A only-slightly-edited transcript of last night’s #knittingplus TweetChat with Lisa Shroyer about her new book! All names are the Twitter handles of the person in question. Enjoy!
Knitgrrl: Why this book? Why not just lobby for added size range in existing books? What’s special about plus-sized knits?
LisaShroyer: so many pple tell plus-sized knitters to modify for custom fit, but that requires more than adding waist shaping
Knitgrrl: Plus-sized knitters aren’t one-size-fits-all in terms of modifications, in other words?
Lisa Shroyer: no. and no two sweater designs are alike. how do you modify bust circ in a seamless yoke? in a set-in? this book breaks down the rules of sweater construction–once you know the structure, you can change anything in a sweater
Knitgrrl: What fit or construction “error” drives you craziest on plus-sized sweaters? (For me it’s a badly-fitted armhole…)
SKCircle: Poorly tailored necklines drive me nuts!
Knitgrrl: in what way? Gaping? Too tight + cups runneth over, or…?
Lisa Shroyer: sleeves that are too tight on the upper arm are bad. if the fabric is stretched over that rounded area, it’s too small!
Knitgrrl: Tight upper sleeve = dead giveaway the grading is just bad. What do you think re: gauge? i.e. smaller gauge = more flattering?
Lisa Shroyer: armholes are a big focus in the book. I dont make proclamations abt gauge for plus wmn. i think silhouette, fit, ease, and design elements are more important
CrochetKim: My biggest problem is shoulder-to-shoulder. I hate when it goes to the elbows instead of where it’s supposed to go. crossback is so huge! esp in set-ins. get the crossback, armhole depth right, then sleeve
Knitgrrl: Which design elements do you incorporate most in your plus-sized sweaters? (I like shaping with cables, myself). Also, any measuring tips? I know so many people who buy, let alone knit sweaters that are WAY too big for them! (Tents are no one’s friend) #truth
karida_nfc: what about sleeve styles for plus sizes? anything in particular to avoid (i.e. drop shoulder, etc.)?
Lisa Shroyer: i like deep necklines, ease in the lower body, and lots of St st with focal details
Terrishea: 2 things. Too tall armscyes; rarely needs to be >8.5″ Upsizing styles better suited to slender. can<>should.
KnitTonicWendy: people who are + say that armhole depth is usually too deep for them on a lot of patterns.
Rilana: What drives me nutty is lack of room in the chest area, for us busty + gals. Short rows needed, maybe?
Lisa Shroyer: @karida_nfc i think set-ins are easiest to customize, but rags, dolmans, and seamlesses can be more attractive
Knitgrrl: @rilana brings up the magic two words: short rows. So, @LisaShroyer, should more knitters consider using them for shaping?
Lisa Shroyer: re: armhole depth: depends on style. big arms? the need for wide sleeve in a drop-shoulder drives deeper armholes
CrochetKim: I think sometimes there may be a lack of understanding of the diff between AH height and AH depth.
Lisa Shroyer: short-rows, in theory, are great. in practice, they can be hard to incorporate. stitch patterns can be tough to combine with
WendyKnits: challenge is upper arm circ vs depth. Need to have space to pick up enough sts to accom upper arm, so…
Lisa Shroyer: but yes, in plain garments that need to fit closely, go for short-row bust darts!
KnitTonicWendy: maybe adding more sts at the underarm is the way to accommodate more sts for the sleeves and avoiding deep underarm lengths
Lisa Shroyer: dont use SR’s in looser garments–you only add extra length when minimal ease causes length to draw up
ms_emmalyon: I also have issues w/sleeves being too long if the rest of the item fits.Hard to adjust when knitting bottom-up
Knitgrrl: Which sweater in the book is your fave, @LisaShroyer? (I know, I know, it’s like picking amongst children…)
KnitTonicWendy: this can work. but an underarm span more than 5″ wide creates its own problems
Terrishea: Flat knit with set-in slvs easiest to calculate. Back width @ shoulders rarely more than 17″. Bones don’t get fat. 🙂
Lisa Shroyer: for my own style, the raglans. for pure beauty, the Barton Cardi by Marly Bird
Knitgrrl: (good point, @terrishea, re: bones, however you need to accomm back brastrap spillover sometimes!)
Lisa Shroyer: @terrishea i’ve met women who really need a 22″ crossback, bc of broadness. for them drop-shs are better
Knitgrrl: (@YarnThing’s Barton cardi: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/barton-cardigan) She *gets* shaping on + size, does Marly.
KnitTonicWendy: @LisaShroyer oh yeah! I usually try to keep it less than about 3.5″ or 4″ (underarm span)
Knitgrrl: @LisaShroyer What are your thoughts on sleeve length for plus size? commercial sweaters seem to go shorter rather than longer.
Lisa Shroyer: @knitgrrl in a drop shoulder, sleeves have to get shorter to accommodate wide wingspan. i think commercial clothing uses that concept universally–wider crossback/wingspan means shorter sleeves. but, if the crossback is tailored, sleeves should match actual arm length
Lisa Shroyer: @ms_emmalyon yes, you really have to know your body and study the schematic before knitting
__Deb: This is what happens when you put out a good book and then DISCUSS it! RT @LisaShroyer: trying to keep up, thanks everyone!
Terrishea: Accomodate in the sleevecap. Keep shoulder seams high for a tailored look and feel. Think abt pressing hams/steam
Lisa Shroyer: the average wmn’s arm measures 16-18″ wrist to pit. that’s 2″ of gray!
Knitgrrl: @LisaShroyer What sizes were the samples knit for the book? Drives me crazy when other pubs call 38″ or the like plus-size!
Lisa Shroyer: they go from 40″ to mid 60’s. each pattern is diff, but thats the overall range
ZombieDyer: @terrishea Back width is almost always too wide for me when I follow a pattern. All my width is in the front. 😉
Terrishea: @ZombieDyer LOL! I’m not + but have similar challenges. big boobs, short high waist, under 5’4″. designing for + = fun chlng
Terrishea: @ZombieDyer All designs must start with the body’s frame. Weight must be hung from the shoulder or the garment will look bad.
Lisa Shroyer: i’d like to know, what do plus-size knitters want most from publishers?
Knitgrrl: (I know I’d like to see more on sizing socks and skirts appropriately…big ankles don’t play nicely with most sock patterns!)
Lisa Shroyer: @knitgrrl i hear more patterns in more sizes a lot. anything beyond sizing?
@alias_alexandra: I want pubs to leave the plus sizes OUT if they can’t do them right.
Terrishea: Calls for plus size designs. I love the plus challenge. 🙂
Lisa Shroyer: @knitgrrl @alias_alexandra interesting point. at Interweave, we look at intl clothing standards, to start
Turtlepurl: @knitgrrl oh I agree. I’d love to see how to make proper skirt for +size
Turtlepurl: Pictures with larger women!
Knitgrrl: When you say int’l standards, do you mean in addition to ASTM, CYCA + general US sizing standards? So many to consider! Also, what’s hard, @LisaShroyer? Finding plus sized models you can use, or…?
Lisa Shroyer: @knitgrrl ASTM and there’s another one i cant think of…we’re also embarking on our own sizing standards
Stefanie Japel: RT @LisaShroyer: @knitgrrl @SKCircle armholes are a big focus in the book. #knittingplus > I can’t wait to read this book!
Lisa Shroyer: @knitgrrl good plus models, getting designers to knit in larger sizes on deadline, and getting clothes that fit for styling
CrochetKim: I would like pubs contacting the dsignr when + sizes don’t work instead of perpetuating prob of mis-grading and pub’ing anyway
Lisa Shroyer: @knitgrrl i dont have plans for a sequel. i would really like to research grading issues more before writing another word. in closing, i’d like to say that the book was a work of love and i had so many ideas that didnt fit
__Deb: @LisaShroyer I was really impressed with all your info about fitting plus-sized sweaters. Lots of data I hadn’t seen before
Thanks again, Lisa! What a great chat this was!