Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rant, Continued

I recently wrote a post upon the receipt of the latest copy of Verena. I found it aggravating that (nearly) all of the sweaters had been worked in multiple flat pieces, as though they were machine-knit. (Handknitters can knit in the round; isn't that miraculous.)

And none of the sweaters were top down. It seemed ridiculous to me.

I was thinking I might be a bit of a lone wolf on this one, and then I came across this quote in Knitting Daily:

Tammy T, on ease: My daughter's favorite tip for knitting sweaters is "Finish knitting them!" A tip that has been revolutionary for me is this: If you are a shapely lady, knit a sweater top down. I had no idea what size I needed and had trouble modifying bottom-up sweaters to fit my 12-inch difference between bust and waist measurements. If you knit from the top down, you can try it on as you go and get the perfect fit. Then when you do a bottom up sweater, you can use the top down one as a template to help with the sizing and shaping. Also, I don't know about everyone else, but I tend to overestimate my size. Even for a larger lady, wearing a sweater that hangs like a sack isn't attractive. A little negative ease is your friend!

[From newsletter titled, "Knitting Tips and Tricks, from You!" published 4/16/2010.]

Exactly. Top-down. In the round. Better fit.



jordynn said...

This is why Ravelry has been so wonderful. You can see that these flat knitted patterns, shown on models in knitting mags, look very different on real people.

Perhaps not coincidentally, a good proportion of the most popular patterns on Ravelry for pullover sweaters are top-down patterns.

Part of the problem with flat pieces is that--I think--the sizing is done by scaling up or down from the standard size, so that if you are several sizes away from the sample, the pieces might be really disproportionate.

Holeyfiber said...

Let me be a devil advocate here.
First of all - some design require seams for various reasons. And even for more traditional sweaters not all people prefer knit them in rounds. And since it is easier to convert "flat pieces" description to "round" description, I don't mind at all when there is only the former in a magazine.
I also don't agree that top-down should be preferred design construction. Many patterns are directional, so if you want a certain look the pattern often has to be done from bottom to the top. Also, if sleeves are knit separately there is much more freedom in how they are set in. Top-down raglan or round yoke are not for all designs!

koticzka said...

I do not like round knitting and preffer sawing parts together. It is the same with the direction - my favourite is from bottom to the top - climbing ;) I use patterns as indication or even inspiratoin only and usually ignore all measurements (the price sometimes follows...). My size problem is that I am quite petite and many pullovers would look funny on me.
BUT, after all, I admit that I am also frequently dissapointed with lack of tips and hints and variety in most of knitting press. Thanks Merlin for internet!