Saturday, February 19, 2011

new tricks, part 3: Sweater Fitness

Anne Hanson explaining fit

my yarns ready for swatching

Anne swatches copiously to get the fabric right

Anne showing her numerous swatches from various designs

Last Sunday, I took a "Sweater Fitness" workshop with Anne Hanson of knitspot.  If you've ever used an Anne Hanson pattern, you know how detailed and exact they are, with many measurements given.

Workshop participants did not have to bring an Anne Hanson pattern, in fact it was quite interesting to see how different designers present their patterns differently.

But to start at the very beginning, we paired up first thing and measured each other very thoroughly. We had a handout from Anne with diagrams and numbers to fill in. It was eye-opening! Right away I want to encourage everyone who knits anything for themselves to actually have a friend measure them top to bottom and left to right and write it all down!  Spend some time considering ease in conjunction with looking at ready-to-wear garments in your closet. THEN go find the proper size for your next garment, if you want it to fit right!

After the measurements, Anne spent a lot of time going around the room and helping each knitter select the proper size for themselves, and offering advice on how to adjust garment pieces. While we were waiting, it was really helpful to have swatching yarn on hand and - spend time swatching!

Later in the afternoon, the whole class was given many tips and tricks on how to change a given pattern to suit the individual, including body length and width and what to do if you need more or less fabric in certain places.

Of course fabric - after all, when we knit, we make our own fabric! - and how it performs and hangs is essential in connection with fit, so time was spent on looking at numerous swatches of Anne's own designs. I thought I was a decent swatcher, but again, my eyes were opened to what is really involved. I will be spending much more time on swatching for future projects, especially making separate swatches for different needle sizes and blocking them AND making swatches in the stitch pattern, not just stockinette stitch.

Thank you Cookie and Anne for coming to our parts - thank you Robena for making it all possible. It was fun to be able to take advantage of different design and fit workshops! Even after many years of knitting and also designing my own garments, I learned so much!!

Oh and at this point you are probably waiting to hear which sweater I'm going to make? Oh, it's a tough decision!! But I THINK I fell in love a little with this. I'm going to dye my own yarn for it. AND I want to wear it at Sock Summit.
Wish me luck!


  1. Sounds like an excellent workshop. I think Anne Hanson would be a really good person to learn about fit from, because her own sweaters always fit her perfectly.

  2. I took that workshop recently through our knitting guild. She was wearing that sweater. We didn't talk about swatching, but with a large group, perhaps there wasn't time.

  3. Stunning choice of sweater, Karin and interesting report on your class. I'm meeting Laurilyn later today and I've decided we'll be measuring ourselves top to bottom-us!



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