Thursday, August 09, 2007

A can of worms has been opened

Are you a subscriber to "Knitting Daily" by Interweave? Have you read about the size issue? I started to read the comments, but after about 20 I gave up and thought to myself "where do these people shop for clothes, if it is apparently so very difficult for them to find a good fit?" Not to mention the complaint that plus sizes are not offered, when a quick count by Sandi Wisehart shows the opposite. Double take, indeed.

That might sound a tad snarky, but honestly, every person has another issue with her body and would like to see the patterns tailored to deal with it. (I have issues, too. But I think that's none of the editors' business.) Let me tell you, a big can of wiggling worms has been opened.

None of these people goes into a retail store and complains about ill-fitting garments, which, after all, would be futile, no? How come that a knitting magazine is suddenly treated as one's personal shop and expected to handle all that clothing manufacturers cannot? Isn't that the great thing about knitting that we can adapt the garments to our needs ourselves? Granted, you'd have to learn about how to alter a sweater and if you've never done it it can be intimidating. However, it is not impossible. (ed. to add: mostly, there are exceptions)

I wish I could offer a quick solution for everyone. As it is, all you can do when your body deviates from what's regarded "normal" (No, I won't go there. I am aware that the majority is not model-sized. Either way.) is to pick the pattern that's best for your body type - which you'd have to know - and if it's not perfect in the size and fit given, make it so.

All you need is a tape-measure, a calculator and the will to learn how to make a pattern your own.

Rant over. (Yes, I might be feeling a bit grumpy today. So what. And tomorrow I might feel like the fish on the platter thinking "I wouldn't be here if I'd kept my mouth shut.")


Janet said...

Here, here. Everyone's a complainer. Just choose the styles that flatter your body type. That's what anybody should do, plus-size or not, in store or not, or like you say, make it your own, or even better, design it yourself, just for you!

Merlin Skye Hall said...

It is as if knitters had never heard the phrase, "appropriately placed increases and decreases".

Kat said...

**Standing and cheering wildly**

And all God's children said AMEN!!

Exactly - I could not have said this better!

Connie said...

That Daily Knitter post made me very nervous too. I already think IK does a pretty good job of plus sizing. Most of the garments are up to a 50" bust and those that aren't, are not for technical, design-related reasons. I don't know what more designers can do to design for a plus size body - a 60" bust? For me, it's a little hard to comprehend because I usually fall to the other side of the spectrum. I"m petite, so I usually shorten sleeves, decrease bust size, etc....

gleek said...

couldn't agree more.. and i have to say that if the patterns in IK suddenly become 30% "just for plus size", i would cancel my subscription. i like the sizing just the way that it is. if they want to they would be better off creating a whole new magazine for the plus size market much like the "big girl knits" book.

Theresa said...

I agree...however, I am one of those with a genormus bust and a short waist, so I learned how to alter early in life. But, I must admit it certainly would be nice to pick up a great pattern and knit it straight from the instructions without all the extra work...we pay for our dumb genes. But let's be a little generous here and concede that if everyone knew how to shop and dress themselves, knitting or not, there would be no place for shows like "What not to Wear". I really understand how some of the IK readers must feel and when asked to comment, they let it all out.

MsLindz said...

I totally agree with what you've said here. I have a bit of a difficult time finding just the right fit for knitted garments, but it's not that difficult to make adjustments to a pattern. After all, we are KNITTERS, right? We can change the things that need changing - Don't like it, modify it!

I admit that if they started doing more plus sized patterns, I might be put off by buying the magazine. Though I think it's a great thing to do, I think that there are better ways to accommodate that category of knitters out there. By the just the numbers, there's really not that many that fall into that category and they are covering the sizes there are the most of.

Deb said...

Amen to all of the above.

I am a big girl. Very large chest, and the rest of me's not so teeny either. I have a thought that I've often kept to myself, but in the spirit of joining Mona on the platter, here goes:

Sometimes a garment written for smaller sizes is done so for a reason. Just because you CAN make a particular sweater to fit a 60" bust, that doesn't mean you SHOULD. Designers are encouraged to write patterns that go into the plus size range, which is great. But seriously, whether it fits your measurements or not, what person with my size bust will look like anything but crap in a backless tank like the 2 gorgeous designs in the last issue of Knitty?

We are knitters. We are flexible, adaptable and smart. [Smart enough to arm ourselves with books like Big Girl Knits, a terrific bible of techniques.]

*steps off soapbox*

Lolly said...

So glad you posted this, Mona! I read through the post quickly, but got more of a commentary from a designer friend of mine who was so frustrated with that post. People will always complain and there is no pleasing everyone. You have to know your body and how to clothe it properly - whether you are shopping retail or knitting/sewing your own clothes.

Hope you are well~

Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely--and I think you become a better knitter once you figure out how to modify a pattern so it works for you. When I started knitting in my teens, the patterns were too big. It took three tries (aka sweater disasters) for me to understand how to fit myself, but after that I could knit with or without patterns. And even when I see a pattern now that is supposed to be "my size", I still figure out the dimensions the pattern expects you to get and make any adjustments I think I want.