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Catherine D.

Eh, eat them with a half pinch of salt. Magazines/books pin back actual human-sized knits for the photos in order to fit the malnourished. Pisses me off, because when I design, I make the model in a larger size to be able to estimate yarn usage better.

I just recently edited a pattern that I completely resized. The original sizes had so much negative ease as to be labelled "look at the boobage! look at the boobage!"


Hey, how tall are you? I thought I was fourth tallest knitblogger in the land. I'm 5'11" and wear size 11 shoes. :/


well, I wante dto say that you are a bigger woman than I, but I'm afraid the pun would be just too awful, so instead, kudos for admitting a supposed error, but I am so with you on the models. I pray my beautiful little daughter NEVER strived to do that to herself!


I am so with you on the models. It is so ridiculous to have people that would be blown away by the smallest breeze. And they wonder why eating disorders are on the rise.

Any way I need to step down from my soap box.


I'm not so sure that negative ease is the most flattering thing for the average body. "Fit" isn't necessarily a boolean variable.


I think you've commented on what is the real issue though; patterns designed for a smaller minority of woman (under size 12), when the majority of women now are size 12, 14, or 16. What makes me even madder now, is that I found that a "plus" sized model is considered a size 12 or 14! That isn't a plus, that is an "average". No wonder women have such a terrible body image.

And even though I've loved almost all of Alice Starmore's patterns, most didn't go above a size 36" bust. That put me out of the knitting range immediately.


Sing it sister (I won't comment on the eating of words, because I'm still with you on the basis of the argument if you know what I mean!) I just had this conversation with my husband last week, as we discussed how difficult it is to buy clothing for our 8 year old daughter. One would have to be an absolute TWIG to fit into the jeans they make for little girls these days. Not to mention the low rise and widened waist (why does an 8 year old need low rise jeans and for goodness sake, they do not have hips that require that kind of waistband!) But children's clothing lines are so stinking wonky. Just as they do for women's clothing (take an "average size" and then using a formula of some odd percentage, just enlarge it all the way around, making for the finished garment to maybe fit in x place, but not in y or z area.) They do this to sewing patterns, and now to children's clothing.



Awwww don't fret, I have had MANY a dinner's of the preverbial crow *giggle*...I am sooo right on it with the poster regarding kids clothing too. My little beanie is 3 and I just went to get her some spring clothes, now can someone explain to me just exactly WHY a 3 year old should need belly shirts the have a low buttong top and a tie at the waist AND they had this bra looking thing, ya know the little sports training type bra's we used to wear when we were pre-teenish....well THAT's what they were modeling with it! NOT my daughter. These kids don't stand a chance. I am also sick of everytime I flip on the televsion they are saying so and so has an eating disorder, gee ya THINK!!*stepping down from the podeum* oh, and what the heck does "negative ease" mean LOL. So, are you going to make something out of the book, not being nosey, just curious........ok, I AM being a litte teeny bit nosey! *giggle*


I think your gripe about the twig-sized models is more important than the fact that the garments fit taller/larger people than they seem to. When a book has teeny models and a "large" is listed at 27", regardless of negative ease and whether that tank top actually *would* fit a normal-sized woman, it puts us off and we're less likely to buy the thing simply because it makes us feel huge. Knitting is supposed to make us feel better about ourselves and our impact on the world, not make us feel inadequate and overweight. And if, like most businesses, the knitting pattern books are about selling the product, this book may fail simply because it features skinny girls and patterns with tiny numbers listed as "large."


Heroin chic is a look that is aimed at a demographic I don't fit in. But then again, most "fashion" is too.

Lee Ann

My gripe with the book is not so much the lack of sizing, although that does bother me a bit, but the huuuuuuge yarn and huuuuuge needles. I know, it's the entire point of the book, but...

The tone the book is written in seems to glorify quick and thoughtless knitting, and while the stuff might actually fit me, it will still make me look like the Michelin Man. Which is why they modeled those pieces on skeletons. Just because something's my size doesn't mean it's going to be flattering, in the least. But the "if you can hold needles, you can knit this sweater" thing really got to me the most. Especially because it didn't also contain the disclaimer "if you can hold size 19 needles and knit this sweater, you will need at least three weeks of no knitting afterward because your hands will ache so much that you will wonder why in hell you took up knitting in the first place."

I like salt :-)


Actually I've heard a few people say that the sweaters are supposed to be made smaller b/c of negative ease, but honestly if you're bigger than say a 34-36" bust, those patterns will still not look good. Chunky yarn makes you look bigger anyway, so it still doesn't appeal to me and I don't like any of those patterns.


I so hate large needles and bulky yarn. But yes, Negative ease? Ich. I'll second Catherine D's comment about pinning of garments. I walk through the creative section to get to my desk in the office and I pass many a mannequin with a pinned back garment.


I'm all for negative ease, and am in the range covered by the book (36" = large?) but I'm still SO not into it. Everything is just SO bulky, I'd certainly look pretty sausage-d up in them. Not to mention not being able to move comfortably or put a coat on!

Helen - have you actually looked at the finished measurements of Starmore designs? I've never seen one with a 36" bust. It might say "to fit 36" bust" but the actual sweaters are more like 45-50" - another instance of too much each in the other direction! Fifteen inches of ease is just a bit much for anyone, I'd think.


I just knit gloves now...


I'm among the smaller ones, and I never bothered to pick up that book because of the title: I assumed you could just take the word "city" out and it would be a description of the contents, both needle/yarn-issues-wise and larger-knitter-wise. Huh. Guess you can't tell a book by its title. Pretty ironic.

And--Kaffe? Kaffe Fassett is doing sock yarns now?? Wow. No wonder I blogged a few old KF projects the last week. Kismet.

gina. B.

I still poop on the Twinkle book...yet, I can't stop knitting the sweaters and I'm a size 12.


Glad to hear that knits in the book fit the more average-sized as well as the slim. However, please, everyone... people come in all shapes and sizes, and, while the models in the book do look rather emaciated, as someone with a 31 inch bust who is healthy weight for her height, eats sensibly, and even weight trains A LOT to put on muscle mass, it's difficult to be judged by women with other body types. Some women are very thin, some are tall, some have large busts, some have none, some have brown eyes, some have blue, and so forth. Frustrations with the limited sizing in a knitting book are one thing, but don't judge others' body types, lest you be judged.


My daughter is one of those hollow eyed...etc. She does not stop eating to lose weight, she stops eating to be invisible because in her mind she is worthless. And because she "knows" people are all watching her wondering why that disgusting excuse for a human being would cram so much (a paper thin slice of the smallest most damaged granny smith apple in the entire city) food into her mouth when there are other more deserving people who should eat.

So. Has she actually been correct that she HAS been being judged for being thin, when she was naturally so?

By the way I have the book (DUH) thinking i could knit those patterns for her, in the smallest sizes, they would fit, and i wouldn't have to tip toe through the mine field of guessing wrong, having them be too big, making her feel 'AH, my own mother thinks i am a cow i better lose more weight' problems. Good thing i waited because can you imagine what would happen if even those tiny sizes swamped her? Sometimes things just suck.


EDIT to above post- this is NOT to imply anything against you! I almost worship you and your blog and you make me happy.


Tanya, no offense taken, of course. Those who suffer from eating disorders, like your daughter, are far more than fashion victims. I hope discussions like these can help everyone involved learn to love themselves and their bodies. And I wish only the best for your daughter.


You are not only a knitting goddess, you are a benevolent knitting goddess! Thanks.


If it's true that these sweaters are meant to fit a wide variety of body sizes and shapes, confusion could have been avoided if they'd shown the designs on models that more accurately reflect the female population intended to knit them. I'm not sure how a reader is supposed to understand anything except that these sweaters are designed to suit tiny bodies...because that's how they're shown to the reader.

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