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!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

cropped cardis

gay writes, "just when i thought i had picked the perfect pattern for my body, i find myself confused once again! i usually solve the boxy waist problem with cropped cardigans by knitting them shorter than the pattern calls for so they hit me just above the waist rather than at the hips."
i think the catch here is that not all cropped cardis are the same. and also that not all wearings are the same.
first, note the differences between the blue sky alpaca cropped cardi and the not-so-shrunken cardi.
both have three-quarter-ish sleeves. both look relatively open (i can't tell whether the blue sky has a zip, button, or open front). but they have some subtle differences. the blue sky is much more fitted--or, as wendy (the designer of the not-so-shrunken cardi) would say, shrunken. these shrunken cardis were all the rage a year or two ago, about $20 at old navy, for example. way cute with a little tee underneath and jeans and flats on a spring or fall day. but i've come to find mine a bit constricting, really--i haven't been toning my arms as faithfully as i was when i bought my two shrunken cardis, and apparently even that little bit of change matters.
so this is why wendy designed the not-so-shrunken cardi. the sleeves aren't as closely fitted. also, though, the body of it swings a little looser. it *can* be made a little more boxy, as shown on the model. BUT the pattern offers mods in various spots for customizing the fit. it's knitted in one piece from the top down, body flat and sleeves in the round, and she suggests places where you might want to decrease more for added shaping at the waist, taper the sleeves (why?), and lengthen the sleeves. the pattern also has one to three rows--your choice--of ruffles crocheted along the button band (buttons do run the whole length of the sweater). this wasn't totally obvious in the beauty shot.
another difference between these two: the necklines. the blue sky neckline is lower and, i think, softer for a lot of body types. better for someone with a short neck, for example. i have lots of notes on necklines in the previous two posts.
i do think the sleeves on wendy's are going to be more flattering than the blue sky ones will. the fit on wendy's is adaptable, but i do like the neckline on the blue sky for many body types.
this is why "what not to wear" isn't universal! anyway, the point for gay's question: cropped isn't so much the worry as the shaping before you crop it. and as for wearing, i think how you choose to layer these pieces is a big part of whether they flatter or not. the recent trend toward empire waist is popular for a reason: most of us look good with a lovely pulled-together something right under the bust that says, "hey! here are my perky girls! and look how slender my ribcage is right under them!" and then a floaty piece of fabric just gently wafting away from that something that leaves them completely oblivious as to whether there's a waspish little waist or a big ol' belly full o'jelly underneath. nunya, right? right. but if the answer is "waspish," you can wear a cardi that's shrunken and holds the underneath layer against your body shamelessly, and that layer can be a clingy long t (everyone's selling these these days in response to the low-rise jeans trend that left all of our waists to freeze last winter and in this summer's air conditioning). (so that would be the blue sky example.) on the other hand, if it's not waspish and your belly isn't a concave ballerina tummy, i'd advise a cardi that allows whatever's underneath to float away and then make the whatever's underneath BE something that will float away. (and that would be the not-so-shrunken cardi. or something red, possibly arisaig, or cobweb.)
of course, every photo i ever remember seeing of gay is of the tiniest little body with like 1 percent body fat. but i digress...


Blogger Robin said...

Another great post - please add me to the list of authors and I'll try to come up with such witticisms (but will probably come up short!)

11:33 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home