Saturday, 5 March 2011

A green jumper for Spring

I've finished my very first jumper.

It's loosely based on the Yoked Pullover from Elizabeth Zimmerman's 'Knitting Without Tears' but I heavily modified the design based on the ideas put forward by Amy Herzog in her 'Fit to Flatter' series. If you're a woman who finds the whole bodyshape category system involving fruit (apple? pear? what the sweet crispy fuck?) useless and ridiculous, hers is much more rational and, frankly, less insulting. According to Amy's categories I'm proportional and straight, meaning I am not significantly top or bottom heavy (my shoulder and hip lines are pretty equal) and I don't go in much at the waist.

The 'Fit to Flatter' inspired features of my jumper are, in no particular order, the waist darts, balanced details at bust and hip, the detail at the elbow and the bust detail and bust darts. I go in at the waist more at the back than the front (in other words I have more arse than hip) so I put most of the waist shaping in the back. This eliminates excess bags of fabric sitting above my bum which has the effect of showing off my waist. However I think I should have put more of that shaping in the sides as the view from the front is a little too straight up and down. And I really shouldn't have put in the vertical lines - drawing a rectangle on my already rectangular body just isn't flattering.

I have included details at the bust/neck and the hip/cuff to maintain the balance of my proportional frame. People whose hip and shoulder/bust lines aren't roughly equal might want to bring things more into balance visually by using details more on the smaller half. Apparently elbow length sleeves enhance the waist curve (don't ask me how but they do, no really) but I wanted to have full length sleeves for a cozy jumper. So I tried putting in that purl ridge just below my elbows in the hope of creating a similar effect. I can't really tell if it worked! Also being, er, delicate of bust, I put a purl ridge at my full bust line in the hopes of making it seem more of a full bust line and less of a half-full bust line. Bust darts ensure a close fit here too which helps.

Overall I'm really pleased with the final results. It's not perfect, but it's my very first jumper and I pretty close to designed it myself. I chose plain stockinette stitch with garter stitch details in order to keep the knitting simple but I think it works really well with this beautifully rustic yarn too, which is JC Rennie's confusingly named Chunky Lambswool (confusing because it's aran weight, not chunky). I love this yarn. It has a wonderful texture (which sensitive skins might find rough - fortunately it doesn't bother me), softens beautifully on the first wash and comes in some seriously gorgeous colours. It will probably be the yarn I go to for a rustic aran-weight wool in the future.


Mara said...

Love it! and also loving you explanations of what you've changed and why. I really must look out Amy's work (have the opposide problems as you know)

Maytheweed said...

She's well worth a look :)