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

Queen of Cling

In previous posts, LisaBe has written about the flattering effect of an empire waist that flows over the stomach without clinging. Well, I'm here to speak up for the powers of properly applied cling. I believe that virtually everyone looks good in properly-applied cling. In fact, the empire waist itself relies on the powers of cling. There are a few tricks to making cling look good that are almost always overlooked in knitting patterns.

  1. Small gauge. The bigger the gauge, the more bulk it adds to your figure. Unless you have small arms and wish to add bulk to your torso to balance them out (or vice versa), it's probably not going to be as flattering as it could be. Large-gauge knits tend to badly approximate the shape of your figure underneath, as well, which can make you look lumpier than you are. Unless one has a knitting machine, I don't think anyone has to worry about making one's gauge too small.
  2. Shaping, shaping, shaping! This is probably the worst offender in the published clingy knit patterns I've seen. What makes a pair of socks comfortable and nice-looking? The fabric stretches an amount which is both flattering and clings nicely. When you're designing something clingy, start with constant stretch over the entire garment. If your bust is six inches larger than your waist, it should have a commensurate amount of fabric! Ignoring this principle can lead to wildly varying row gauge and strange fitting issues. Have you ever seen a supposedly clingy sweater fold and bulge out in strange places? That's usually a result of large gauge and insufficient shaping! Have you seen strange diagonal bulges over the waists of large-busted women? Those are the result of insufficient space for the bust (and can often be fixed with bust darts, which I'll discuss more in depth at another time)!
  3. Skim or stretch? Starting with constant stretch, adjust the garment to stretch more over the bits you like, less over the bits you don't. I'm not saying you should squish yourself down, just that the stretch will add emphasis. I don't want my bust to look too large, so I added a (large) bust dart and extra stitches to the sweater I'm knitting. This is related to putting details in spots you wish to emphasize, as they'll draw the eye where you want it.

I find that I'm quite far outside the regular knitting figure model, so I make a good test case: if something can look weird on anyone, it will probably look weird on me. Are there any other tricks to cling that you've found?


Blogger Estellika said...

Yes, through my experience with knitting and crochet your Cling Theory is correct. Small guage, shaping, customization and +/- constant stretch.

The finer the guage the finer the fabric.

Shaping is a must, even if it is minimal, but very important to customize it to one's self- for discretion, taste, and to accentuate what one desires.

Begining with contant stretch and adjusting plus or minus for body parts is the key indeed. I learned that on picovoli.

Details, details!

Speaking of details, I am seeking advice for the simple knitted bodice.

What yarn not to use... as in- do you think Andean Silk is a good substitute yarn for SKB? I posted the querry on the sexyknittersclub but no help, might you know? I'm itchin' to order yarn and start!

Thanks for the overview on clingy knitting, good articulation and reminders.

11:30 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home