Thursday, November 03, 2005

Knitting with Boobs

or for boobs... well you know what I mean.

I have big boobs, I always have.
I remember being told by a teacher in grade 6 that if I didn't wear a bra, he was going to have to send me home.
For years I wore big, baggy men's shirts with leggings to try and cover them up...

But enough with my issues, lets get on with the info.

Since I took up my knitting needles again, I have had success with making sweaters that fit. Besides my issues with gauge (that's a whole other story), I'm guessing it has something to do with the shape of my body vs. the shape of the sweater, in other words, FIT.

To understand fit, you might want to start with Jenna Wilson's article in knitty. She even mentions the bust issue:

"If you are choosing a size to fit a bra cup measurement that is deeper than a B-cup size, don't be tempted to add extra ease, or choose a larger size, simply to accommodate the bust. If you need extra fabric to cover the bust, chances are what you need is length, not extra width. That extra length is often best added by incorporating short rows, where possible, to the front of the garment."



The whole concept of short rows is still beyond me, I think it's something I'll have to try a few gazillion times before I get it.

But I took a pattern drafting class at the Naked Sheep, with Kate Atherley, and this was her solution.

I call it the "Boob Band"


Our breasts aren't sticks, so we need to add a bit of space for them. Start with the sweater size that fits the rest of you best, then make adjustments to make some room for your bust (make sure you measure yourself properly- wear your good "perky bra"). Start increasing from your natural waist, to the BOTTOM of your bust line. Then you knit straight for awhile. This will create sort of a band around them, giving them lots of room without distorting the rest of the garment. Make sure the ease is the same all the way through, don't just knit to your exact bust size! Then you'’ll need to add extra decreases in the shoulder shaping to get to the correct shoulder width. I tried to draw a picture to help.....





From what I've read, using short row shaping will give you an even better fit. My next project will definitely be one that specifically uses the shaping for larger busts, so that I can try to understand the concept.
I can't do anything without researching it to death.... so I'll share some of my findings:
A really good description on knitty
the Miracle of Short Rows- Another good description

Some Patterns:
Donna this one will be my next project
Shapely Tank this is the one she talks about in the knitty article

And a calculator to figure it all out.... wow!

If you come across any other good articles or ideas, please let me know, because I swear, I will never knit an ill fitting sweater again! (said with my hand over my brow, in an accent a la Scarlett O'Hara)

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