Living Large

So, as publishers realize that more and more knitters are coming in different shapes and sizes, and publishers are responding by offering books to suit every one of us.

The first time I was aware of full-figured knits (I don't know a better term for this. If someone does, puh-leese email me.) was when Big Girl Knits was published a couple of years ago. If I remember correctly, Knitsmiths bud Alison had a design in there.

Knitting Goes Large is another entry in this category. The book, by Sharon Brant, contains 20 patterns for cardigans and pullovers, shawls and shells for those among us with the curves to fill out these things. The list of designers is impressive, with Kim Hargreaves and Martin Storey among them.

[The images below were scanned by me, and not provided by the publisher.]


I especially like the body-type discussion at the beginning of the book. The book uses two models, similarly sized, but with different shapes. The gist of the discussion is flattering what you have, not trying to cram your body into something that clearly isn't good for you. [Oh, how I wish I could hand out copies of these pages on the subway...]


Might I just add that I think that the cover model's hairstyle is very flattering on her. I was almost inspired to bring this book on my most recent haircut appointment (I'm not ready, however, for a return to bangs).

I loved flipping through this book! The photography is worthy of a travel book (the location shots were done in Paris). As for the designs, Sigrid Olsen came to mind. These are easy, flowing, comfortable styles that, if properly sized for the wearer, would look good on anyone. Knitting Goes Large includes a brief section on altering your knits to get that ideal fit.

These designs aren't afraid to cover hips and butts. I like that. I am so over the cropped look. Here are my favorites.


Simply entitled Camisole. Why do I like this? Look at the armhole height. Speaking for myself, I have this little area up there which I CANNOT seem to tone. No matter how many shoulder presses, or lifts, or pec flys, or rolls, or whatever it is that I do, it's always kinda flabby. This area defies exercise. This cami would cover that up. I would probably make the straps thicker for BSC (bra-strap coverage), because if there's one thing I know it's that knitting doesn't go large by wearing a strapless bra.

I will admit that some of the designs default toward the if-your-butt-is-big-then-cover-it-with-a-bigger-shirt fallacy. So, I think that a knitter would need to carefully consider the length and width of a project in terms of the wearer. One should do that anyway, but with some of these knits it seems especially important. There's that special line. If you hit the line, then the top will flatter. If it's a little bit higher, then hips are all that you'll see. If it's a little bit lower. then all you see is a giant tent covering your butt. [How may times can I use "butt" in this post?] A good example of this is the Lace Tunic:


But I love the design. Perhaps I am reminded here about a blue tunic that I myself had in my early 20s. My tunic was not knit, but I did try that tunic-legging look as a slimming device.

And there are other designs that camouflage and flatter:


I love that Peplum!


I am a bit surprised at the quality of the schematics. Overall length and width are given, but not much else. Seems to me that a book with such an emphasis on body types and customizing knits should offer the information required to decide if a pattern will work as knit, or if it needs some changes. Information like, how deep is that V-neck? How wide is the shoulder? We don't know.

The sizes in the book begin at a 38-inch bust, and look as if they incorporate a lot of ease. Although I'm in love with these designs, the sizing is too large for this knitter. Because I don't have a lot of information with these patterns (see above) I'm not sure that I could alter them for my smaller size.


seems to be the same dilemma i have. i'm technically "full figured," up top, but i'm more like a 32-inch bust up top. it was hilarious getting my measurements for my bridesmaid gown in my brother's wedding.

this does look like a gorgeous book overall. learning how to flatter what you've got is somewhat of an inexact science. i'm - hopefully - getting there!

oh, i really love that peplum sweater -- soo cute.

well as you know i just purchased this book. and i'm looking forward to reading it. i love the cover sweater and the peplum and pretty much all of them. also, i found the models to be very attractively styled.

In German they have a word for full-figured people. It is Vollschlank. Schlank means slim/slender and Voll means 'full', so we're fully slender hehehe.

I like the designs of the sweaters too. I'd make the tanktop a tad longer even. To me, the contrast between the top and the black skirt draws attention to the model's hips and that shouldn't be. I think with an inch or so more it would have hit the 'right' spot.
Over here (I mean Europe in general) fashion conscious people always advice that the bottom edge of a top should ideally fall about 1 inch below the widest point of the hips to be flattering.
And now I'll get off my soapbox :)

Cheers Eva

Thanks for the tip--I'm going to make sure the Booksmith carries it.

That looks like a camisole I might actually wear (for the reasons you site), but I agree with Eva, it has to be longer!

Thanks so much for reviewing this book - I was curious what it was like, whether it was worthwhile. Looks interesting! Although I'm with you on longer isn't always better.

Great find! Is this a Rowan publication? One of my pet peeves is that their diagrams are not very informative... I once emailed them about a pattern, and they emailed back all the info I asked for!! Awesome :)

The sweaters look great! I'm not at that skill level yet but one day......also, thanks for the tips about The Point and navigating NYC. I'm looking forward to it and will definitely try the restaurant you suggested! Thanks again

I've love this book, but unfortunately I, too, would need more information to alter the patterns to my size. I'm getting better about it, but I don't think I'm there yet.

If I looked as good as the "full figured" models they chose for "Knitting Goes Large", I'd be a happy camper. 38" bust is full figured? Their models have shape. How about patterns for us more "lumpy" figured?? ;-)


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