Wrap your mind around
FINALLY! The over-clothed
Northerners have caught up, or maybe I should
say gotten down, with our cousins in the South.
It is summer! We are sleeveless and wonderful,
just like you’ve been for months!
One of my favorite holidays
was spent on Ocean Ave. in a restored deco
hotel on South Beach, Miami. Miami, where
you take your clothes off. Strut a spell.
I took off for a weeklong trip at the end
of fall in the Midwest when freezing rain
blows whatever memory you might have had of
our brief, warm summer right out of one’s
brain. I needed to be healed!
Within 10 minutes of checking
into the Penguin Hotel, I’d thrown on
my bathing suit, a tank top and a pareo and
just ran to the Atlantic. The warm breeze
on my skin almost made me cry! For those of
us not used to any skin exposure for most
of the year, it is a special treat to bare
our arms and show a little cleavage.
Stop knitting in the hazy
crazy days of summer? No way! All of the wonderful
cotton and cotton-blend yarns out there beg
to differ. Keep those needles flying on some
shells, tanks and halter tops. Double your
output! Not only are hand knits tres chic
this season, they take less time and money
to craft so you get out on the catwalk SOONER.
With all that skin and limb open to the air,
fit in your fashion is more
important than ever.
The most frequent questions
to La Bonne concern fit and sizing. Many of
you also want to learn how to change existing
patterns to accomodate different yarns or
upsize all those pencil-sized but cool, knitted
garments gracing the mags.
Let me tell you, these are
not topics for the faint of heart...
But...if you’ve made
it this far in the Mighty Mighty Issue 4 of
Knitty, you are not the faint
And if you’ve knit
a scarf to the width and length that you intended,
you are half-way there.
It’s the other half
that’s gonna need some faith...
Here’s a sampling
of the mail I’ve been getting from you
shapelies out there:
"I'm a busty gal and I've heard of doing
short row shaping to eliminate the weird fit
around my armpits. How do you modify an existing
pattern to add short row darts?"
"My question is: Can you explain how
to add short row shaping to an existing pattern
to help out those of us who could use a little
ease in the chest area? I could do without
that unflattering underarm wrinkle. If you
could answer this question, you'd be doing
a great service for the anti-Kate Mosses everywhere."
What the ----
are short rows?
Ahh, a wonderful technique
that no knitter should be without. Short rows
make curves or soft angles on the mostly straight-edged,
flat-paneled knitting landscape. They accomplish
this by partially knitting an existing row
to a pre-determined stitch count, then turning
the work and working back to the same (or
another) count, and turning again. So really,
you are adding shaped rows within the body
of the garment without increasing stitches,
or casting-on more stitches. Most importantly,
you're not changing the overall shape of the
exterior of the garment.
Short row shaping can eliminate
the step effect you get when you bind off
shoulders. Or they can make sock heels elegantly
curved. OR, and this is where we are going
to live for a while, short rows can add some
curve if you got the nerve.
A little cuppage created
right into your garment might just be the
difference between gaping armholes, an un-intended
ride-up by your belly button, or having to
make a size larger that fits your chest but
sags on your hips and shoulders, because the
garment is just too big. This is an easy,
sophisticated, non-obtrusive technique.
"I think I have
a major learning disability here with short
rows. I've tried them in the past and I just
can't wrap my mind around them. I can't stand
it when I can't learn from a book but I don't
know anyone who knows how to do this either
and I can't seem to break into the clique
at the local yarn shop when all I have in
my basket is a couple of balls of sock wool."
Ah, my poor neglected online
knitter – Knitty is
here to the rescue! And joining us for this
marvelous exercise in body-sculpting is prima
designer Joan McGowan-Michael
She has most graciously
given us permission to deconstruct her wildly
popular (and free) Shapely
Tank Top Pattern that has short row shaping
on its curved hem AND in the chest area to
add a custom-fit according to your shape.