Thursday, April 20, 2006


A couple of the comments from my last post got me thinking about knitting and patterns and individual tastes.

Let me begin by telling you why I hate the pattern on the cover of the June 2006 issue of Creative Knitting magazine. First and foremost, the cap sleeves are goofy. There is absolutely no shoulder shaping on these sleeves, causing them to jut straight out from the shoulders in a manner reminiscent of all those hideous patterns from the 1980s. I think it looks just plain stupid. The first thought that ran through my head when I saw the top was the scene from Napolean Dynamite in which Napolean touches the ridiculous, puffy sleeves on Deb's prom dress and says, "I like your sleeves. They’re real big."

Deb replies, "Thank you; I made them myself."

Yes, I'm sure you did.

I dug out an ancient Susan Bates leaflet from 1984 and, voila, on the back cover is a strikingly similar top:

This one, at least, has some shoulder shaping (believe it or not). The shoulders in the Creative Knitting pattern are simply bound off straight across without any decreases or short-row shaping. Even worse, the top is knit from heavy worsted cotton. Won’t that make a nice, rigid spring/summer top that retains lots of body heat and hangs off you like a pieced-together dhurrie rug. Seriously, who will this look good on???? Not someone with large arms, or someone with thin arms either. And even without the wonky shoulders, who can pull off wearing a top knit in mercerized cotton at a gauge of 16 stitches per inch? Possibly a 90-pound nymph.

Which leads me to the point of this post (yes, there is a point). When you peruse sweater patterns looking for a new project, what aspects are important to you? For example, do you only consider free or cheap patterns, individual patterns like the Cabin Fever patterns, patterns in magazines, or patterns from specific designers or specific publications. Do you look for patterns that can be knit from yarn you already have stashed or which you can acquire easily. Do you even consider gauge and drape and quality of construction. Do you look for something challenging and interesting or something quick and easy regardless of how bulky or stiff it looks in the photo. Do you even really look at the photo to see if it has been taken to highlight only the positive aspects of the pattern but hide a stupid neckline or ill-fitting armholes? And for those of you who knit a lot of sweaters, how many turn out disappointing or end up looking nothing like they did on the model?

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Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.