Monday, November 25, 2013

Knit to Flatter...Your Body AND Your Mind

 

On Friday evening, my running buddy Amy (and now knitting buddy as well) and I had the pleasure of attending a "meet and greet" with the lovely Amy Herzog, knitter extraordinaire and author of the book Knit to Flatter, as well as creator of the new website Custom Fit, where you can input a specific set of measurements and receive a sweater pattern that is designed to fit your body.  I was looking forward to this, seeing as I was in the midst of knitting my first pullover sweater where there wasn't a lot of wiggle room when it came to fit - I basically chose a size and was hoping for the best when it was finished...which, as it turns out, is the way many knitters make sweaters, and can end up being a real crapshoot, with many beautiful sweaters going unworn (or at least unworn by the intended recipient).

My knitting guild hosted the Friday evening event, which meant that everyone got to attend for free.  There was also a two-day seminar with Amy H., at my favorite local yarn shop (W.C. Mercantile in Navasota...go there if you are ever in the area), but as it has turned out, knitting events have not been in our budget this year (there was a weekend knit camp, this seminar, and also a yarn crawl that I just could not come up with the funding to do)(hello new bathroom)(hello new refrigerator), so this was a real treat to experience!

I won't bore you non-knitters with a lot of knitting jargon, but holy cow, if my knitting readers ever get the opportunity to meet Amy Herzog, do not hesitate - GO!  She is such a warm and friendly woman, and just lovely - I know I already said that about her, but it bears repeating.  As a person who has dealt with a lot of body issues over the years, both when I was overweight and even after I lost weight (what?? I STILL don't have the "perfect" body?!), it was wonderful to hear Amy H. talk about why certain styles that look so good on a friend end up being disappointing when we try them on - she even demonstrated this with several sweaters that she'd made, trying them on and showing what worked with her body shape and what didn't.

Most importantly, she emphasized that everyone deserves to look and feel good in their clothes, no matter what body shape/size you have - and to not let your clothing make you feel bad.  She's got a great post about this on her blog and I'd love for you to read it...what she said really resonated with me and I hope it does for you, too.

During the event, I began to think that I needed to try on the sweater I'm knitting to see if it's even close to fitting me.  After all, why put in so much time and effort knitting it, if it's not going to be something that I can wear?  I took it off the needles and put it on scrap yarn, and on first try-on, it's OK, but snug in the arm holes, which makes me wonder how it will feel once I attach the sleeves.  So for the moment, that sweater is officially hibernating (meaning I'm not knitting on it, but I haven't given up on it just yet).  I'm going to take my measurements according to the book's directions, figure out my body shape, and go from there - because I want to make something that I'll enjoy, from creation to wearing.  And thanks to Amy Herzog, I believe that it IS possible for clothing to look flattering on my body, flaws and all.

15 comments:

  1. That sounds like a really cool event! I love reading your knitting adventures.

    I thought about you. I'm a member of a book club which makes me buy a book every 3 months. When I was going through their magazine I saw a knitting book for hats and I thought how cool it would be if I give it to you as a gift. But unfortunately it's in Dutch. I am noticing that knitting is getting more popular here in Holland too.

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    1. Aw, thanks for thinking of me with that book! :) But yeah, I have enough of a challenged just knitting in English - could you imagine me with Dutch-written patterns? Paco would be hiding in my closet while I tried to figure them out, lol!

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    2. If it wasn't a hell of a job to translate the book, I would do it with love for you. But I don't have that much time :)

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  2. so interesting and I still would love a book on KNITTING AND FITNESS. KNITNESS.

    Off to check out her blog, too!

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  3. Very true! I think as an overweight *ok, severely obese) person I got so bogged down with 'yay something that actually fits my body' that the 'fitting properly' took second place. As I've lost weight that mindset has remained. I need to focus more on fitting properly!!!

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    1. Same here, MaryFran - it was so interesting when she demonstrated sleeve length and where it drew the eye to - I had no idea sleeves weren't just all about covering your arms, but make you look at the body, as well!

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  4. Okay, almost got lost in Amy's blog and website. What a GREAT concept. She needs to get really popular and teach at every knitting event around the country! And maybe a few diet group meetings too : )) I might have to actually follow a pattern for my next sweater!

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    1. She's fabulous - you would love her! And yes, she was turning me into a pattern believer (well, custom) after seeing her sweaters and how she'd made them fit her body.

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  5. What a great idea... and even if you have to start over, I think you should definitely use the book advice to figure out your sweater. Your first sweater should fit you perfectly, considering all the work that is going in to it!

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  6. I always wondered how people knit sweaters to size - my Mom was an awesome knitter and made sweaters for my Dad, but I never remember her measuring him - she'd just sit down, knit and bam - my Dad was wearing the sweater! I actually think she saved one that he wore all the time, even though he's been gone 15 years already.

    Sorry you didn't have the $$ for the yarn crawl - sounds fun!

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  7. Off to check out her blog. (and Shelley, every time I see wool I think of you!)

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  8. I will never look at my closet the same. I have this gorgeous maroon sweater cardigan that has a 4 inch ruffle that hits right below my waist. Hello?! No wonder I don't find it flattering. It makes me look like a fat oompa-loompa.

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    1. And it happens to be the sweater thing I'm wearing in my avatar, but it looks ok in the picture because I'm seated.

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    2. You look cute in that picture, but yes, I'm reevaluating a lot of the stuff in my closet, and understanding why there are several things that I just don't wear!

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  9. Sounds like a great event...and an awesome idea, too! :0) Glad you had fun! Happy Thanksgiving!!

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