16 March 2006

Anatomy thoughts

I'm in the process of planning the lace v-neck sweater (see previous post). The planning process is giving me a bit of a headache so I decided to share my thoughts since I'm hoping only to have to knit this thing once (I hate frogging).

I've only knit one sweater for myself before (the cardigan), and I'm discovering how much more complicated it is to make a sweater for myself as opposed to the ones I made for my husband and baby. Namely, I have curves. Not only that, my proportions have changed since my pregnancy. As I fulfill my mammalian destiny of breast feeding my son, my bust is a few sizes larger than it used to be. Now, I don't plan to nurse him for longer than a year so I'm wondering how much I should accomodate for my new size.

The pattern I am using has the following sizes for the bust at underarm:
36 (p) 38 (s) 40 (m) 44 (l) 48 (xl)

I measured myself at 40 inches. So should I knit the medium sized sweater? Will that fit very snugly? Should I go up a size? 44 inches seems a bit extreme, so I could compromise at 42 inches. Or I could do the medium size and work under the assumption that my bust will shrink back down once I'm no longer lactating. The store bought sweater that I'm wearing today is 40 inches and seems to fit fine still.

I'm also thinking about waist shaping, especially if I opt for the larger size sweater. The pattern does not have waist shaping, but I found good, if slightly confusing explanation of it here. It says darts are often 6-10 inches in length. Since I have a short torso, does that mean I should do 6 inches?

Any thoughts from the more experienced sweater knitters? I'm impatient to start the sweater, but I know I'll be much happier with a carefully thought out sweater that will fit well.


At 10:53 AM, Anonymous grumperina said...

For all these decisions, I would try to mimic a sweater you currently own that fits you well. I think you'll find that you want your bust to be about 40", and that you'll narrow the waist down to 32-34", and then widen some for the hips (how much depends on how long you want the sweater to be). You can figure out the location of the waist shaping from this store-bought favorite as well :).

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Emily said...

Definitely use a store-bought sweater as a guide. If you don't own a sweater with waist shaping that fits you well, go to a store and try on some sweaters. Bring a tape measure, a pen, and paper. The dressing room is a great place to take notes. I think you should definitely stick with the 40" size. Keep in mind that the sweater should fit YOU. If every store-bought sweater you try on is the same size at the bust and hips, but you aren't, it is OK to look at how the sweater fits and decide how much more or less ease you want at a given point.

Good luck!

At 10:46 PM, Blogger Bia said...

From the picture you posted, it looks like it's supposed to be a fairly snug fitting sweater, so you should be safe with the 40 inch size (4 inches ease is too generous for that kind of sweater). Using a store bought favorite sweater as a guide is a good idea, and if it turns out, say, 41 inches is the actual size you need, you can often get that extra inch simply by adjusting needle size. Also, despite the fact it's a tremendous pain in the ***, it's probably worthwhile to wash and block your swatch (you're knitting a gauge swatch RIGHT?) and see whether there is any change in gauge that way that might affect the size you choose.

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous June said...

I'd do the 40" size and, as others suggested, compare to an existing sweater. Don't forget that the weight of the fabric affects how much ease required (heaver fabric, greater ease). Ideally, the model sweater has the same shape/heft/drape/fiber as the one you'll be making. For dart size, measure from where you want the sweater to end to right under the boob. I'd use that measurement minus 4 or so inches (depends on the length of the sweater, really), so the waist darts are centered where your waist actually dips in (in my example, start decreasing 2" from the hem, start increasing at the waist, finish increasing 2" under the bust). Something like that. Hope this helps!?


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