On Sunday, I drove to Portland, Maine to this yarn shop.
Where the lovely new owner, Susie, was hosting a class with the talented teacher, Amy Herzog.
We covered a lot of ground in just a little over 3 hours and I learned so much about sweater knitting that my head is still spinning.
I learned several things about myself that I did not previously know but here are just three facts that were the most surprising to me.
1. I'm a "curvy proportional" body type and therefore I must look for sweater patterns that are balanced in and of themselves to keep me balanced (because my body will most likely take on the shape of the sweater versus the sweater conforming to my shape).
2. I have been knitting the wrong size for my measurements. All along. Like my whole entire life-as-a-knitter.
3. Since I work with plant fibers, negative ease should be my new best friend.
Amy has lots of great information on short-row shaping to accomodate a larger bust, or a large tummy, or a curved back etc. but, so far, I don't really need to worry about those modifications in my patterns.
She also has great tips for those with one of the other two body shapes: Top Heavy or Bottom Heavy.
Her sweater designs are absolutely gorgeous too. We saw lots of them and I tried on the ones without wool fiber and others tried on the rest and you definitely want to take a look at these great patterns (which contain helpful tips for modifying them to fit you).
Now that I've gained this important information about what will fit and flatter my own shape in a sweater, the next step will be fiber research.
Yes, this is going to mean swatching and a LOT of it and not just to get gauge. Look for a new fiber swatch feature here on the blog starting in 2012. I'm actually kind of excited about it. I just keep thinking about those future sweaters that will both fit and flatter me!
Now, for one more parting look at the KnitWit yarn shop.
Such a beautiful store -- don't you love the giant mittens hanging from the ceiling? She carries at lot of Quince Company yarns and other wools, but she did have a small, carefully chosen selection of wool-free yarns for me to pet. I have one skein of Berroco Linsey to test swatch and I picked up some of the Berroco Weekend Chunky (it was 50% off) as a gift for my mom and I got another circular needle to add to my growing collection (you know, just to support Susie and all).
Be sure to stop in if you are passing by and tell her hello from me!