we may want to camoflage, but still gives good definition to the cables around the neckline. The deep v in this example still shows off the girls in a nice way, but the sweater overall is a little softer and doesn't put the figure front and center like the sweaters knit in 220.

The Corona is for women who are comfortable attracting a little attention. If you wear this design, don't expect men (and women) to keep their focus on your eyes in a close conversation. A full-bodied yarn like 220 will give you a more structured sweater and create or accentuate curves, while a softer yarn knit a little looser will bring attention up near your face. The softer yarn also keeps the wide band of ribbing from clinging too tightly around the hips/waist/tummy.

Speak up:
What are your experiences with Corona? Did you use a softer or more structured yarn? Did you try to accentuate, create, or hide curves? Include a link to your project to demonstrate.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It All Started Like This...

I was inspired to write this blog by a Ravelry discussion on how photographers use "theatrical poses" to make unflattering patterns look more flattering. The discussion moved on to how hard it is to figure out if a pattern will look good on a particular body type. I decided to see how many patterns I could find that would look great on anybody or any body.
I'm going to try to stick to free or individual for-purchase patterns because I don't think anyone should have to buy a book based on a single pattern suggestion. But I'll make exceptions as deemed necessary.
Comments will be moderated, so anything that's not kind- especially about a model's size or shape- will not see light of day here. You may as well not even try.
I'll try to add details about yarn, needles, and any mods if they are available.
If you have a project you would like featured, just let me know. I hope we can all use this as a resource and maybe designers can use it as an inspiration to break out of their size molds.