what not to knit

a knitalong blog of garments of which stacy and clinton (or, if you prefer, trinny and susannah) would approve! choose patterns and colors that flatter your body type--this is the antidote to unflattering clothing everywhere, the reason many of us learned to knit our own clothing in the first place!

Monday, June 05, 2006

do you have to be built like jenna adorno to be tempting?

jenna adorno designs simple, form-fitting knits. i made her tempting sweater last year, and i attempted her tempting ii sweater this spring. i'm about to try it again in a different yarn, as it's just been voted the next knitalong pattern for the sexy knitters club, of which i'm a member, and i do love a knitalong.
you can see that jenna is a tiny and fit woman--her blog says she's five feet tall and 100 pounds. i'd be amazed if she weighed that much after three squares and three snacks AND soaking wet, having seen her recently on knitty gritty; the woman is SO cute.
but all this form-fitting knitting doesn't look good on everyone--does it? i don't know. look at her (she's the model in both of these photos of her designs). in addition to the obviously fit shape, flat abs, tiny waist, and...i'll just say the sweater fits her nicely on top...she also has tiny hips AND very fit arms. no jiggle in sight.
what if you don't, but you want to knit this? like, say, me? i have pretty jiggly sausage arms these days--when i work out, i get some bicep tone, and i can get definition in part of my triceps, but i have fat back there that i cannot get rid of no matter how i try. seriously. i've tried hard, ate a very low-fat diet, the whole nine. those flesh flags are going nowhere. it's okay--my body image is not my self-image, and i lose no sleep over this--but i don't wear a lot of tanks or tees.
so here's my take on the pattern's strengths and weaknesses for specific body parts and types--feel free to add your own or pick mine apart :)
the right foundation garments do a LOT for the midsection on this for me, as does making the right size of this. you don't want the ribbing to have to distort itself so much that it shows off the locations and sizes of each of your bulges. on the other hand, it's meant to be form-fitting, not baggy in any way. so knitting the right size is key to making this sweater look good.
but back to the foundation garments: a properly fitted bra to give ribcage and waist definition is something more women need. and when wearing something like this, if you need a waist cincher or high-waisted brief to smooth things out, by all means wear one. there are no prizes for fewer clothes. so you don't wear this on the 90-degree days when such undergarments would make you melt. would you really wear a knitted sweater on a day like that anyway?
knit this to the right length for yourself, too. unless you've got the fat-free, nothing-bulging-over-your-jeans hips of a jenna (and in my opinion, whether you do or not), how about knitting it long enough at least to touch your waist band--even if you lean forward in your chair? what would that be like, thong-and-tattoo girls?
for short-necked women, if you've got good posture (and the aforementioned good foundation garments), this neckline shows off a beautiful collarbone and elongates the neck. (see jenna's long neck and lovely collarbone in the photos, after all!)
for women with saddlebags (like me), a snug-fitting sweater that sits at the top of the hips (so knit it to that length) keeps you slim on top and reduces your waist so much that no one will even look at the hips. regardless, this wide neckline balances out the width of your hips.
but if you've got a really flabby tummy, i really think this sweater calls for a control undergarment. this sweater without it is really going to call attention to a bulge underneath it.
and if you don't have really toned arms (you and me both), make sure that those sleeves are nice and loosely knitted and bound off--you don't want to create sausage casings. ew. or another alternative: knit 3/4-length sleeves! those are ideal for big-armed girls, because they hide the flab at the top while displaying delicate wrists :) on me, i like just past the elbow, but you may like just above. measure and knit accordingly, remembering that jenna's measurements for the pattern begin at the underarm join, not at the shoulder. in any case, cap sleeves are just not good for big arms.
i'm not sure this would be the most flattering sweater for a totally flat-chested woman; it might accentuate a bony chest. this kind of neckline looks great on women with boobage, because it sort of breaks up that shelf-boob look.
finally, the color would matter--choose a color that looks good on you and that you love to wear :) that's not a topic i've figure out yet. i think i should be aiming for more saturated colors as i age (!), yet i seem to gravitate toward these icy blues that i'm not sure are really right for me. i need to go on That Show...i need help :)


Blogger ChiaLea said...

OK, a good bra is very important. (Why the What Not To Wear crew reccomended them for average-busted women and not large busted women I have no idea.)

In so many ways, this is a great, flattering knit for me. I have good posture, nothing very jiggly or bulge-y that I've noticed... However, Tempting II conflicts with point #1 about wearing a good bra. How the heck do you wear a bra with that? Actually, this is a complaint I have about many otherwise-nice knits: they don't accomodate a bra. For example, Tubey looks like a nice sweater, but I'm not sure it would cover bra straps.

An issue with ribbing is that it's not always good at clinging. When I wear ribbing on a sweater like this, I want it to be STICKING to my midsection instead of adding extra bulk. From what I've read about the suggested yarn, this isn't necessarily going to happen. This is certainly less of an issue if one is not very hourglass-y, as there isn't as much changing lateral stress on the sweater. This means a DK-weight or less yarn with good stretch characteristics, as far as I've been able to experiment.

I can't speak to the control undergarments, per se. I have noticed tht when I put my arms in the air, my clothes tend to come with them a bit, and so I show a bit of tummy. That issue is going to be wose than normal because the yoke connection will make the sweater ride up over your shoulders when you raise your arms, raising the rest of the sweater along with it. If you're planning on wearing something that isn't to be seen, plan ahead for this issue (no, I don't know how much). The problem with doing so is that pants waistband + ribbed sweater overlap leads to a thick chunk right around your hips. Generally, I'd stick to only having reasonably thin things coming over my pants' waistband.

9:54 AM  

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