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ArtLady1981
07-28-2007, 01:20 AM
Hi'yall!:waving:

Ever knit a cardigan...only to find that you are not going to be able to button it because of your "pear shape"? Ahem.

Well, that has happened to me more than once, I must admit. So, I knit the size to fit my shoulders and upper body mostly...and if needs be...I add a gusset to the side seams to allow for the old caboose.

Me and another knitter were just in the new chat room, and we were consoling one another about "sizing". It can be a tough one to get right! Medium is too small...the next time, you knit a large...and it is too big...and back and forth we go!

Here are two photos of a cardigan that I knit last year. I clipped it together (thankfully) for a try-on before seaming the sides up.

Ugh.

So, I cast on 20 stitches for a gusset...following the seed stitch border pattern and then st st...and made the gusset the length to reach the armpit. I decreased the 20 stitchs gradually down to 1 stitch, which I cinched off. Then I seamed it to the two normal sides. (yes, that means I did double-duty in the seaming department...but at least I had a cardigan that I could actually wear!)

I think this gusset trick could work even "after the fact". Let's say your caboose has "enlarged" somewhat. You could un-seam the sides...knit and seam in a gusset at each side seam...and VOILA...the garment fits again!


I hope these two photos adequately show the gussets!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t186/ArtLadyDMB/100_0481.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t186/ArtLadyDMB/100_0479.jpg

redheadrachel
07-28-2007, 01:24 AM
Such helpful advice!!! That's so wonderful because I'm having trouble with my first sweater and, even though I can't use this for this specific sweater (the bottom is knit in the round), I'm trying to learn everything I can about sweater construction.
And now I know what to do with all that junk inside my trunk. Because, seriously... my hips don't lie ;)

ArtLady1981
07-28-2007, 01:33 AM
Such helpful advice!!! That's so wonderful because I'm having trouble with my first sweater and, even though I can't use this for this specific sweater (the bottom is knit in the round), I'm trying to learn everything I can about sweater construction.
And now I know what to do with all that junk inside my trunk. Because, seriously... my hips don't lie ;)

One could also knit a small plain gusset for the arms of a sweater, also. It wouldn't need to be very wide...maybe just cast on 5 stitches or so...but it could make all the difference in the world. I haven't had to do gussets for sleeves...but...there are some sweaters I have given to my DD that were originally intended for me! (shhh, don't tell her!)

Susan P.
07-28-2007, 03:36 AM
That's a great resolve (even tho because I've never knitted something like that half of it goes over my head) :) I too have a size bigger in pants than I do in a top.

french kiwi
07-28-2007, 05:03 AM
I made a gusset too on one of my cardigans. After having spent months knitting it, it was like wearing a legging over my hips part! :mad: I'm not what you would call big, but come on. Seeing there's about one size difference between my top and my bottom (I'm sure we're the normal ones...:happydance:), I made the gusset from the hem to the waist only. And besides the fact that the yarn started felting naturally in some parts :???:, the gusset really worked.

KnittingNat
07-28-2007, 05:38 AM
Thanks for the great advice, ArtLady! i have this problem too, i'm usually small in waist and medium on the bust and hips sizes (or even large:teehee:). So now i'll know what to do! And you would think that the knitting pattern industry should have been saved from the top-model sizing. But still, in most of the books, there are skinny, tall girls under the age of 25 modeling. Don't they know that from the age of 26 gravitation starts showing on us gals ????:roflhard:

redheadrachel
07-28-2007, 05:42 AM
And you would think that the knitting pattern industry should have been saved from the top-model sizing. But still, in most of the books, there are skinny, tall girls under the age of 25 modeling. Don't they know that from the age of 26 gravitation starts showing on us gals ????:roflhard:
haha The women yesterday at my knitting group were looking at a new issue of Vogue Knitting magazine and were complaining about all the "pre-pubescent little girls without breasts" who were modeling many of the knits. I, too, think it's a little bit strange, especially in the knitting world. Still, it gives us something to complain about while we knit, which I guess we always appreciate :shrug: lol

GinnyG
07-28-2007, 08:43 AM
That is a great idea!!

Now could you come up with a solution fo rthsoe TOO BIG sweaters. It seems that no matter how careful I am with gauge it's always too big. I'm working on a top down sweater now that looks like it's going to be huge. I'm almost to the ribbing and can't decide whether to keep going and take my chances or frog frog frog.....:waah:

Jan in CA
07-28-2007, 01:22 PM
Artlady, I have a suggestion. Why don't you send in your hints on making gussets to Knitty. They have a section with help and this would be perfect! It's brilliant!

ArtLady1981
07-28-2007, 04:19 PM
Artlady, I have a suggestion. Why don't you send in your hints on making gussets to Knitty. They have a section with help and this would be perfect! It's brilliant!


OK will do! :thumbsup: I don't think I have ever visited their website...but have heard of it. www.knitty.com (http://www.knitty.com) probably?

Will migrate over there now and tinker around with the HELP section...and try to figure out how to post a suggestion/tip.

Can we also post photos? I think one picture is worth a thousand words.

ArtLady1981
07-28-2007, 04:27 PM
That is a great idea!!

Now could you come up with a solution fo rthsoe TOO BIG sweaters. It seems that no matter how careful I am with gauge it's always too big. I'm working on a top down sweater now that looks like it's going to be huge. I'm almost to the ribbing and can't decide whether to keep going and take my chances or frog frog frog.....:waah:

Hmmm, a sweater that is too big? Well, big 'n' baggy is "in"...take a look at Gwyneth Paltrow. She is a size 4? and wears sweaters that are a size 16+ !!! And the longer the sleeves, the better. The waif look.

ContiKnitter is really handy at the steeking technique...where you cut a garment north to south...usually used when knitting a fair isle pattern in the round...but he uses it to by-pass the seaming process...so he ends up having to create steeks, which are cut later.

Anyway, I bet ContiKnitter would have an idea or two up his sleeve on how to reduce the overall size of a too-large sweater. He is the Martha Stewart of Knitting. Lots of goodies, tidbits and miscellaneous information up his sleeves! Why don't you post thread in the HOW TO section...and specifically ask the question: What are some methods of reducing the size of a sweater that is too big.

Mention the specific area of the sweater that is the most offending...bust, waist, or hips...or all three.

Jan in CA
07-28-2007, 05:04 PM
OK will do! :thumbsup: I don't think I have ever visited their website...but have heard of it. www.knitty.com (http://www.knitty.com) probably?

Will migrate over there now and tinker around with the HELP section...and try to figure out how to post a suggestion/tip.

Can we also post photos? I think one picture is worth a thousand words.

Yes, that is the link. If you look on the left there are submission guidelines and getting your stuff reviewed. I haven't read them, but they may answer your questions. There's also contact info there.

GinnyG
07-28-2007, 08:21 PM
Hmmm, a sweater that is too big? Well, big 'n' baggy is "in"...take a look at Gwyneth Paltrow. She is a size 4? and wears sweaters that are a size 16+ !!! And the longer the sleeves, the better. The waif look.

ContiKnitter is really handy at the steeking technique...where you cut a garment north to south...usually used when knitting a fair isle pattern in the round...but he uses it to by-pass the seaming process...so he ends up having to create steeks, which are cut later.

Anyway, I bet ContiKnitter would have an idea or two up his sleeve on how to reduce the overall size of a too-large sweater. He is the Martha Stewart of Knitting. Lots of goodies, tidbits and miscellaneous information up his sleeves! Why don't you post thread in the HOW TO section...and specifically ask the question: What are some methods of reducing the size of a sweater that is too big.

Mention the specific area of the sweater that is the most offending...bust, waist, or hips...or all three.


sigh........................... I did frog it back to the arm pit and decreased the number of underarm stitches...... It should be fine. It was just the entire weeks worth of knitting:waah::waah::waah:. But it's ok.........I'm getting twice the enjoyment out of the yarn................

CateKnits
07-28-2007, 08:28 PM
What do you do about the opposite problem? I'm rather well-endowed in the chest with hips barely bigger than a boy's. :neutral: By the time I make something big enough in the top, it looks like a tent elsewhere...or like I'm trying to smuggle stolen goods.

ArtLady1981
07-28-2007, 08:32 PM
Hi'ya Ginny! :waving:

I am feelin' yer pain! Been there, done that! :frog:

One good thing for you: you are using a wonderful yarn that lends itself to FROGGING and RE-KNITTING! :thumbsup:

Some yarns pitch a hissy-fit, don't they? They get all snagged up in their own fibers...and they can even start to look "felty". Righhhht...like they're going to positively faint if frogged even one more time! If you listen closely, you can hear what your yarn is saying about you! :teehee:

Those two Viking Cable scarves I am working on...I musta frogged the tan variegated scarf 4 times. The yarn was on her last legs.

But, now I have the right pattern going for the yarn, and all is well in Knittingsville! :wink: The yarn didn't have to go on strike afterall.

ArtLady1981
07-28-2007, 09:02 PM
What do you do about the opposite problem? I'm rather well-endowed in the chest with hips barely bigger than a boy's. :neutral: By the time I make something big enough in the top, it looks like a tent elsewhere...or like I'm trying to smuggle stolen goods.

Hi'ya Cate! :waving:

Haven't had the pleasure of such a problem! :teehee:

However, that said...I think if I did...I would chose my patterns carefully...selecting patterns that lend themselves to "trimming down".

Example...knit a "from-the-top-down" sweater...chosing the size to naturally fit your upper body...and then as you knit from the top down...decrease the width...at each end of the rows and sometimes even in the middle of the rows.

I think it is easier to adjust the waist-down regions (either bigger in my case...or smaller in your case) rather than the upper body area...because the upper body area involves the shoulders, the armholes, the neckline, etc. And, the upper body area of a sweater can look real wonky if you monkey around with it. One adjustment affects so many other features of the sweater.

What do others say? Do you agree that a top-down sweater could be narrowed down for Cate's more slender hip region?

Well, for sure....chose your patterns carefully, as I am sure you do!

panchita
07-28-2007, 10:06 PM
Pear shaped bodies UNITE!!! ArtLady... You rock!

ArtLady1981
07-29-2007, 01:40 AM
Pear shaped bodies UNITE!!! ArtLady... You rock!

Hi Panchita! :waving:

Aw shucks! :blush: Thanks! :wink: I needed that pat on the back! :woot:

Ariane100
07-29-2007, 11:09 PM
It is very unlikely that any given sweater would fit perfectly someone's body. Just like for RTW clothes or sewing patterns, these things are made for an average body (or for the designer's body LOL) and unless you have the chance to have an "average" body, well, things are not going to fit. When sewing from patterns, you quickly learn that there are alterations that you have to do pretty much all the time, and I don't see why it wouldn't be the same for knitting patterns... I, for example, have a large waist, narrow hips, and short arms. So I always try to modify patterns (sewing or knitting) to take that into account. And wouldn't you know, I had to modify the sleeves for Rogue to make them shorter by 2", just like I have to do for sewing patterns...

So I guess my point is: assume that the sweater won't fit your proportions (because it most likely won't) and measure beforehand, instead of assuming that it fits and being disappointed.

ArtLady1981
07-30-2007, 03:03 AM
It is very unlikely that any given sweater would fit perfectly someone's body. Just like for RTW clothes or sewing patterns, these things are made for an average body (or for the designer's body LOL) and unless you have the chance to have an "average" body, well, things are not going to fit. When sewing from patterns, you quickly learn that there are alterations that you have to do pretty much all the time, and I don't see why it wouldn't be the same for knitting patterns... I, for example, have a large waist, narrow hips, and short arms. So I always try to modify patterns (sewing or knitting) to take that into account. And wouldn't you know, I had to modify the sleeves for Rogue to make them shorter by 2", just like I have to do for sewing patterns...

So I guess my point is: assume that the sweater won't fit your proportions (because it most likely won't) and measure beforehand, instead of assuming that it fits and being disappointed.

Yup! Very true...of sewing, as you mentioned, and knitting!
Thanks for your input! :thumbsup:

Hildegard_von_Knittin
10-19-2007, 08:08 PM
THIS is AWESOME!!!!!

There's an article in the current Vogue Knitting Holiday issue about this EXACT thing. (Jan pointed me to your post, ArtLady). It also details how to add waist shaping using gussets (so we're not wearing a box with sleeves).

Now I just have to decide between all those sweaters that I wanted to knit but couldn't because they were a few inches too small! It's like a whole world of knitting possibilities has been opened!!! :happydance:

Becky Morgan
10-19-2007, 09:33 PM
My huge hiney is two sizes bigger than my top, so I'm familiar with this, and THANK YOU for the gusset idea!--it just might rescue an old project I seldom wear.

If you know the problem's coming ahead of time, you can either knit, say, down to the waist in a large and increase there to the 2XL stitch count, OR gradually increase/decrease needle size (I go one size per row, so it doesn't show much).

ArtLady1981
10-20-2007, 11:59 PM
I made those gussets (for the red SoHo cardigan pictured in this original post) AFTER THE FACT.....because I had knit the two FRONTS...and BACK... and luckily, I had clipped the seams together with KNITKLIPS before seaming. This "fitting preview" try-on revealed that my cardigan was not fitting my "Pear" shape! Another cardigan hits the dust! :hair:

But, the gussets at each side seam saved my sweater! :cheering:

I am now knitting another cardigan with the same issue...too straight up and down for my Pear Shaped figure.
So....I created a similar "gusset" by "building it into" the BACK of the garment. I added 50 stitches width at the bottom cast-on of the BACK ONLY...and am decreasing those 50 stitches out within the 20" to the start of the armhole by decreasing 1 at each end of every 6th row.
That is 149 rows...and the extra 50 inches will be gone.
My armhole area will proceed according to the pattern.
BTW...those 50 stitches add about 8" width to the bottom edge...and that extra width is decreased gently...but is most useful and wide where it is needed most!

Glad you like the "gusset" idea! It was born from necessity!