Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fit to Flatter

So we drove to Sunnyvale. It took less time than I thought, so we arrived before the store was even open. After breakfast my mom took my son to an aunt's house- where I hear they had a very good visit- and I stepped foot for the very first time into Purlescence Yarns. Unfortunately I was so nervous I forgot to bring my camera with me, so I have nothing to show for my adventures. Well, except the picture Amy took for the class. And the yarn I may or may not have bought.

Purlesence Yarns is a nice, big, and open yarn shop. The entire right corner is devoted to spinning wheels and weaving looms, which you can see right away fro out front. So I was immediately excited about that. That entire side of the store was non-yarn. There were books on knitting, crochet, beading, spinning, dyeing, etc There were buttons, there was nylon thread in every color of the rainbow. Batting, needles, notions, you name it!
The yarn was on the other half of the store. There was quite a bit of Cascade. Cascade eco wool, eco plus, heritage silk, 220, etc. Honestly I felt the store was kind of dominated with it. Then there was Manos del Uruquay, Opal sock yarn, Lorna's Laces, Madelinetosh, Rowan, and more.
As in most yarn shops, there were a plethora of beautiful garments decorating the store. I was especially struck by a variegated grey/brown coat with a cabled cowl neck and beautiful waist shaping. I feel like such an idiot for not asking what pattern and yarn that was.
So anyways, the shop was great and I wish I lived (much) closer to it, but I guess the main thing people want to hear about is the class!

Some links first:
1) Amy's website
2) Fit to flatter group on ravelry- you can see when she's coming to a town near you.

The class was amazing! I don't know why I was so nervous, except maybe for the fact that even though she explicitly stated in her blog "I am NOT the what not to wear lady," I kind of still felt that way. And if I ever went on that show they would throw away my entire wardrobe and tell me I need to wear more grown-up things because I look like a little girl who dressed herself.

What did Amy tell me? She showed me a sweater that made me look like "a  little girl playing in puddles." It was this sweater and once I get enough money for the pattern (a collection for $21) AND the yarn (Malabrigo Twist, 8 skeins) I am making it! In other words it is way too expensive for me to ever make. But it looked SOOO good on me (yes even in that bright red-orange color) and it brought out my entire soul. Seriously. It made me really happy.
Which is very strange because I don't think I would ever choose that design (or that color) because it's asymmetrical.

There was so much sweater-swapping! Amy brought in something like 20 or 25 sweaters in average sizes (34-41) and we all tried them on. Plus a bunch of us brought our own hand-knit sweaters. The too-big ones we pinched at the shoulder-back to see how they would look if knit in the proper size. It was so interesting to see a sweater that looked terrible on one person that looked amazing on someone else.

It really showed that it's not that YOU are ugly, and it's not (necessarily) that the SWEATER is ugly. There are just bad combinations of sweater + shape.

I took plenty of notes and learned A LOT, but I think everybody has to do this class themselves. Because there is just so much information here, and the whole time you're listening for what applies to you. The stuff that applies to you, you squirrel it away. Everything else you think you'll remember but then as you keep learning it kind of gets pushed out of your brain. Because let me tell you, there was a LOT of knowledge crammed into that 6 hour class. Also let me tell you? That didn't feel anything like 6 hours.
Though by the end everyone's brains were a bit fried.

So here are some things I learned:
1) Waist-boob. What it is and how to avoid it.
2) Top-down Raglans are really not the best way to go because, though you can try on as you go, the WEIGHT to the garment is not there yet, and weight affects fit.
3) Cardis look great on everyone.
4) My shape is "proportional" and actually so was the majority of the other ladies there.
5) Base your size choice on your torso measurement, NOT your bust measurement. If your bust measurement is bigger than your torso measurement, simply add bust darts.
6) There are actually 2 types of bust darts and the easier one makes a lot more sense.
7) Knits are surprisingly stretchy.
8) I must have that Revere Jacket one day.
9) This whole time I've been knitting sweaters "a bit under armhole" and I've had no idea where that was. I could have been using my bra strap as a reference.
10) I am not a straight shape. ( I REALLY thought I was. I thought there was no way I'm "curvy")
11) Almost everyone in the class admitted that they had no idea what they really looked like!!!

P.S. Just so you know? That is NOT what I look like. I nearly never wear pants. And if I do, they sure aren't super tight leggins. Amy told us that these pictures do not represent US at all and we should treat them simply as data.

Youcan't see in the picture, but we then drew lines and measurements on the pictures.
It was a very hands-on class and we did take each other's measurements by hand. It was really helpful to have someone doing it for you, especially for the arm measurement and the vertical measurements.
But now I have a measurement sheet:
So when I want to modify a pattern, it is REALLY simple.

In fact, I have ripped apart Vinelle (gauge issues) and cast on a new, seamed sweater. (Amy said it was easier to work out the mods on a flat design and that we should do a seamed sweater next. She apologized, though, so I guess that makes me feel better.)
I chose a simple stockinette sweater, Marissa from the berroco design team. Only, when I'm done it's going to look a lot different because my mods are:
  •  Omit buttons
  • Add waist shaping at center back
  • Lengthen sleeves
  • Lengthen garter stitch hem
  • Deepen neckline
  • Add shawl collar
  • Add simple bust dart
Did you notice that "Lengthen sweater" isn't one of my mods? Usually it is. Usually I lengthen a sweater about 3 or 4 inches. Or even more. Unlike most people who do this because it "hides their hips" I do it because I love long cozy sweaters that go mid-butt. I hate when the wind rides up and I don't care what the hell I look like anyway (recall little girl who dressed herself statement). But I am going to give this a genuine try and see how it looks.

I had to buy some Opal because both Susan B. Anderson and Coop Knits have mentioned Opal on their blog recently and I could no longer resist giving it a try. I just keep hearing good things! Unfortunately, the Van Gogh colorways were not to be found. But I got this rainbow-girly color and I'm going to make some dandy socks soon. For uhm.... I'm not really sure yet for who.

Also I bought the new Interweave, because I always do.
So that's it for me today.
Super Stitches will follow tomorrow.
I plan on knitting lots of sweater today. 
(Last night I did all the math for the back of the sweater, eagerly cast on 68 stitches and knit the 2 inch garter hem and switched to bigger needles and started the waist shaping and then realized.... I was supposed to cast on 78 stitches. >_< )

1 comment:

  1. What a great class and it looks like you learned a lot ... I imagine you'll continue to process what you learned for months to come.


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