I hereby declare that the next time you see this hat it will not longer…
Today I have the privilege of being a stop on Amy Herzog’s Knit to Flatter Blog Tour and, since it’s a Tuesday, I’ve decided to use the Ten on Tuesday format to interview Amy about her book, her design process, and how we can all make sweaters that fit us well. So sit back, relax, and learn!
1. How did you first come up with the idea for Knit to Flatter?
It really started with me talking through changes I was making to my own sweaters with friends. I don’t have the standard body shape most patterns are written for, and I have crazy fancy taste in yarn, so if I wanted to wear the sweaters I was making I needed to figure it out, stat! A couple of friends in particular asked me about modifications they might want to make… and it kind of snowballed from there. When I wrote the tutorials that started the whole thing off, I honestly thought nobody would be really interested in reading them. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so wrong!
2. What was that first Knit to Flatter class like?
It was completely, perfectly lovely. It was very small, just 6 participants, and so we had a really intimate, friendly, warm setting in which we could all explore these ideas. I was instantly hooked!
3. What have you learned from the participants in your classes?
Oh, I’ve learned so much! Not only about the vast array of bodies out there and how to get sweaters that make each and every one shine, but about the wonderful things each woman can find in her own form. It’s incredible to watch someone come into class, on what can be a very intimidating topic, and leave with things she just adores about her figure and wants to highlight. I learn so much compassion and kindness and wonder from the participants, I wouldn’t miss it for anything.
4. What advice do you have on taking your own measurements?
Get help. Seriously. Some of the measurements are really really difficult to take accurately on your own. Engaging a trusted friend’s help is invaluable. If you really must take them yourself, I’d encourage you to do so in front of a mirror so that you can see when problems are arising–like the measuring tape slipping on one part of your body, for example.
5. How can someone tell, from looking at a pattern, if it will be flattering to them?
This is a great question. I think the first step is just to be aware that most photos are staged. There’s a scene set, a mood the magazine or etc. is trying to evoke. Try to be aware of that, and set it aside. Imagine how the sweater would look, laying on a table. The schematic can be very helpful here; if the sweater looks curvaceous on the model but the schematic is boxy, there might be a very flattering camera angle going on (just to pick a common example). Once you’ve imagined it laying on the table, try to consider the visual elements at play. How wide is the neckline? How long are the sleeves? Etc.? Then compare those style elements to the things you regularly pull out of your closet. If there’s a mismatch, consider modifying!
6. Can any design become flattering with the right customization?
Yes. Emphatically, unequivocally, YES.
7. Do you have a favorite yarn for sweater knitting?
I tend to prefer yarns that are soft (though not always smooth, I love a good tweed and I don’t find wool itchy), often with another fiber like silk blended in for drape. Right now I have a mad crush both on Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Fine and Indigodragonfly MCS Sock, but the “top” list definitely rotates. (laughs) I’m a player!
8. The designs in the book are awesome! Do you have a favorite?
Thank you! I have a couple of favorites. I got myself a (modified) Draper right away, because it goes perfectly with 90% of my work wardrobe. For a non-work sweater, I have to admit that I have a real soft spot for Holloway. I am a big fan of “sweater girl” sweaters, and this is a very sexy one without being revealing.
9. What advice do you have for someone just picking up this book?
Let yourself fall in love! And don’t be intimidated. Believe it or not, all of the designs in the book are pretty great choices for a first sweater, and they’re all intended to be very classic wardrobe staples. You won’t get tired of them in a year, you’ll wear them again and again.
10. And finally, how do you manage to do everything you do – designing awesome sweaters, writing a book about them, working full time and raising a family??
Hah! Well, thank you for the lovely compliments in there. I’m not sure I have a great answer for you though. I’m terrible (terrible) at sitting still, and I knit quickly. I prefer to be active and doing, and I’m good at letting the small stuff slide.
Those are awesome answers to all of my questions and I know I learned a lot about Amy and her design process. I think her attitude about loving our bodies and knitting sweaters that will look good on us is wonderful. Thank you so much, Amy, for asking me to be a part of your blog tour. I think the book is fantastic and the designs are inspired and flattering and I can’t wait to knit some for myself!
Now here’s the fun part for all of you – through the generosity of Amy and her publisher I have a copy of the book Knit to Flatter to give away. Everyone who leaves a comment on this blog post will be entered to win and, as an extra incentive, those of you who participate in Ten on Tuesday and provide a link to your post will receive an extra chance. It all ends Thursday at midnight so get goin’!