Yikes – Identifying Body Type

Fit BooksFor years all my shopping failures has been due to my bust measurement or my very short legs.  Naturally, this is what I’ve focused on.  However, in Melissa Leapman’s class she mentioned I was bottom heavy (I asked). While not news that I had hips I still couldn’t wrap my head around that mattering for a knit top.

Front Silhoutte Gray

I went out and bought two books, Knitting the Perfect Fit by Melissa Leapman and Knit to Flatter by Amy Herzog.  It was Amy’s book that did it for me.  Chapter 1 is discovering your body type through a photo.  Now, she didn’t suggest we silhouette our own pictures but it helped me tremendously with the distractions.  So what did I learn about myself?

  1. Yup, I’m on the bottom heavy side
  2. I have a waist line
  3. That waist line is very high and nowhere near my navel

I really love Amy’s book.  Not only does she talk about the body types defined with the frontal view but she also talks about the other considerations, like my high waist which is common for bottom heavy types.  This was critical for me because I do still have a larger bust that needs modifications no matter that I’m bottom instead of top heavy!

Here’s the advice I found for flattering sweaters in my body type.

  • Emphasize the chest and neckline
  • User vertical or “V” lines to draw the attention up
  • Go for shorter sleeves (or cuff designs to draw the attention up the arms)
  • Go for shorter sweater lengths
  • Use plain hemlines

Time to look through more patterns!

Stitches Midwest 2015 – Day 3

Sunday Purchases

Yesterday was the last day at Stitches Midwest.  I did not win the grand prize raffle.  Sad, I know.  I did do a little more shopping.  I bought a pink yarn bowl from Pawley Studios to match the purple mini version I bought a few years back.   I also bought the double spindle yarn buddy showing the yarn I wound Saturday for my gloves sitting on one of the spindles.  This will be awesome for two socks at a time or color work.  It’ll be a while until I can test it because neither of those projects are on my list to do soon but I’m very much looking forward to no more tangles.    Finally I bought a second skein from 2 Guys in a heavier weight but matching color for a hat project to match my gloves.

My last class at Stitches Midwest was Anatomy of a Yarn with Laura Bryant.  Wow was that a lot of info.  It was exhausting enough that I passed out just after 7 PM last night and slept for over 10 hours.  It was good info broken up by a glossary for yarn terminology the different fiber types then the different yarn types.  I learned a lot but I also realize how much I still don’t know.  That’s a bit overwhelming. Next year I’ll need more classes about yarn and fiber before I’m confident enough to know I’m picking the right yarn for a project.  I’ve never tried to knit which chenille and after this class I have no intentions of trying.  If the “worming” terminology isn’t enough to freak me out then random holes appearing in my knitting weeks after I finish it is.  No thank you.  Give me a wool fiber any day.

Stitches Midwest 2015 – Day 2

Saturday Purchases

Today was my second day at stitches and I did buy some yarn but not too much!  Like I promised myself I also have patterns picked out for these.  First I’m going to make the Meisi Gloves with the 2 Guys Yarn Company Signature Fingering in Black Cocoa Creme.  This color matches my favorite scarf I bought in San Diego a few years ago.  I’ve had a really hard time finding something to match it so I couldn’t resist this yarn when I found it.  I’m getting the swift ready so I can wind the yarn and cast on tonight!  For the Miss Babs Katahdin green yarn I’m deciding between two patterns: Alicia Beth and Cecily Jacket. Any votes?

Before shopping, today started with the Estonian Style: Nupps and Starflowers class with Denise Bell.  I started this class a little more frazzled than yesterdays since a room hunt was involved.  Fortunately I found the spot and sat next to a really nice mom & daughter pair in the area!  That made the class a lot more enjoyable.

The class was all about learning these two Estonian techniques.  The starflower was fairly easy, the nupps didn’t go so well.  As you can see in my swatch below some turned out not quite right but I was assured they would look better after blocking. Denise was very smart and provided enough yarn for a second swatch.  In this one I knit two rows of 5 nupps then 2 rows of 7 (5 or 7 is the number of stitches knit  into the one stitch to produce the nupp).  Next swatch I’ll either practice all 7s because that’s what the Percy Shawl needs or I’ll try 7 and 9 to challenge myself.

Nupp Swatch

I’ve got one more day left to shop and go to my last class, Anatomy of a Yarn with Laura Bryant.  This is the class I was looking forward to the most.  I know which yarns feel nice but I don’t know beyond that which yarns are best for which projects.  I’ve already had a few failures from picking the wrong yarn so I’m hoping this class means I never do that again!



Stitches Midwest 2015 – Day 1

Flatter Yourself Swatches

Today was the first of three classes I signed up for at Stitches Midwest, Flatter Yourself: Fully Fashioned Secrets of the Pros with Melissa Leapman.  I didn’t realize ahead of time but I’ve had a couple of her books on my wishlist for awhile and I’m definitely planning to get her book, Knitting the Perfect Fit: Essential Fully Fashioned Shaping Techniques for Designer Results, after her class.

I had a lot of fun.  Melissa went over some of the ways you can design a sweater so that it will flatter anyone and along the way mentioned what samples would look good on different body types and why.  The rest of the class time was doing some exercises on the homework swatches to mimic some of the design principles she’d discussed.  Both exercises above were to show how to add shaping with increases & decreases.  Melissa also offered tips and tricks for some common knitting technique issues.  Some of these worked for me and some not so much. I’ll have to try again when I’m more focused.

The rest of the morning I spent on my first round of shopping by visiting two of my favorites from last year.  I bought more project bags by Erin.Lane and stitch markers.  I figure with the yarn crawl last weekend I shouldn’t buy yarn unless I’ve already got a pattern picked out for it!

Looking forward to tomorrow, Estonian Style: Nupps and Starflowers with Denise Bell.  In the mean time I might go looking at some patterns so I can buy yarn tomorrow guilt free.

Friday Purchases

Stitch Markers


2015 Chicago Yarn Crawl

Shopping Bags

This weekend I participated in my very first yarn crawl! I spent five years with this going on under my nose before my friend Laura told me about it this year.  I hit 10 of the region 4 stores.  On Saturday I foolishly thought I could get them all done in a day until I realized that meant I wouldn’t get to spend nearly enough time in each store!

I didn’t go into this with all that many expectations.  Most of my yarn purchases are done online or at Stitches.  My main goal was to see what it was all about and enter some raffles.  I didn’t think I’d buy very much … almost $400 later I know better.


As you can see I did find something at every store.  To make up for the unexpected shopping spree I made a deal with myself to add all this yarn to Ravelry before I could buy anymore. Well, that’s done.  I’m ready for Stitches and my next yarn shopping spree!

Besides all the pretty yarn I got out of this it was also really fun to visit local yarn shops. Everybody was very helpful and welcoming in each store and it was comforting to spend some time with other knitters who “get it.”  I’m sure I’ll be going back to some of these stores now that I know which ones I like.

Of the ten stores I went to these were my top three:

  1. Gentler Times in Naperville – they have a wall of madelinetosh; nobody’s going to beat that
  2. Knitche in Downers Grove – upstairs area is a great place to do some research and see spotlighted “pop-up” products each month.
  3. Wool & Company in St Charles – nice selection and very helpful staff

The yarn crawl isn’t over yet!  Anyone in the area can still participate.  It runs through August 9th and I definitely recommend giving it a try if you’ve never participated before.  I know I’ll be going next year (with a budget this time).